The pollinator attracting properties of borage are one of the main reasons why it makes such a great companion plant for a range of crops. Once seedlings are about 2-3 inches tall, thin to approximately 12 inches apart. Cucumber and Borage Canapés @ A couple of caveats to mention, however: people with liver problems would be best to avoid eating these plants. While self-seeding plants are not always ideal for very neat and tidy gardeners, borage is such a useful plant that gardeners are often happy to let it naturalize around their gardens. The plant can also cope with a range of soil pH levels, even very alkaline soils. However, it is equally beautiful in a cottage-style flower garden, where it has room to self-seed. You can eat the leaves, raw or cooked, and the flowers, raw, as a garnish or in drinks. Borage is a plant with blue flowers that was introduced to Britain by the Romans and grows wild in some areas. Borage Feeds Pollinators and Shelters Beneficial Insects. Sow seeds under cover and plant them out once weather has begun to warm, or direct sow seeds where they are to grow after the last frost date in your area. Water. how to use borage for a hangover. If I had to explain the flavor of borage, I would say it is much like cucumber. Leaves: Use young borage leaves raw, steamed or sautéed in butter like spinach. The plant is hairy all over its stems and leaves. So how can be use it? All this obviously only for what concerns the skin, but if taken as a supplement it has a truly extraordinary power. Borage is the common name for Borago officinalis. That said, you will generally find that borage is a useful addition to your home-grown diet. Borage is virtually problem-free. It flowers from around June right through to October in most temperate climates, and grows to around two feet in height at a medium rate. It is considered an herb but is often grown as a flower in vegetable gardens where it attracts pollinating bees and is considered a good companion plant for tomatoes, squash, and strawberries. If the flowers fade before you have a chance to deadhead them, the plants will re-seed on their own. It is a mild herb that is best used fresh, and gardeners love to use it for culinary and even medicinal uses. Harvesting or deadheading will keep it in bloom longer. The easiest way to propagate Indian borage is to use stem cuttings (seeds can also be used, where available). 3) … How to Use Borage as a Cover Crop Sow the seeds in March to April into a well turned bed that has been raked to remove any debris and obstacles. Borage is also said to have a mild laxative effect. What are the reasons to grow it in your garden? They can also be used as a pretty garnish to open face sandwiches or as a cake topping. To aid pollination, borage can be a great addition all around your property. Plants or seeds – because of its long and delicate tap root, it may be better to grow borage from seed instead of trying to transplant if you’re a new gardener. This post may contain affiliate links. Plants in poor soil will benefit from periodic feeding with any fertilizer labeled for use on edible plants. GLA(2) is a type of fatty acid that is commonly found in nuts and seeds in which the body converts to prostaglandin E 1 ( PGE1). Amongst other things, she has designed private gardens in regions as diverse as Canada, Minnesota, Texas, the Arizona/California desert, and the Dominican Republic, commercial aquaponics schemes, food forests and community gardens in a wide range of global locations. 10 Liquid Fertilizers Made From Weeds & Plants @ The yield from the garden is increasing year on year – rapidly approaching an annual weight in produce of almost 1 ton. By planting bee-attractant plants like borage, we can make sure that pollinators are around to pollinate our crops. Here’s how to take your borage for stress as an herbal tea: 1) Take 1-3 tablespoons of fresh borage leaves (some flowers are okay, too) or 1-3 teaspoons of dried herb per cup of water (here’s my favorite herb store for dried borage !) Borage seeds should be planted 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep, so you can either poke a hole and plop in a seed every 12 inches, or take the easy route and sprinkle seeds on the soil. It’s even supposed to deter tomato hornworms and improve the flavor of tomatoes growing nearby. Once borage goes to seed, the seed also provides food for a range of creatures, including a number of seed-eating bird species, such as finches. Older leaves will get prickly, making harvesting anything on the plant a bit unpleasant. Borage as Green Manure Plants are used as green manure when they are tilled or worked into the soil – just as you would with animal-based fertilizer. It acts like a hormone in the body and helps to reduce inflammationrelated to skin diseases and cardiovascular dise… Plants can be pinched or pruned, to encourage branching and keep them shorter. Elizabeth Waddington is a writer, permaculture designer and green living consultant. This is mainly … Cut a length of the central stem. Growing borage plants in full sun will give you the most flowers and the stockiest plants. It is worthwhile remembering that self-seeding annuals and a good mixture of perennial plants are ideal for a low-maintenance garden. She has created booklets and aided in the design of Food Kits to help gardeners to cool and warm climates to grow their own food, for example. Although the original plants will not come back next year, they do self-seed readily. These beautiful flowers are generally blue, though pink flowers are occasionally also observed, and there are also white-flowered cultivars. Borage plants require routine watering until they establish. Borage grows best if directly seeded. The plants are tolerant of any type of soil, even poor dry soil. Borage seed oil 1 to 3 g/day has been given in clinical trials (1 g/day has been used in children, and up to 3 g/day has been used in adults). Another thing to consider is that since they attract aphids and other pest species, they also attract a range of other, more beneficial insects. A cover crop of borage could help to improve the soil quality before other crops are grown. Use borage leaves and stems as a flavoring. Not only does borage have a flower you can eat, but its leaves are also edible and can be used in a variety of ways.Its flowers have a refreshing taste that is reminiscent of cucumber. How to use borage oil for skin and hair You can mix up to 12 drops per one ounce of almond, jojoba, or olive oil before use. Growing borage in full sun will help make for sturdier plants. We can now use to flavour herbal teas, although I’m not sure on how brave that makes me. Borage is said to be particularly beneficial in accumulating potassium. Borage is an annual plant, so USDA Hardiness Zones do not apply. You can use borage alone, or combine it with other weeds from your garden for a nutrient rich weed tea that provides other plants with a wider range of different nutrients. Finally, borage flowers can be used to make a dye – either for edible recipes, or for dyeing fabric. Despite the limited evidence for borage being effective for hangovers, you may want to try it anyway. Whether or not borage really does repel these pests, it could be worth a try planting it as a companion plant for vulnerable crops. It is considered an herb but is often grown as a flower in vegetable gardens where it attracts pollinating bees and is considered a good companion plant for tomatoes, squash, and strawberries. Bees are also attracted to borage flowers in preference to those of many other plants. All it needed was some grilled chinook salmon. What is borage? Borage seed oil is now commonly used as an … Both the flowers and the leaves are edible, with a cucumber-like flavor. Although unproven, the anti-inflammatory properties may help. Borage is also used to make a soothing tea. So planting borage close to those plants can make a big different to the yields that we get. It is also known as starflower. So why not get some seeds and plant some in your garden this spring? Since borage captures and stores nutrients (such as potassium) effectively from the soil, it can be beneficial when chopped and dropped around other garden plants as mulch. Many of the common plants we grow depend on insects for pollination. Borage is an easy to grow, flavorful, AND flowering herb that everyone needs to try! However, the flowers do add a bit of flavor and a great deal of color to salads, soups, dips & spreads, open-face sandwiches, beverages, and ice cubes. In herbal medicine, an infusion is taken internally to treat fevers, chest problems and kidney problems. Steamed leaves can be eaten as a vegetable. Here are a few examples demonstrating the different ways that the leaves and flowers can be used: Cucumber Salad With Borage Flowers @ It has limited culinary use in today’s foods, but the borage flower is often used as a garnish. Borage is a somewhat gangly plant, but you barely notice it because the star-shaped flowers are so vibrant. This can help reduce nutrient leaching and make sure that nutrients are gathered and stored. Borage can become a fairly tall plant, reaching a size of 18-36 inches (45 - 90cm) H x 9-24 inches (22-60cm) W. They can become rangy and floppy when they get top-heavy with flowers. And how exactly should you use it in your garden (and once it is harvested)? They can give your crops a quick boost and help maintain fertility in your growing areas. Borage Uses and Benefits. Borage is an easy growing annual herb plant with vivid blue flowers and leaves and flowers that have the flavor and scent of cucumbers. Since moving to the property she has also rescued many chickens from factory farms, keeping them for their eggs, and moved much closer to self-sufficiency. The first and most common way to use borage in your garden design is as a companion plant. If you choose to start seed indoors, transplant before they become pot bound. Mulching with organic plant material adds to the nutrients available in the soil for the uptake of other plants. It is useful both while it is in growth, and as a crop for harvesting. Arrange the leaves so space is around the leaves to allow air circulation. Borage can bloom from late spring through summer although the plants will start to decline if they are not deadheaded and are left to go to seed. Borage is relatively unfussy when it comes to growing conditions. She is undertaking ongoing work for NGO Somalia Dryland Solutions and a number of other non governmental organisations, and works as an environmental consultant for several sustainable companies. What is great for the bees is great for the gardener or grower too. Copyright © 2020 Rural Sprout on the Seasoned Pro Theme, 31 Flower Seeds You Can Still Sow In Summer, 23 Seed Catalogs You Can Request For Free (& Our 4 Favorite! Something with a high phosphorous number (the middle number on a fertilizer package) will help keep them in flower. We’ll talk a little more about how you can use borage as an edible crop a little later in this article. Aphids will be drawn preferentially to your borage, which can keep them away from your other crops. One other great thing about borage is that it attracts aphids. Freeze borage blossoms in ice cubes to float in drinks or a punch bowl or add them directly to iced … The dried stems can also be used for flavouring, and the seeds yield an oil that is particularly high in gamma-linolenic acid. Your feathered backyard flock will also enjoy eating borage. You can also simply add a few leaves or flowers to a number of other soap recipes, such as the one below: Cucumber and Borage Soap @ Sow seeds in a thin layer of soil and keep them moist. As mentioned above, borage is often grown in the vegetable or herb garden because it is such a magnet for bees and other pollinators and because it is considered a good growing companion for other plants. As mentioned above, borage can also be a useful edible crop. Borago officinalis is probably the only borage you will see offered by seed companies. Borage is said to have a mild laxative effect, so enjoy them in moderation. We are currently in a worrying period of mass extinction. However, with borage, you could try it at any time. Excess plants are very easy to remove from the garden. Use the leaves while they are young because as the plant matures, the stalks and leaves become covered with a prickly fuzz. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Each segment should be approximately five to eight inches and have several nodes. Mince young leaves in yogurt or over soups, salads, curries, fish, and chicken dishes. Borage oil is known for its high gamma linoleic acid (GLA) content. And wild birds are not the only creatures which could benefit. So once you have planted some in your garden, you should find that it seeds itself and pops up all around your growing areas year after year. This helps retain the distinctive taste of the oils. Borage has the ability to dynamically gather nutrients from the soil. Borage is often mentioned in organic gardening circles. She has filled the rest of the garden with a polytunnel, a vegetable patch, a herb garden, a wildlife pond, woodland areas and more. Here are just 15 reasons to grow borage in your garden: One of the main reasons to grow borage in your garden is as an edible crop. It’s easy to see why borage is also called … Sowing Borage from seed to our organic garden, harvest the flowers and leaves to eat raw, make oil and make tincture. Borage leaves are added to various beverages to make drinks like ‘cool tankard’ etc. She has made many strides in attracting local wildlife and increasing biodiversity on the site. Meanwhile, the seeds are used to make borage oil, which is usually applied topically to the hair and skin. Sow once, this annual will then readily self-seed if left to its own devices. So, now you have a much better idea of the reasons to grow borage in your garden, let’s take a little time to explore in a little more depth how you might use it. Spread freshly picked leaves on a cookie sheet or newspaper. Barely cover the seeds with soil and keep well watered. But whatever else you choose to do with it, it is worthwhile keeping a few plants aside to use in your kitchen. Borage is such a useful plant in the garden, while growing and when harvested, that you may not immediately turn your attention to its uses elsewhere on your homestead. Since borage can be in bloom over such a long season, it is a particularly beneficial bee-friendly plant. As a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), GLA found in … She graduated from allotment gardening to organically managing 1/3 of an acre of land, including a mature fruit orchard,which she has turned into a productive forest garden. But what exactly is so great about this plant? Harvest leaves and flowers as needed. An ornamental bed or border in your garden. Another way to incorporate borage into your garden plan is to use it as a green manure or cover crop, which gathers nutrients, protects the soil and attracts beneficial wildlife before being chopped and dropped to feed the soil ready for the next crop in rotation. Planting borage with strawberries attracts bees and increases the yield of fruit. As with all edible flowers, use sparingly until you know how they affect you, especially if you have plant allergies. To Candy Borage Flowers Pick the borage flowers, each with a small stem, when they are quite dry. Even if it does not actually repel these pests, borage will still have the other benefits mentioned on this list. Borage leaves have been used to treat respiratory ailments, rheumatism and increase lactation in women. While the evidence is largely anecdotal, some gardeners swear that borage can also repel or deter certain pests, such as tomato hornworm, and cabbage moths, for example. 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