This stinging nettle poem talks about cleaning up the nettle stalks in the middle of winter AND still getting stung even though they are mostly dead. Here and there some of the dead stalks have some green leaves on them which can sting. Even at 26 degrees there are some new stinging nettle plants growing right next to the ground–see pic below. The nettle plants are so low I would think they are somewhat protected from the freezing cold temperatures. They also can sting. Who would think in the middle of winter you can still get stung by stinging nettle–but it is true!
I cut out the dead stalks to throw them in the trash. Not in my compost or in my hugelkultur beds because they are so tenacious and will still grow. Last year I put cut stalks in my hugelkultur row and, lo and behold nettle starting growing there. I am trying to keep the nettle somewhat contained so kids don’t get stung by it and so the nettle doesn’t completely cover my garden. Nettle is a very nutritious plant. It can be eaten in the spring and dried for infusions or tea. Check out this Nettle YouTube to listen to several herbalists talk about Stinging Nettle.
Stinging Nettle Poem
Cutting down nettle stalks
In the middle of winter
The days are short, the nights are frigid
Small plants growing close to the ground
And yikes! still stinging–In the freezing depths of winter
Feeling a lasting tingling in my fingers
Remembrances of spring…