Q Why are nettles a problem weed?
A Although nettles' presence is a flattering indicator that you have well-cultivated, fertile soil in your garden, there’s nothing lucky about coming in from the garden covered in tingling blotches caused by their tiny stinging hairs. Nettles' tough stems bear small white flowers in late summer, which produce long-lived seeds, and the horizontal creeping stems can form new plants by rooting from the nodes where their leaves emerge.
Caption: Nettles spread by self-seeding and rooting from their stems
Q What is the best method for controlling nettles?
A Two treatments with Vitax SBK saw off the majority of nettles in our herbaceous border for the rest of the summer. This made it slightly more effective than glyphosate sprays, which also worked well. Both treatments caused damage to ornamental plants though, where the sprays missed or splashed off the nettle leaves. The Hozelock Wonderweeder was useful for treating short, young nettles without splashes, because you could cover the weed with its plastic splash shield before spraying.
Q What is the best organic control for nettles?
A Digging up the nettles was as effective at controlling their numbers as hoeing, but gave better results for reducing the reappearance of nettles in our trial bed the following spring.
Q Can a weed burner control nettles?
A Nettles became stunted after being repeatedly burnt, but any part of the plant not treated will send out new shoots.
Q Can pulling up nettles control them?
A Pulling the stems off left us treating nearly as many stems at the end of the summer as the beginning of our trial.