Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rainy day nettle wars

Not much happened around here today.  It was a rainy, cool day- perfect for sleeping in.  After our late evening last night, V and I got the children off to school and then went back to bed, sleeping until 1030!!  Unheard of!  I guess we needed it.  After the last few weeks, having a day to rest felt really nice.
It was way too muddy to do anything else in the garden and it was also a bit too muddy to work on the coop without wearing 10 pounds of mud on each shoe.  I'll post pictures soon since you all are asking.
I did manage to get laundry done and catch up on dishes and inside cleaning- things that have been a bit neglected with the outdoors push of late.  But, one thing that did happen outside today- NETTLE WAR.
Now, don't get me wrong-  I have nothing against nettles.  They are nutritious both for us and for our compost. However, nettles growing where they aren't wanted are a nuisance.  And in the middle of my raspberry patch is definitely not where they are wanted.  Raspberries are enough of a prickle hazard without the added sting of nettles.
Since the latest round of storms and rain has ushered in some cool weather (low 60's) and all the recent rain has made the ground quite soft, today was the perfect day to don a thick sweatshirt, heavy jeans and gloves and pull the offending nettles.  Nettles have an incredibly dense, fibrous root system that is usually a real pain to pull.  I'm sure I didn't get them all and they'll be back, but hopefully after the raspberries are done.  The black raspberries are loaded with flowers!  And they have spread wildly since we planted them.  Last year, I planted some red raspberries that have grown a lot but I didn't see any blossoms.  I also planted some pale purple ones that are still looking rather peaked.  I think they are too far back in the shade.  Maybe I'll move them sometime since they aren't doing very well in that spot.
My raspberry patch is on the south end of the garden, where the grove of Boxelder trees shades the corner of the barnyard.  They seem to do well there.  They don't get burnt up by the hot summer sun and it tends to be a pretty damp area so they get plenty of water.  Last year we had only a few berries and the year before none, since we had just moved the plants.  I've got high hopes for this year's raspberry crop.  Mmmm, raspberry jam.....
Tomorrow I go back to work for the day, then I've got a 4 day weekend.  I could definitely get used to this work schedule. It has been so nice being home.


  1. I'm not sure I know what nettles about a photo? Today was beautiful and 87 degrees, but another fierce storm is in Louisville, KY right now heading our way. ho hum...debbie

  2. Don't know what nettles are?! People usually recognize them by the stinging when they brush against them. They aren't really very showy, just tall and green.

  3. We planted one whole raised bed of nettles a few years ago because I know they are good for all kinds of things including being an ingredient in biodynamic mixtures. I thought the raised bed would contain them as we always cut them before (we thought!) they went to seed. I had nettles popping up all over my huge garden area! Then it took me about three years to get the last of them dug out of the raised bed. It was kinda scary the way they can take over!!

  4. I harvested & drying a ton of nettles last week. Now that I have the chickens, I'll go out & pick some more for them. How old are your chicks now Judy? I can't believe how much fun they are!


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