Heirloom Borage- Annual
(Tip: Use a paper or plastic bag and rubber band over drying blooms to catch seeds)
The fresh herb has a cucumber-like fragrance. It has long been grown freely in kitchen gardens, both for its uses as a herb and for the sake of its flowers, which yield excellent honey. Our great grandmothers preserved the flowers and candied them. It is know that Borage makes the heart glad and helps to remove sorrow and depression. The leaves are slightly more potent than the flower- both can be used in salad or greens as a pot herb. Many have found the plant useful for fever, snakebite, jaundice, consumption, sore throat, depression, jaundice, itch, ringworm and rheumatism. Borage flourishes in ordinary soil. Direct sow, leaving the seed exposed to light for germination. Thin the seedlings out to about 15 inches apart in the rows. Seeds may also be sown in the autumn. Those sown then will flower in May, whereas those sown in the spring will not flower till June. Use the small new leaves and the distinctive 1 1/2 inch star shaped purple-blue flowers in hot and cold drinks, especially teas. If left alone, Borage will seed itself freely and comes up year after year in the same place. If harvesting seeds, watch for the fading flower tops- the seed will remain when the flower falls. Use the bag tip or check daily. Easily grown from seed. Seeds can be started indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost or direct seeded just after the danger of frost has passed.
Planting: Plant seeds just beneath the surface of the soil. Borage prefers full sun and rich, moist soil. Plants typically grow 2-3′ tall.
Harvesting Borage Seeds
Borage is extremely easy to save seed from. Just keep a close eye on the blooms and when they begin to fade and turn brown, pick the seeds. Be sure to get them before they fall as Borage is very good at seeding itself for the next season, even without your help.