The benefits of this plant outweigh the risk of a short-lived sting. Biodynamic gardeners use the dark green nettles to increase potency of neighboring herbs and to stimulate humus formation. Young shoots are high in minerals—the leaves are delicious in soup or steamed as early spring greens. Dried nettles used as a feed supplement for chickens have a layman’s reputation for increasing egg production.
Handle fresh and dry herb with gloves. Cooking removes the sting. Choose your planting site carefully; nettles spread readily, and both the rhizomes and leaves sting. An indicator of super-fertile soil where it volunteers.
Plant in damp rich soil with high nitrogen content; especially likes composted manure piles or the lush side of your leaky compost bin. Z2. Maine Grown. (bare-root crowns)
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Also called Sword Lily and named for their sword-like leaves; a gladiolus is a small Roman sword.
Plant corms 4–6" deep and 6" apart after the last spring frost. Each stalk blooms for about a week, roughly 8 weeks after planting. Stagger plantings for flowers from summer to frost. Hilling or staking may be needed if their sword-shaped foliage and 3–4' flower spikes get top heavy. Cut when 2–3 flowers have opened, taking care to spare the leaves, which feed the developing corm. Dig up the corms after the tops have died, discard the old one, clean the new one, dry, and store loose (no peat moss) in a cool dry place. • Click here for info about thrips.
Medicinal and Culinary Herbs
These plants have long histories of traditional culinary and medicinal uses. It’s up to you to educate yourself about the safety and efficacy of using plants for medicinal purposes. The statements in our catalog regarding traditional medicinal uses of plants have not been evaluated by the FDA. The plants we sell are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Plants may take a year or more to establish before they flower; roots often take several years to reach harvestable maturity.
When you receive your order, open the bags and check the stock. Roots and crowns should be firm and pliable. If they are slightly dry, add a little water or, if they are going to be planted or potted up soon, wet the roots. Generally, a little surface mold is harmless and will not affect the plant’s future performance.
If you do not plant or pot them up immediately, store them in a cool (35–40°) location for a short time.
Do not plant bare-root perennial plant crowns directly outdoors before danger of frost has passed. Wet and/or cold conditions for an extended period may cause rotting.
Pot up rootstock using well-drained potting mix in a deep 6" pot or a 1-gallon container. Avoid coiling the roots in under-sized containers. Grow newly potted perennials for a few weeks in a protected location in indirect light at 50–60°. Transplant outside once they show some top growth and the danger of frost has passed.