I have two types of nettle in my garden: the typical European stinging nettle (above), and the bush nettle (below).
The leaves of the European nettle have deeper and pointier serrations and look spikier, but I personally find that the bush nettle, with its more rounded leaves and finer stings to be more potent.
Here’s how to remove them safely:
1. Wear gloves; try to get a pair of leather or rubber gloves as the stings will go straight through cotton gloves, and preferably ones that go up your arm if you have a tall crop of nettles to harvest
2. Grab a garden tool that has a medium handle (gives a bit of distance between the nettle and the back of your hand/arm). These are my picks:
3. Carefully push the nettle over so that the stingless base of the plant is exposed (you may need to work the soil away a bit)
(note: the base of the nettle is bald and safe to touch)
4. Grip the base firmly and pull out, being careful not to inadvertently hit your arms with the top-end of the nettle (hold them down with the tool)
5. Either cut up or add the nettle whole to your compost, ‘compost tea’ bucket or take it carefully into the kitchen for processing.