We have parts of our garden that are just overrun with nettles. I have tried digging them out, covering them with cardboard, spraying them with glyphosate, but they still keep coming back. Any suggestions anyone??
I have patches of garden where this happens too. I find that if you keep digging out the very long roots where you can, or use glyphosate before they get too big, it keeps them in check. They tend to come up in patches of bare soil, so plant as much stuff as possible to avoid bare patches where seeds can get in. I have tried nettle soup but found it needed lots of spicing up to be palatable, and obviously you shouldn't use anything treated with weedkiller. The good news is that nettles are an indicator plant, so you probably have fertile soil! The nettles are used to make liquid fertiliser by some people, soak them in water for a couple of weeks then dilute the resulting liquor for use in the garden. Butterflies like nettles too!
Glyphosate will see them off eventually, but may need several applications. Try strimming them down to ground level, and then spraying the newly emerged foliage a few weeks later - the young foliage will absorb the chemical more effectively. Give it a month, and repeat! You just have to be persistent!
Oh everyone else has great ideas that are just grand but I think ripping them up and making an admittedly very stinky liquid fertiliser for the rest of the veggies for free is fabulous! That's our secret - ssssshhhhh!
If it's really bad we have some people on our allotments who burn them, but I really think there is nothing better than keeping on top of all the babies and getting out young. xx
Treat as a crop and use the tops as a compost accelerator, just add to compost bin (but definitely not the roots!) with chopped up twiggy material, they are high in nitrogen. Soup from new growth (only use the top few leaves from each plant) its full of all sorts of minerals missing from our diets these days. Leave some for butterflies. Gradually reclaim areas by making raised beds at least 2 scaffolding planks high and put double layer of v. thick cardboard (washing machine boxes or similar from local electrical shop) soil/manure/compost on top and then grow leafy veg such as Squash/Pumpkins/potatoes to block light from soil underneath which discourages new growth.