Year two in our war on nettles has begun and we're looking at a vastly improved patch from last year.
It's been quite a fight to get it there though - after our initial nettle massacre last year and the elation that followed at the almost instant transformation of a nettle jungle to lawn-like conditions, we found that the nettles didn't give up easily! So we kept it up, with repeated attacks from our hardcore, nettle destroying strimmer and by the end of the year felt very optimistic that we were beating those nettles into submission.
This year, we've got so many more wildflowers than last year, including, amongst others, vetch (great to have on site due to its nitrogen fixing skills)...
...and edible wild plants - common mallow (photo below taken in May) and bladder campion (both have edible leaves - mallow when raw and bladder campion when cooked).
Contrast this with areas where we haven't been strimming (see nettle jungle in photo below) and you can see immediately why I'm so pleased with the difference we've made!
So we'll be keeping it up this year - more strimmer action to keep on top of any new nettle growth and then hopefully we can start using some of the newly nettle-free land to plant out some more useful plants.