How to Grow Borage
Borage is a fast and easy-growing annual herb with bright blue flowers and the taste and smell of cucumber.
Although it is considered an herb, it is generally grown as a flower in orchards, where it is considered a good companion plant for tomatoes, squash, and strawberries.
It is even supposed to stop tomato worms and improve the flavor of tomatoes growing nearby.
It is rare to find an herb as beautiful as it is delicious, but borage does. Usually planted in orchards or herb gardens, it acts as a magnet for bees and other pollinators, while adding the charm of a cabin with its little blue cocoons.
Native to the Mediterranean, borage is a rather clumsy plant, but you hardly notice why the star-shaped flowers are so vibrant. It also has a greenish-gray stem and leaves covered in prickly down that deter insects.
How to plant borage
Caring for borage is quite simple as the herb does not require any special treatment. Its ability to thrive in even the driest soils or drought-like climates has earned it a reputation for being easy to maintain.
This fast-growing plant is generally planted from seed; Potted nursery starts are usually not available.
Although it accepts virtually any type of soil, borage does best in rich soils that retain moisture, so you may want to mix the compost to a depth of about a foot before planting.
Plant the seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in early spring, after the last frost has passed. Fine-tune them when they are 6 to 8 inches tall, with 7 to 2 inches of space between them.
Borage can flower from late spring to summer and will reach maturity in about eight weeks when you can harvest the leaves and flowers as needed.
Remember that plants will start to decline if they are not dead and planted in seeds. Amazing planting times will provide a longer flowering period and longer harvest time.
If the flowers wilt before you have a chance to kill them, the plants will re-seed themselves.
If you choose to plant seeds indoors three to four weeks before the last frost, be sure to transplant them into the garden before they get stuck in the pot, but not before the soil is warm and the plants harden.
There are few pest or disease problems with borage, although powdery mildew can sometimes appear.
Borage will grow in full sun to partial shade. However, planting borage in full sun will give you the best chance of getting a plant with lots of flowers and stubby stems.
The good news: Borage can thrive in even the darkest soils, so you don't need to dig a special spot in your garden for this herb.
However, given the option, the plan prefers moist but well-drained soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Repairing the soil with organic matter will also help your plants get a nutritional boost.
As borage grows from seed and becomes established in your garden, water it regularly, at least every few days. When the plant is mature, you can reduce the watering rate, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings.
- Temperature and humidity:
Borage is a particularly hardy herb, capable of withstanding temperatures at both ends of the spectrum.
However, although it tolerates heat and cold, it will not be able to withstand a hard frost, so care must be taken to harvest everything you need from the plant before then. It has no special humidity requirements.
Borage plants in poor soils will benefit from periodically feeding any fertilizer labeled for use on edible plants. Something with a high phosphorus number (the middle number in a fertilizer packet) will help keep them blooming.
Borage adds a bit of flavor and a lot of color to salads, soups, dips and dips, open sandwiches, drinks, and ice cubes. As with all edible flowers, use borage in moderation until you know how it affects you, especially if you have plant allergies.
Finely chop the leaves to use in the kitchen. The young stems are also edible; prepare as you would celery or similar vegetables.
The cucumber flavor of borage makes the leaves and stems useful in salads, soups, or stews. The colorful flowers will add color to summer salads.
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