Borage

Growing borage is very easy. This plant will reseed spontaneously, and can even become invasive if not contained.
Common name : Borage
Scientific name : Borago officinalis
Family : Boraginaceae
Category : Veggies
Type of plant : Annual
Edible
Edible
Flowery
Flowery
Not to say that this one's a menace. In addition to its culinary and therapeutic uses, borage can be a valuable ally in your garden! Not only does it repel slugs, but it attracts all kinds of pollinating insects, especially bees, as it is an excellent nectar source. More than just a pretty face, borage is great for the soil, enriching it with potassium, calcium, and other beneficial minerals. Its presence protects cabbage from those pesky small white butterflies, and when planted next to strawberries is reputed to boost their flavour.

Sowing & planting

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F
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M
J
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D

Flowering

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F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D

Harvestint

J
F
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M
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J
A
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N
D

Caracteristics

Exposition
Water needs
Granulométrie plants.granulometry_2
Frost-resistance High
Zone USDA 6a
Height 30 - 60
pH 6 - 7

Identify my borage

Borage is an annual plant with large alternating hairy oval spiky leaves, and with bright blue starflowers. Its stems are erect from 30 to 60 cm high. Its blue starflowers are arranged in clusters which continually succeed each other. Its seeds are brown and rounded at the top with grooves running along the sides. Rarely, there are white flowers.

Sow my borage

The borage can be sowed from March to October, and in the later case, it will behave like a biennial. It can be sowed between two crops or in a spot specially reserved for this lovely lady, which should preferably sunny, in deep cool humus rich soil. Scatter seeds in open soil in rows with 25 cm between each spot and 50 cm between each row. Rake to lightly bury the seeds and water with a gentle shower.

Thin out my borage

Thin out your sowed plants in open soil when the plants have 3 or 4 leaves, keeping only one about every 40 cm.

Plant my borage

You can set up your transplanted plants in small pots as soon as they are dense enough. Remember to water them during the 3 to 4 weeks following planting if it doesn't rain. If you place them in open soil, find them a sunny spot in deep cool humus rich soil. In a container, place them in a mixture of fresh soil, potting soil, and sand, in a pot that is at least 20 cm deep with a saucer and a hole pierced in the bottom.

Mulch my borage

Mulch the borage during dry spells as it prefers a cool soil: you will save yourself from the chore of watering! Ideally, for this, use dead leaves.

Pinch my borage

You may pinch the plants between your thumb and index fingers at the end of the stem when it reaches 10 cm, so that it suffocates.

Water my borage

Borage doesn't have a huge need for water if it's not the first weeks after sowing, transplanting, or planting, and on very hot days — and of course, watch over it all the same if you keep yours in a pot!

Propagate my borage

Borage propagates by seeds. It often resows automatically, but consider harvesting the seeds so that you always have some at hand... The harvest is between June and October. Let the plant flower and then harvest the fruits just before they ripen. Dry them in the shade and then seed them. Then put them in a paperbag and keep them cool.

Reap my borage

The leaves and flowers edible and are harvested when needed. However, collect young leaves if you want to eat them raw as the plant leaf hairs have a bitter taste. They taste a bit like cucumbers while the flowers taste more like oysters.

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