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Forage for Borage

I had asked, if I had just one plant left to plant, what should it be and why.  An answer I received was borage.  Forage for borage?  I like the idea.  Here’s the comment, and why I will probably take the suggestion and plant with it…you can put it in a salad.  And it sounds a little different from your standard garden fare.  I think I will be planting this weekend, but I’m not sure whether I’m going to plant from seed or a small plant.  I’ve been wondering about the question at the end, as well, and what to hear from other folks whether you’re tending more toward plants or seeds.

Here’s Ralph’s comment…

Maybe take a look at Borage. An edible herb I use in salads- something of a cucumber taste. Small leaves are best since they are ‘hairy’ and it gets more like thin bristles on large leaves. They make small blue flowers which the bees seem to love- the reason I got it. They produce lots of seeds about 1/16 inch long so they’re easy to collect, or just let them fall as they may. Last year mine got about 2 feet tall, and they seem to grow pretty fast from seeds.

Check out red clover too. Another medicinal herb and it’s great for building up your soil. I put these in salad too and have it growing in the ‘wilds’ of my yard. While researching it a while back Sloan Kettering came up on Google. After accepting their disclaimer they had a section on herbs. Red clover was there and it said there is some evidence of it’s fighting cancer, but more research is needed. Gee, that’s one of the things herbalists use it for. What a coincidence.

I downloaded a free PDF of a 600+ page book out of copyright that’s about using various herbs medicinally. It’s from the 1880s if I recall. I wouldn’t use it (or anything else) without confirming what it says, but it is full of information on identifying and preparing herbs. If anyone is interested I’ll try to find a link to it.

[Here’s Ralph’s question …]

How is everyone starting their plants? I use almost exclusively seeds, my niece has great luck buying small plants. What’s your preference, why?

[Here’s my follow- up…

QUESTION: anyone else have any experience with borage?  I’ve been doing a combination of seeds and plants.  I was surprised that both beets and carrots sprouted up from seeds this year, as did my pumpkins, and they’re really taking over.  I have to start thinking more seriously about seeds though.  I do tend to keep the ones I don’t use over the winter in my basement.  I also take seeds from the plants I grow and try them again the next year but haven’t had much luck with that, including some really beautiful pepper plants (cayenne, habanero and jalapeno) that I had last year, whose seeds gave me pretty much nuthin this season.  Maybe I’m doing something wrong?  Go ahead .. gimme the dirt!

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One response to “Forage for Borage

  1. Ralph ⋅

    Storing seeds for next year is pretty simple. Keep them cool, dry, and out of light. I keep mine in the basement as well since it’s the coolest place in the house. I keep some in paper envelopes, and some in small glass jars without the covers on. I tried some in the same jars with the cover on and they grew mold- apparently they weren’t dried out enough when I put them in. Don’t forget to label what they are and put the year you picked them for reference. In the jars I cut thin pieces of Post-Its (REALLY!) and slide them inside.

    If I had to guess why your seeds didn’t do too well I would say they were not left on the plant long enough before collecting. I wait until the flower or ‘pod’ is well dried out. Last year I bent some Borage over the nearby cement and shook it. Whatever seeds fell onto the ground I picked up to save. On fruits and veggies I heard it’s best to find a nice fruit and just let it over ripen right on the plant as it would do in nature. Last year I tried taking seeds from cucumbers as they went into my salad. Some looked too thin like there wasn’t much inside the shell, others got really thin as I dried them out. Eventually I left a couple to grow extra long so the seeds were mature and almost every one I planted this year grew.

    My niece gave me an ailing banana plant. I got it healthy, did some research, and split 4 new plants off it. One survived of the 4 due to bad splitting. I split another and it’s doing well. Now there’s 2 more large stems I can cut to make another 2 good size banana plants. That was a long way of saying if you buy the right types of plants at the end of the season on sale you can split them and get more of them for free. No bananas yet, but soon I’ll have more banana plants than I’ll know what to do with.

    Hopefully I can start splitting my bamboo next year. I was looking at it and thought if I can grow it to the right size I may try making a pen out it. I never saw a bamboo pen before. Is anyone growing bamboo out there? Thinking of growing it?

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