Borage

Borage:

 

  • Why you should grow it
    • It is a great pollinator plant attracting native pollinators, especially for bumblebees
    • Companion plant to many vegetables, including tomatoes, cabbage and strawberries 
      • Deter tomato hornworm and cabbage worms
      • Adds calcium to the soil to help prevent blossom end rot for tomatoes
    • Good for the soil and can be added to compost
    •  Leaves and flowers are edible, with a slight cucumber taste
    • Deer proof
  • How to start seeds
    • Direct sowing is best for borage
    • Cover lightly with soil and keep moist
    • You can start seedlings, planting out well past the frost date, or when they are 4″ tall
    • Plant out before they get pot bound
    • Tolerant of various soil conditions
    • Tend to self-seed and sprawl so good space is needed

 

  • Tips for growth
    • Plant in full sun or partial shade
    • Full sun will give you more flowers
    • Add some compost to add nutrients and prevent evaporation
    • Deadhead the flowers regularly to get continued blooms

 

  • Harvesting
    • Harvest the leaves when they are young, before they get prickly
    • Leaves can be eaten in salads or cooked later like spinach
    • The flowers have a variety of uses, can be used in salads, or can be candied
    • Both the leaves and flowers have a slight cucumber taste
    • Borage can be a slight irritant and laxative, use with caution

 

  • Saving Seeds
    • The flowers will naturally eventually die and turn brown
    • Shake out the seeds into a bag quickly after, the seeds drop quickly so timing is important
    • Dry fully
    • Label and store in a cool, dark place