Since my last post on harvesting nettle seeds I’ve had a couple of emails asking me for more specific details about how and when to harvest. I remember that when I first started to collect herbs and make my own remedies it would always annoy me when writers skimmed the surface of the topics they were discussing, making assumptions that their readers already knew how to make this or that. So, in the spirit of making things clearer, I thought I’d post a few more photos to show those of you who’d like a bit more info exactly what nettles look like at different times of the year, how the seed should look when you pick it and how it looks when it’s dried. I hope that clears up any confusion and makes it easier to get out and enjoy your harvest.
Later, as summer starts to warm up, the nettles begin to flower at which time they are no longer good for eating. Nettles in full sun will flower before those in the shade and will also produce seeds earlier.
The flowers begin to turn to seeds…
But aren’t ready to harvest until they look like this.
Collect the green seeds rather than the brown or black.
After hanging the stems to allow the insects to escape, cut off the small strands of seeds and allow to air dry or use a dehydrator like this one.
When dry, take small handfuls of the seeds and rub through a sieve.
The seeds will come away and you’ll be left with the small grey-green stands like these.
Pop your dried seeds into a jar, store somewhere cool and away from bright light and enjoy sprinkled on food.
Hope that was helpful!