Useful gardening information
Borage is a freely seeding, easy growing annual plant with vivid blue flowers and leaves with the flavor of cucumbers. It is consider 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. It's even supposed to deter tomato hornworms and improve the flavor of tomatoes growing nearby.
Borage is actually a somewhat gangly plant, but you barely notice it because the star-shaped flowers are so vibrant. They're a true blue, hanging in downward facing clusters. Even the fuzzy white buds are attractive. Both the flowers and the leaves are edible, with a cucumber-like flavor. Use the leaves while they are young, because as the plant matures, the stalks and leaves become covered with a prickly fuzz.
Borage grows best if direct seeded. Barely cover the seeds with soil and keep well watered. They are tolerant of any type soil, even poor dry soil. However a sunny location with rich, well draining soil is optimal.
If you choose to start seedlings, transplant before they become pot bound. Plan to start seedlings about 3-4 weeks before the last expected frost and do not transplant outdoors until the soil has warmed.
Once seedling are about 2-3" tall, thin to approximately 12" apart.
Links to useful information on the web:
Borage, It's what for dinner.
HR370 Borage ( Borage officinalis )
Borage is one of the easier herbs to grow and it produces both edible flowers and leaves. The small star-shaped blue flowers are popular with bees. Sow borage seeds in their final location or in peat pots and/or peat pellets as borage does not transplant well. The leaves taste of cucumber and can be used in salads or drinks. For an extra decorative touch, freeze the borage flowers in ice cubes and serve with lemonade.
Borage is a hardy annual which means that the seeds can be sown outside in the early spring, or even in the fall and overwintered in the soil ready to come up at the first signs of spring.
Borage seeds need complete darkness to germinate. Plants grow 2-3 feet tall.
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