nettles

This topic contains 33 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Barry 2 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #48356

    kopje
    Participant

    Hi all first post so patience pls.I have the privledge of working for Peter yealands in seddon and will have an area (outdoor and open air) ready for nettles in a month or so. I am assuming I will need an established plantation before eggs/caterpillars are introduced- my question therefore would be the right combination of nettles to support both yellow and red adrimals-is this possible in 1 location? Also where can the right nettles be purchased? I have a possible contact in Motuaka for reds eggs but yellows? Thanx.

Viewing 8 replies - 26 through 33 (of 33 total)
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  • #48368

    NormTwigge
    Keymaster

    As a point of interest, if any admiral pupae have been infected by the Pteromalus wasp prior to cold weather setting in, the grubs/cocoons residing inside the pupa can overwinter until warmer conditions return. They are capable of overwintering for several months.

    #48367

    kopje
    Participant

    Great advice thanx, yes containing the nettles will be challenging and the shade cloth idea I like. A little hard graft will be nothing compared to a gully full of adrimals.Jacqui suggested dock as a ‘sting cure’ so will have some handy.The pesky wasps have been in seddon in massive numbers I am hoping they won’t make it over the hill and provide an extra challenge in Butterfly gully. We have a few kahukura around already so perhaps you are right and they will just turn up as the Monarchs did. Thankyou for the seed offer I will have to consult with our local council in regard to banned species. Cheers

    #48365

    Barry
    Participant

    I think Admirals will find your patch without the need to add some eggs, though I would like to see some Reds among my Yellows.

    Apparently, Vanessa winter over as both caterpillars & butterflies. So I am watching carefully my small collection of cats now that winter is extending a frosty hand. I have eyes on about 10 chrysalises, so Spring will be interesting for me if the wasps haven’t had their fill by now.

    The tiny wasps just love newly forming pupa.

    Cheers {BEP}.

    #48364

    Barry
    Participant

    You might scout you district for horse ‘farms’ or stables etc. Many farms have nettles around the animal & implement sheds. Stable cleanings are a great manure / nutrient for nettles.
    I can send you a ‘heap’ in a plastic bag if you like. They grow really easily – too easily!! Just cut some mature stems from the plants and ‘flick’ them around your patch.

    You will need a sequence of plantations as the nettles – of the domestic weed variety – grow & mature quickly and one can easily have 3 or 4 ‘crops’ in our season. Which means you could have a spent crop without food for any caterpillars! Then of course the Vanessa I. devour the plants as if at McDonalds’ <Hi hi. grin!> So a progression of plants is needed. Pots & planters with seedlings in a greenhouse every three weeks or so will help with that. Along with natural cycle of course. Gloves help with handling & overalls help minimise unwanted seed dispersion. They are not called ‘stinging’ for nothing!! Young plants are more easily handled however.

    Make sure the unwanted nettles are ‘weeded’ when young as Mr Yealands will not appreciate those among his vines. Nettle seeds are prolific and grow wherever they find soil. I have a photograph of my patch here when it would make my lawn look sick for lusciousness!

    I have found that a frame / wall or fence of wind-cloth will help contain wild seeding and help stop the birds from feasting on the Vanessa spp. caterpillars.

    e-Mail barry@pycroft.co.nz (+03-942.8417) for a package of nettle seeds.
    Cheers Barry P. (Christchurch).

    #48363

    kopje
    Participant

    Thanx Norm will contact council tommorow, appreciate your feedback

    #48362

    kopje
    Participant

    Great advice- thanx Jacqui

    #48358

    NormTwigge
    Keymaster

    There is really no “right” nettle as both the red and yellow admirals will co-exist on any of the nettles, from the introduced European “weed” nettles to the native varieties. I find Urtica dioica, one of the introduced nettles, the best, but it is classed as a weed and is banned in some districts so it will pay to check with your regional council if you are considering it. The MBNZT sells seeds, or your contact for the eggs may be able to help. Nettles do best in a moist soil with part shade, and thrive on a feed of nitrogen now and again, such as manure. You will need to start your plantation well in advance of introducing any stock, giving the plants a chance to get well established. Give some thought to the stinging ability of nettles if the public has access to the plantation, and don’t forget flowering plants as well, these will help attract the butterflies also.

    #48357

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Great to hear from you, Kopje!

    Yes, you could have yellows and reds in the one location. Norm Twigge will be the expert in getting your admiral habitat established… he does fantastic work with Mary Parkinson at Te Puna Quarry Park near Tauranga so hopefully he will wander in here shortly and advise.

    So pleased to see you here and you don’t need to worry… we like to share our knowledge here and see more people like you learning with us.

    Cheers

    Jacqui

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