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. Borage grows best in full sun to partial shade. 10 Liquid Fertilizers Made From Weeds & Plants @ RuralSprout.com. Here are a few examples demonstrating the different ways that the leaves and flowers can be used: Cucumber Salad With Borage Flowers @ allrecipes.com. Many bee species and other pollinating insects are endangered. To aid pollination, borage can be a great addition all around your property. It is vital that we protect biodiversity whenever we can. Borage oil is known for its high gamma linoleic acid (GLA) content. It is also known as starflower. This plant’s roots have a simple structure, but the way in which they penetrate the soil can help to break it up and aerate it. Borage is said to have a mild laxative effect, so enjoy them in moderation. Although the original plants will not come back next year, they do self-seed readily. You can make a poultice to sooth the skin. 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. It can cope with almost all soil types, including soils low in nutritional content. They can give your crops a quick boost and help maintain fertility in your growing areas. Use borage leaves and stems as a flavoring. And no one should make borage a major part of their diet, as it does contain small quantities of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in tiny quantities. Don't worry. Water. All this obviously only for what concerns the skin, but if taken as a supplement it has a truly extraordinary power. She has filled the rest of the garden with a polytunnel, a vegetable patch, a herb garden, a wildlife pond, woodland areas and more. It can survive with very free-draining soils and is relatively drought tolerant. Borage is also said to have a mild laxative effect. 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. Sow seeds in a thin layer of soil and keep them moist. Another option is to coat or spot-dob an undershirt with the oil and wear the shirt close to your skin. Remove the leaves from … Borage can be beneficial as a mulch around a range of common crops, and may be particularly beneficial for flowering and fruiting plants. So why not get some seeds and plant some in your garden this spring? Borage grows best if directly seeded. Borage, when left to set seed, will generally self-seed very readily. Harvest in the morning when the dew has dried, but the sun hasn’t got too hot. Bees tend to be attracted to purple/ blue flowers, and the simple structure of borage flowers means that the nectar is easy for bees and other pollinators to access. While scientific evidence on dynamic accumulation is often scant, it could be worthwhile considering borage in this capacity. After the plant blooms, wait until … Borage is a cooling, cleansing and refreshing herb with adaptogenic, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a mild herb that is best used fresh, and gardeners love to use it for culinary and even medicinal uses. Borage chimichurri is both pretty to look at on the salmon, and a good balance to … In particular, for some of the reasons mentioned above, borage is said to be a particularly good companion plant for: For example, borage might be included as part of a polyculture with tomatoes and squash, as in the link below. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Sow once, this annual will then readily self-seed if left to its own devices. Traditionally the borage plant was used to treat many ailments, from jaundice to kidney problems. What is borage? Borage is the common name for Borago officinalis. 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. Treats skin disorders. 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. Amending the soil with some type of organic matter, such as compost, will give your borage plants a boost. For cool cocktails in summer, you can freeze borage flowers in ice cubes then add them to your beverages. Another thing to consider is that since they attract aphids and other pest species, they also attract a range of other, more beneficial insects. Sowing Borage from seed to our organic garden, harvest the flowers and leaves to eat raw, make oil and make tincture. If you choose to start seed indoors, transplant before they become pot bound. Both the flowers and the leaves are edible, with a cucumber-like flavor. The content of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is between 20% and 26% of the oil. This is an annual flowering plant. Freeze borage blossoms in ice cubes to float in drinks or a punch bowl or add them directly to iced … You can use borage leaves, flowers, and oil (from the seeds) for medical purposes, but borage seed oil is the most popular today. Borage Tea Types. But whatever else you choose to do with it, it is worthwhile keeping a few plants aside to use in your kitchen. Harvest leaves and flowers as needed. If the seeds are harvested, these can be used to create borage oil, which is extremely rich in gamma-linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid) also known as vitamin F. Borage oil has been shown to have a beneficial effect for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Borage is relatively unfussy when it comes to growing conditions. It grows very well in gardens across Europe and is also common in kitchen gardens across North America. 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. As gardeners and growers, one of the things we can do is make sure we have flowers in bloom for pollinators throughout the year. Leaves: Use young borage leaves raw, steamed or sautéed in butter like spinach. Borage Leaf, Pea and Mint Soup @ theseasonaltable.co.uk. 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. And while the research on using borage in this fashion really isn’t conclusive yet, as of this writing, … Borage leaves are used in salads or as a garnish while the blue colored flower is used to beautify deserts in some parts of Europe. Borage is an easy growing annual herb plant with vivid blue flowers and leaves and flowers that have the flavor and scent of cucumbers. However, with borage, you could try it at any time. We can now use to flavour herbal teas, although I’m not sure on how brave that makes me. All it needed was some grilled chinook salmon. 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. That said, you will generally find that borage is a useful addition to your home-grown diet. Borage is also used externally in herbal medicine to treat inflammatory swellings. They start pink and turn a true blue, hanging in downward facing clusters. But there are also other reasons why borage is such a good companion plant. In 2014, she and her husband moved to their forever home in the country. Borage oil can also be used in making soap, and in making a range of other skin care products. Bees are also attracted to borage flowers in preference to those of many other plants. Borage is also used to make a soothing tea. Read on to find out. This post may contain affiliate links. The plants are tolerant of any type of soil, even poor dry soil. As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to give borage some space in your garden. Borage is often mentioned in organic gardening circles. A couple of caveats to mention, however: people with liver problems would be best to avoid eating these plants. And can be grown in full sun, or light or dappled shade. Not only does it taste great, it is also a common ingredient in herbal medicine, and can be great for your health. Borage is said to be particularly beneficial in accumulating potassium. 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. As with all edible flowers, use sparingly until you know how they affect you. Borage is open-pollinated and it is very easy to collect and save the seed from flowers allowed to remain on the plant and turn brown. And how exactly should you use it in your garden (and once it is harvested)? Growing borage plants in full sun will give you the most flowers and the stockiest plants. A cover crop of borage could help to improve the soil quality before other crops are grown. They are easy enough to pull out and won't become a nuisance. 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. Dry borage leaves to use in teas or tinctures. Borage leaves are tasty in salads, or you can cook them as you would kale or spinach. Spread freshly picked leaves on a cookie sheet or newspaper. The plant can also cope with a range of soil pH levels, even very alkaline soils. But what exactly is so great about this plant? Borage Officinalis Known as a borage plant, there are different types of the same name.Borage Officinalis “Variegata” is notable for white plumage on branches.. But since it draws aphids to it, this plant can serve as a useful trap crop. 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. Dust them lightly with castor sugar and set to dry on waxed paper in a warm place like an airing cupboard or in a very cool oven. We’ll talk a little more about how you can use borage as an edible crop a little later in this article. Dry borage leaves to use in teas or tinctures. In warmer climes it may even bloom almost continuously for most of the year. Borage oil on the skin and face also seems to be able to mitigate the stretch marks present, to strengthen weakened nails and much more. 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). Each segment should be approximately five to eight inches and have several nodes. These beautiful flowers are generally blue, though pink flowers are occasionally also observed, and there are also white-flowered cultivars. Blooming over a long portion of the year, borage can bring a cheery splash of blue to your garden. They should sprout in 5-15 days. Insects like ladybugs and lacewings that prey on aphids will be drawn to their food source. By planting bee-attractant plants like borage, we can make sure that pollinators are around to pollinate our crops. 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. The yield from the garden is increasing year on year – rapidly approaching an annual weight in produce of almost 1 ton. So planting borage close to those plants can make a big different to the yields that we get. Without these insects, we would not be able to grow much of our food without immense effort. 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. Plants can be pinched or pruned, to encourage branching and keep them shorter. As with all edible flowers, use sparingly until you know how they affect you, especially if you have plant allergies. 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. Older leaves will get prickly, making harvesting anything on the plant a bit unpleasant. Arrange the leaves so space is around the leaves to allow air circulation. Borage plants require routine watering until they establish. It also improves the soil quality, reduces weeds, and aids in water retention. Family herbalists use borage tea to restore strength … apart. Supplies Anti-Inflammatory Properties. It is also used in the regulation of female cycles and to promote good heart health. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. Once seedlings are about 2-3 inches tall, thin to approximately 12 inches apart. Borage Cucumber Salad Dressing @ tasteofhome.com. Excess plants are very easy to remove from the garden. Adding borage to your compost heap can also help make sure you have a nutrient-rich and well balanced compost at the end of the process. Borage is also used to increase breast milk production and to treat bronchitis and colds. Borage Uses and Benefits. The borage flower adds a bit of flavor and a great deal of color to salads, soups, dips & spreads. Borago officinalis is probably the only borage you will see offered by seed companies. It is worthwhile remembering that self-seeding annuals and a good mixture of perennial plants are ideal for a low-maintenance garden. This can help reduce nutrient leaching and make sure that nutrients are gathered and stored. Wherever you choose to grow it, borage is beautiful as well as useful. Keep the seed bed moderately moist until germination. Even the fuzzy white buds are attractive. 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. Barely cover the seeds with soil and keep well watered. Borage is an easy to grow, flavorful, AND flowering herb that everyone needs to try! In addition to designing gardens, Elizabeth also works in a consultancy capacity, offering ongoing support and training for gardeners and growers around the globe. One other great thing about borage is that it attracts aphids. Borage self-seeds readily if allowed to go to seed naturally. Planting borage with strawberries attracts bees and increases the yield of fruit. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Borage essential oil can be used to treat various skin disorders. The chimichurri is cooling from the borage and cutting from the vinegar, with a hit of raw garlic and a base note from fresh oregano. Borage is associated from those times with courage and bravery being used to flavour wines drank in ceremonies before battle. This helps retain the distinctive taste of the oils. It acts like a hormone in the body and helps to reduce inflammationrelated to skin diseases and cardiovascular dise… As a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), GLA found in … 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. It’s even supposed to deter tomato hornworms and improve the flavor of tomatoes growing nearby. An ornamental bed or border in your garden. Pick borage flowers before they are fully open. Growing borage in full sun will help make for sturdier plants. Zone – Borage grows best in zones 3-10. It is a common garnish for the UK drink ‘Pimms’ and for lemonade. Mince young leaves in yogurt or over soups, salads, curries, fish, and chicken dishes. However, it is equally beautiful in a cottage-style flower garden, where it has room to self-seed. Cut a length of the central stem. And having these beneficial bugs in your garden can help maintain a balance in the garden ecosystem overall. 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. Borage is a common companion plant for a wide range of different fruits and vegetables. A Companion Planting Trio @ thespruce.com. What is great for the bees is great for the gardener or grower too. And by self-seeding prolifically, borage can help to cover areas of bare soil and fill in patches in your growing areas. The furry coating on leaves disappears when steamed. 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. Borage seed oil is now commonly used as an … Plan to start seedlings about three to four weeks before the last expected frost and don’t transplant outdoors until the soil has warmed and the plants have been hardened off. Mulching with organic plant material adds to the nutrients available in the soil for the uptake of other plants. She has made many strides in attracting local wildlife and increasing biodiversity on the site. Borage is an annual plant, so USDA Hardiness Zones do not apply. So borage can be a great choice for those with limited time, who want to create a garden where there is less to do each year. Something with a high phosphorous number (the middle number on a fertilizer package) will help keep them in flower. Plants in poor soil will benefit from periodic feeding with any fertilizer labeled for use on edible plants. Harvesting or deadheading will keep it in bloom longer. Its high gamma linoleic acid ( GLA ) is between 20 % and 26 % the. 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