Harvesting nettle tops

Nettle tops are best in the spring, but if the nettles are repeatedly cut back they will send up fresh shoots, which can be harvested through summer and into autumn. Harvest the top 6", wearing rubber gloves to pick them, or use a pair of scissors to cut and lift them into a bag or basket.

Rinse them if they need it. Young spring nettles can be frozen for use later in the year. Blanch them in boiling water for two minutes, then drain and cool. Chop up or leave whole, and store in freezer bags.

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