I pretty much don't see honey bees-my pollinators are mostly bumblebees, and later, flies.
Bumble queens come out early, and it's vital to feed them. Broad beans (aka fava), borage, brassicas and mignonette flower early.
We had an unusually warm winter and this borage plant just kept on growing, and was flowering by August.
Damn thing's a monster!
I planted borage this year, only one plant made it past the tiny seedling stage. Right after it flowered it had the distinction of being the first plant in my garden to be utterly destroyed by squash bugs.
I've read some of the benefits. It seems like it would be a good accumulator and animals like it. As a self seeder, it would be nice to have along the garden fence, as a trap crop for chickens, deer and other intruders. I think it could serve some of the uses of comfrey, without the nasty habit of taking over.
My borage plant had a wonderful sweet cucumber flavor, too -- though the leaves are furry. The blossoms tasted even better and are beautiful! But I found that they tended to have lots of tiny ants inside.
Dale Hodgins wrote:As a self seeder, it would be nice to have along the garden fence, as a trap crop for chickens, deer and other intruders
In my temperate climate, it is about the most prolific self seeder I've come across.
Not a problem, as the plants are really easy to pull if they're in the way.
Dan Boone wrote:My borage plant had a wonderful sweet cucumber flavor, too -- though the leaves are furry. The blossoms tasted even better and are beautiful!
When we were kids, we went through quite a phase of crystalising all sorts of flowers. Borage flowers were our favourites.
The look really pretty (unadulterated) on drinks, salads, baking...
I always take off the calyx as furry food grosses me out
If you get the leaves young, they are still furry, (sorry Leila) but not prickly. I think they can be chopped fine and retain their flavor, like stinging nettles. I don't like the leaves cooked, they turn too blah, in my opinion. The flowers are great! My kids, who could be very suspicious about what weird stuff I was concocting this time, liked them.
borage self sows so readily, that it has become a real weed in my garden. I'm sure it could take over everything if I let it. I planted it 3 years ago one time and new plants come back all over every year.
Twisted Tree Farm and Nursery
Akiva Silver wrote:borage self sows so readily, that it has become a real weed in my garden. I'm sure it could take over everything if I let it. I planted it 3 years ago one time and new plants come back all over every year.
Good to know. I'll wait before I sow again. I had a huge one in my herb spiral and didn't really harvest. Loved the flowers though!
It grows really well here in the mountains and is a good self seeder in my garden. If left it could become a problem but its easy to pull out and does not seem to spread from the gardens as its too rough out in nature. The bees go absolutely crazy for it though.
I love this plant also........I don't do much with it because of the fuzzy leaves though...sometimes I think to pick the flowers for a salad. It tends to self seed here too readily and has usually sprouted again that same season so that the new plants freeze over the winter and there is no seed left for the next spring. I haven't figured out how to avoid this other than save the seed each year as it matures.
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