Although the original plants will not come back next year, they do self-seed readily. They can give your crops a quick boost and help maintain fertility in your growing areas. It is worthwhile remembering that self-seeding annuals and a good mixture of perennial plants are ideal for a low-maintenance garden. However, a sunny location with rich, well-draining soil is optimal. While scientific evidence on dynamic accumulation is often scant, it could be worthwhile considering borage in this capacity. For cool cocktails in summer, you can freeze borage flowers in ice cubes then add them to your beverages. Borage is also used to increase breast milk production and to treat bronchitis and colds. When she is not gardening, Elizabeth spends a lot of time working remotely on permaculture garden projects around the world. Harvest in the morning when the dew has dried, but the sun hasn’t got too hot. Your feathered backyard flock will also enjoy eating borage. Borage grows best in full sun to partial shade. Borage can be beneficial as a mulch around a range of common crops, and may be particularly beneficial for flowering and fruiting plants. Meanwhile, the seeds are used to make borage oil, which is usually applied topically to the hair and skin. 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 even supposed to deter tomato hornworms and improve the flavor of tomatoes growing nearby. This is an annual flowering plant. After the plant blooms, wait until … As a nitrogen rich green material, which is also high in potassium and other essential plant nutrients, borage can help all the materials in the heap to break down. Elizabeth Waddington is a writer, permaculture designer and green living consultant. Each segment should be approximately five to eight inches and have several nodes. 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. In 2014, she and her husband moved to their forever home in the country. 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 @ thenerdyfarmwife.com. As with all edible flowers, use sparingly until you know how they affect you. It is a mild herb that is best used fresh, and gardeners love to use it for culinary and even medicinal uses. Borage Feeds Pollinators and Shelters Beneficial Insects. The flowers are generally a deeper blue when the plants are grown in poorer soil conditions. Borage is relatively unfussy when it comes to growing conditions. Traditionally, borage tea is used as a herbal remedy for depression and melancholia. Finally, borage flowers can be used to make a dye – either for edible recipes, or for dyeing fabric. Borage Leaf, Pea and Mint Soup @ theseasonaltable.co.uk. One other great thing about borage is that it attracts aphids. That said, you will generally find that borage is a useful addition to your home-grown diet. 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. 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). 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. Amending the soil with some type of organic matter, such as compost, will give your borage plants a boost. Borage seed oil is now commonly used as an … 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. Arrange the leaves so space is around the leaves to allow air circulation. Dry borage leaves to use in teas or tinctures. Remove the leaves from … 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. This post may contain affiliate links. 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 essential oil can be used to treat various skin disorders. Nothing wants to get too close to those scratchy leaves. Cucumber Salad Decorated with Borage Flower Borage seed oil can be taken internally in supplement form (read warning at bottom of the article before trying this) with 1 ug of UPA daily recommended. Although unproven, the anti-inflammatory properties may help. By planting bee-attractant plants like borage, we can make sure that pollinators are around to pollinate our crops. It’s even supposed to deter tomato hornworms and improve the flavor of tomatoes growing nearby. Once seedlings are about 2-3 inches tall, thin to approximately 12 inches apart. They should sprout in 5-15 days. We can now use to flavour herbal teas, although I’m not sure on how brave that makes me. Many of the common plants we grow depend on insects for pollination. 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. Plants can be pinched or pruned, to encourage branching and keep them shorter. 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. Borage is a common companion plant for a wide range of different fruits and vegetables. Borage oil can also be used in making soap, and in making a range of other skin care products. It’s easy to see why borage is also called … The furry coating on leaves disappears when steamed. What are the reasons to grow it in your garden? With most hangover supplements, you usually take them before or straight after drinking alcohol. This helps retain the distinctive taste of the oils. Borage is an easy to grow, flavorful, AND flowering herb that everyone needs to try! 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. You can eat the leaves, raw or cooked, and the flowers, raw, as a garnish or in drinks. But perhaps the most important function borage fulfils in a garden is as a boon to bees and other pollinators. The borage flower adds a bit of flavor and a great deal of color to salads, soups, dips & spreads. ), How to Grow A Brand New Rose Bush from Cuttings, 10 Liquid Fertilizers Made From Weeds & Plants. These beautiful flowers are generally blue, though pink flowers are occasionally also observed, and there are also white-flowered cultivars. 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. Since borage can be in bloom over such a long season, it is a particularly beneficial bee-friendly plant. With the highest known concentration (24%) of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), an omega 6 fatty acid that reduces inflammation, borage oil is used for the treatment of many health conditions. Borage is often mentioned in organic gardening circles. 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. The content of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is between 20% and 26% of the oil. Insects like ladybugs and lacewings that prey on aphids will be drawn to their food source. Here are some easy ways to use borage: 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. 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). Its leaves, flowers and stalks are edible and taste a little like cucumber. The more you can cover soil, the more you will protect the fragile and essential ecosystem it contains. Borage is native to the Mediterranean region and has naturalized elsewhere. To aid pollination, borage can be a great addition all around your property. Use borage leaves and stems as a flavoring. She has long had an interest in ecology, gardening and sustainability and is fascinated by how thought can generate action, and ideas can generate positive change. Borage is also said to have a mild laxative effect. Here are a few examples demonstrating the different ways that the leaves and flowers can be used: Cucumber Salad With Borage Flowers @ allrecipes.com. Borage self-seeds readily if allowed to go to seed naturally. (Though if you plan on using herbal remedies on a regular basis, it is always best to work with a qualified herbal medicine practitioner.). 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. Even the fuzzy white buds are attractive. Leaves: Use young borage leaves raw, steamed or sautéed in butter like spinach. So It Also Aids in Effective Pollination. Both the flowers and the leaves are edible, with a cucumber-like flavor. In fact, borage can be a good ‘nurse’ plant throughout your garden, and works well with almost any plant. Borage is said to be particularly beneficial in accumulating potassium. Borage, when left to set seed, will generally self-seed very readily. In addition to designing gardens, Elizabeth also works in a consultancy capacity, offering ongoing support and training for gardeners and growers around the globe. Many bee species and other pollinating insects are endangered. It is a common garnish for the UK drink ‘Pimms’ and for lemonade. Bees are also attracted to borage flowers in preference to those of many other plants. Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener, Difference Between Cilantro and Coriander, Growing Cucumbers of All Shapes and Sizes. Even if it does not actually repel these pests, borage will still have the other benefits mentioned on this list. Borage chimichurri is both pretty to look at on the salmon, and a good balance to … What is more, borage is also used in a number of different drinks. It is also known as starflower. It also improves the soil quality, reduces weeds, and aids in water retention. Another way to use chopped borage is to make your own liquid fertilizer or liquid plant feed for your growing areas. As chopped plants, you can also add borage to your compost heap or other composting system. apart. We’ll talk a little more about how you can use borage as an edible crop a little later in this article. The first and most common way to use borage in your garden design is as a companion plant. There are a great many reasons why you should consider growing borage in your garden. If I had to explain the flavor of borage, I would say it is much like cucumber. Borage Cucumber Salad Dressing @ tasteofhome.com. The flowers are star-like, with five, narrow, triangular-pointed petals. To Candy Borage Flowers Pick the borage flowers, each with a small stem, when they are quite dry. Something with a high phosphorous number (the middle number on a fertilizer package) will help keep them in flower. However, it is equally beautiful in a cottage-style flower garden, where it has room to self-seed. Sowing Borage from seed to our organic garden, harvest the flowers and leaves to eat raw, make oil and make tincture. Borage oil is known for its high gamma linoleic acid (GLA) content. And can be grown in full sun, or light or dappled shade. As mentioned above, borage can also be a useful edible crop. Plants in poor soil will benefit from periodic feeding with any fertilizer labeled for use on edible plants. A Companion Planting Trio @ thespruce.com. Barely cover the seeds with soil and keep well watered. Read on to find out. You can make a poultice to sooth the skin. Paint each one with lightly beaten egg white, using a water colour paintbrush. 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. The plant is hairy all over its stems and leaves. Traditionally the borage plant was used to treat many ailments, from jaundice to kidney problems. Borage grows best if directly seeded. 10 Liquid Fertilizers Made From Weeds & Plants @ RuralSprout.com. Borage is virtually problem-free. Aphids will be drawn preferentially to your borage, which can keep them away from your other crops. Then, cover with a layer of soil and gently press it down. And no one should make borage a major part of their diet, as it does contain small quantities of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in tiny quantities. It is also used in the regulation of female cycles and to promote good heart health. Another option is to coat or spot-dob an undershirt with the oil and wear the shirt close to your skin. 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