Wildlife Gardening with Paul Peace

Wildlife gardening - timely advice throughout the year, projects etc. Information on wild flowers, birds, butterflies, bumblebees, mason bees, ladybirds, lacewings, frogs, etc. If it's to do with garden wildlife, you will find it here!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Have gardeners with nettle nurseries really lost the plot?

Nettles may not be welcome in a border but they have many roles to play in any garden. They increase the strength and aroma of herbs and help tomatoes to ripen fully and prevent rot. They enrich the soil where they have grown and steeped leaves make excellent liquid feeds. They are excellent for the compost heap as they accumulate minerals from the soil such as iron, potassium and silica and their nitrogen content makes them a great compost activator.

A nettle patch provides an important nursery for butterflies, such as peacock, red admiral, comma and small tortoiseshell, enticing them to lay eggs there instead of on ornamentals and vegetables. Try not to disturb the patch in April and May when the eggs are laid. The nettles should be cut down part way in mid-June to provide fresh green shoots for red admirals and a second generation of commas and small tortoiseshells.

For more wildlife gardening advice, ebooks, information, projects and jokes please visit: www.thewildlifegarden.co.uk


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