However, with borage, you could try it at any time. How to Use Borage as a Cover Crop Sow the seeds in March to April into a well turned bed that has been raked to remove any debris and obstacles. Borage Uses and Benefits. Cut a length of the central stem. Borage is also used to make a soothing tea. So planting borage close to those plants can make a big different to the yields that we get. Borage is virtually problem-free. You can make a poultice to sooth the skin. Water. 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. To start indoors, sow … Borage is said to be particularly beneficial in accumulating potassium. 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. Each segment should be approximately five to eight inches and have several nodes. Nothing wants to get too close to those scratchy leaves. And wild birds are not the only creatures which could benefit. Both the flowers and the leaves are edible, with a cucumber-like flavor. Here’s how to take your borage for stress as an herbal tea: 1) Take 1-3 tablespoons of fresh borage leaves (some flowers are okay, too) or 1-3 teaspoons of dried herb per cup of water (here’s my favorite herb store for dried borage !) 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. how to use borage for a hangover. 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. (Though if you plan on using herbal remedies on a regular basis, it is always best to work with a qualified herbal medicine practitioner.). Pick only the young, tender leaves as the older ones get hairy. Borage is a common companion plant for a wide range of different fruits and vegetables. That said, you will generally find that borage is a useful addition to your home-grown diet. To aid pollination, borage can be a great addition all around your property. If the flowers fade before you have a chance to deadhead them, the plants will re-seed on their own. But since it draws aphids to it, this plant can serve as a useful trap crop. 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 flowers from around June right through to October in most temperate climates, and grows to around two feet in height at a medium rate. Planting borage with strawberries attracts bees and increases the yield of fruit. 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. 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. The furry coating on leaves disappears when steamed. It is also used in the regulation of female cycles and to promote good heart health. Remove the leaves from … 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 oil can also be used in making soap, and in making a range of other skin care products. Excess plants are very easy to remove from the garden. 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. Borage grows best if directly seeded. It acts like a hormone in the body and helps to reduce inflammationrelated to skin diseases and cardiovascular dise… Even the fuzzy white buds are attractive. Borage is a plant with blue flowers that was introduced to Britain by the Romans and grows wild in some areas. An ornamental bed or border in your garden. A 2 g dose of dried herb brewed in 1 cup of boiling water taken 3 times daily has been suggested… Borage is a somewhat gangly plant, but you barely notice it because the star-shaped flowers are so vibrant. 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. Pick blooms early in the morning and use them to brighten up a fresh salad, add some zest to a sandwich, mix into dips, and cook up in soups or stews. And how exactly should you use it in your garden (and once it is harvested)? Freeze borage blossoms in ice cubes to float in drinks or a punch bowl or add them directly to iced … Read on to find out. In addition to designing gardens, Elizabeth also works in a consultancy capacity, offering ongoing support and training for gardeners and growers around the globe. 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. Traditionally, borage tea is used as a herbal remedy for depression and melancholia. Traditionally the borage plant was used to treat many ailments, from jaundice to kidney problems. Growing borage plants in full sun will give you the most flowers and the stockiest plants. 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. The pollinator attracting properties of borage are one of the main reasons why it makes such a great companion plant for a range of crops. 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. Use the leaves while they are young because as the plant matures, the stalks and leaves become covered with a prickly fuzz. We’ll talk a little more about how you can use borage as an edible crop a little later in this article. Borage, therefore, can be a good choice in regions prone to compaction. Borage is relatively unfussy when it comes to growing conditions. Insects like ladybugs and lacewings that prey on aphids will be drawn to their food source. Borage is the common name for Borago officinalis. Amongst other things, she has designed private gardens in regions as diverse as Canada, Minnesota, Texas, the Arizona/California desert, and the Dominican Republic, commercial aquaponics schemes, food forests and community gardens in a wide range of global locations. Sow seeds in a thin layer of soil and keep them moist. And by self-seeding prolifically, borage can help to cover areas of bare soil and fill in patches in your growing areas. Cucumber and Borage Canapés @ growntocook.com. Borage, when left to set seed, will generally self-seed very readily. Once seedlings are about 2-3 inches tall, thin to approximately 12 inches apart. 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. It grows very well in gardens across Europe and is also common in kitchen gardens across North America. 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. She graduated from allotment gardening to organically managing 1/3 of an acre of land, including a mature fruit orchard,which she has turned into a productive forest garden. This helps retain the distinctive taste of the oils. Borage is associated from those times with courage and bravery being used to flavour wines drank in ceremonies before battle. And no one should make borage a major part of their diet, as it does contain small quantities of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in tiny quantities. Staggering your planting times will give you a longer period of bloom and provide a longer harvest time. 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. Whether or not borage really does repel these pests, it could be worth a try planting it as a companion plant for vulnerable crops. 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. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Mince young leaves in yogurt or over soups, salads, curries, fish, and chicken dishes. 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. Family herbalists use borage tea to restore strength … This is mainly … As with all edible flowers, use sparingly until you know how they affect you, especially if you have plant allergies. Borage Feeds Pollinators and Shelters Beneficial Insects. 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. This is an annual flowering plant. Use borage leaves and stems as a flavoring. Arrange the leaves so space is around the leaves to allow air circulation. Blooming over a long portion of the year, borage can bring a cheery splash of blue to your garden. It’s even supposed to deter tomato hornworms and improve the flavor of tomatoes growing nearby. Dry borage leaves to use in teas or tinctures. Borage chimichurri is both pretty to look at on the salmon, and a good balance to … Liquid fertilizers can be made using a range of different weeds and garden plants. Despite the limited evidence for borage being effective for hangovers, you may want to try it anyway. Steamed leaves can be eaten as a vegetable. 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. They start pink and turn a true blue, hanging in downward facing clusters. Even if it does not actually repel these pests, borage will still have the other benefits mentioned on this list. If you choose to start seed indoors, transplant before they become pot bound. The flowers work especially well for blue dyes when frozen. As with all edible flowers, use sparingly until you know how they affect you. We are currently in a worrying period of mass extinction. Zone – Borage grows best in zones 3-10. As gardeners and growers, one of the things we can do is make sure we have flowers in bloom for pollinators throughout the year. It’s easy to see why borage is also called … This can help reduce nutrient leaching and make sure that nutrients are gathered and stored. But there are also other reasons why borage is such a good companion plant. It is useful both while it is in growth, and as a crop for harvesting. Another way to use chopped borage is to make your own liquid fertilizer or liquid plant feed for your growing areas. The content of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is between 20% and 26% of the oil. All it needed was some grilled chinook salmon. It can cope with almost all soil types, including soils low in nutritional content. However, it is equally beautiful in a cottage-style flower garden, where it has room to self-seed. Another option is to coat or spot-dob an undershirt with the oil and wear the shirt close to your skin. Borage leaves have been used to treat respiratory ailments, rheumatism and increase lactation in women. What are the reasons to grow it in your garden? 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. Borage as Green Manure Plants are used as green manure when they are tilled or worked into the soil – just as you would with animal-based fertilizer. As chopped plants, you can also add borage to your compost heap or other composting system. Borage Leaf, Pea and Mint Soup @ theseasonaltable.co.uk. They can give your crops a quick boost and help maintain fertility in your growing areas. 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. Dry borage leaves to use in teas or tinctures. Borage is also used to increase breast milk production and to treat bronchitis and colds. Although unproven, the anti-inflammatory properties may help. Borage has the ability to dynamically gather nutrients from the soil. Meanwhile, the seeds are used to make borage oil, which is usually applied topically to the hair and skin. Elizabeth Waddington is a writer, permaculture designer and green living consultant. 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. 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. Borage is often mentioned in organic gardening circles. As mentioned above, borage can also be a useful edible crop. Borage is an easy growing annual herb plant with vivid blue flowers and leaves and flowers that have the flavor and scent of cucumbers. Another thing to consider is that since they attract aphids and other pest species, they also attract a range of other, more beneficial insects. Bees are also attracted to borage flowers in preference to those of many other plants. 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