Growing Borage, the journey begins

Discussion in 'Herbs' started by fire it up, May 2, 2009.

  1. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Doing a lot of companion planting this year in the garden so I have to worry less about pests and disease.

    Companion Planting is the planting of different crops in close physical proximity (in gardening and agriculture), on the theory that they assist each other in nutrient uptake, pest control, pollination, and other factors necessary to increasing crop productivity.
    wiki link-

    Still have a week or 2 before I put things in the garden but since I have about 300 borage seeds I took some over to my parents to plant by their strawberry plants. Borage will increase strawberry production and flavor.

    Here are a couple pics of the little buddies, this is the second day they have been above ground and are pretty good sized.

    This is what they should look like when fully grown

    They call it the "magic bullet" in the gardening world due to the help it provides, not only plants growth and vigor but attracts many good bugs and repels many bad ones.
    I wasn't able to find borage seeds anywhere in the stores and even the nursery down the road had never even heard of it. I was able to get packs of 150 seeds from for $3.75

    Oh, and the entire plant is edible. The leaves have a mild cucumber taste and the flower sweeter like honey, leaves go in drinks or things like potato or egg salad, the flowers they put on desserts or salads or freeze them in ice cubes and use in drinks.
  2. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That is a neat looking flower. Interesting how companion planting works like that.
  3. cajunsmoke13

    cajunsmoke13 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Interesting Fire. Can't wait to see the garden going.
  4. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah, me too...

    Need to till one final time but they are predicting rain for several days this week so no smoke and no garden work.
    Poor plants are sitting behind me begging to be put in the ground.
  5. afreetrapper

    afreetrapper Fire Starter

    Back when I had a big garden and kept beehives I grew borage. Bees love borage and its great in salads.
  6. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Is it hard keeping a bee hive? After the population dropped off things haven't been the same, shouldn't have to hand pollinate but without enough bees there isn't much choice.
    Anyway, the population has been making a great comeback but if I can just stick a crate in the yard and be done with it then wonderful, if there is more work involved I don't know that I would have the time.
  7. afreetrapper

    afreetrapper Fire Starter

    Keeping a hive in not very labor intensive. I had to move in 1995 and have not been able to keep bees since. I will again someday. I had Midnight bees but the man who had the patent on them died and no one carried on with then I would suggest Carnilions (spelling?) If your simply after pollination you can keep a hive with 2 or 3 supers. A box of bees 3 supers and the frames with wax foundations will probably bee somewhere between 100.00 and 200.00 dollars. Best to start in the spring that is when suppliers ship there bees. You put them in the hive feed them for a few weeks until there established then they do there thing. At least once a year you need to pull the supers just to check the health of the hive and pull some of the frames to get some of the honey it gives you honey and keeps the bees busy making more. Bees will multiply and thats when they get the urge to swarm beekeepers then will start another hive with the excess or add another supers to that hive. If you dont want to mess with bees check around you might find a local beekeeper who would put a hive in. There are some good websites that can help you if you want to get into beekeeping

    I know there is a lot of problems with hive decimation right now I havent kept up with that to much except to know that they dont know for sure whats causing it. A lot of guesses no facts yet.
  8. slanted88

    slanted88 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Cool..Louie has the garden in hand. I'll get her some of these, thanks!
  9. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Now that the garden is in full swing and the borage has bloomed I figured I would update and share a few photos.

    Although things in the garden didn't go as originally planned I still planted several borage (they take a looooong time to flower) and have noticed a drastic difference in the amount of bugs such as aphids and Colorado potato beetles so I'm convinced that borage is a wonderful companion plant and does a great job, looks neat also.

    Since the entire plant can be eaten I am wondering what some smoked borage would taste like...
  10. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice job.The Borage is something i should plant near my crimson clover(for honeybees) next year.

    No RAIN here in 18 days.Garden doing Awesome.

    Took many years to get to the point i can pretty much ignore weather-cold,drought.

    Huricanes in august i aint figured out though..LMAO
  11. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the nice Borageview

    Here's a list of Companion Plants.

    My Mom planned Her whole garden around companion planting. Each type of plant have to be compatible with its neighbour.

    I never could get a good crop of cabbage till mom planted two rosemary bushes in the center of my garden then planted a ring of cabbage around the rosemary. Never had a problem with cabbage thrips again.

    We planted marigolds everywhere to keep down the aphids.

    Mom made spring salads out of early dandelions , borage, new beet leaves, nasturtiums etc.

    When other people were yanking out their dandelions my mom was planting them for a host of things. She even made a coffee substitute out of their roots roasted along with some oats and brewed made a nice coffee.

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