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Author Topic: Planting borage  (Read 6626 times)
Zoot
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« on: May 28, 2007, 11:43:52 PM »

Cindi, I guess this is sort of directed towards you - how late in the season can you plant borage? Do you plant it near any livestock?
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reinbeau
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2007, 06:45:08 AM »

Plant it now!  I've got seedlings started.  It sprouts late from seeds in the garden, the self-sown ones have only been up for a week or so.  Plant it wherever you want, livestock might eat it!  Wink
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Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2007, 09:32:56 AM »

Zoot, Ann is on the very same page as I am (she is great at gardening knowledge).  Borage can be sowed in succession.  The seeds that have germinated from last year are coming up like crazy now.  They germinated a couple of weeks ago and are plants that will be setting bud in a couple of weeks.  I think the germination to blooming is about 6 weeks, very quickly.

I will be sowing more seed of borage soon, that way it carries on, then in a couple more weeks after that I will plant more, I will not plant any more after August 15 because that is too late and the bud set does not occur that well, and I think the nectar is diminished because of the shorter day length.

Plant away, get going on it, you will see it germinate very quickly.  You do not barely have to cover this seed, just kind of brush a little dirt on it to hold it in place, or just sow on top of the soil.  In nature, the earth does not cover up the seed, it simply falls to the grown, is moistened, then the seed opens, the roots go down, and there ya go.  Good luck.  Have a wonderful day, great life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2007, 11:31:44 AM »

I planted mine by broadcasting mothersday week. They bloomed this past weekend. Surprised me how big and succulant borage looks and feels. Hints on retrieving seeds would be helpful.So far, no bees. My bees are landing on my anise hyssop which hasn't bloomed yet. I can almost feel their disapointment. They land, walk around a moment and off they go. Cant wait for it to bloom.
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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2007, 09:24:56 AM »

Konasdad.  I am sure that the bees smell the chemicals in the leaves of the hyssop, probably quite similar to the flowers.  I see that too with my bees, yep, they are disappointed.

Glad to hear about your borage.  Incredibly beautiful plant eh?

About the seed gathering.  You will watch the flowers on the plant.  When the flowers drop off, there forms a pod.  Observe the growth of the flower pod.  In some time (I am not sure the timeframe), you will undoubtedly see the little green seeds growing, open the pod a little bit and observe it, just for fun. This is your learning tool.

When the seeds are ripe, of course they will be brown, but they fall so quickly to the ground when they are brown, it is hard to catch them in the nick of time.  The birds will get them first in many cases.

When the seeds are ready, I pick them when they are still pretty much green.  You will see the pod open, the seeds will be very, very visible.  They will turn brown very very quickly, sometimes even overnight, so it is a fine line.  When you see the pod open up and the seeds are visible, then is the time to pick off the pod.  Leave them for a couple of days in a warm spot, you will see the seeds turn brown, almost before your very eyes.  These seeds then can be replanted immediately.  They will germinate very quickly, within a week, if they have moist conditions.  That will be your job, to keep them "reasonably" moist.  By reasonably, I mean let the dew from nature do its job (do you get dew?  We get lots of dew, but we are in a very moist climate).  Or just when you think about it, spray some water on them.  Again, do watch out for the birds.  Quite often I will just put a whisper of some dirt over them, to hide them a little from the birds, but they will germinate without being covered.

Hope that will help you with your seed saving.  When is your frost kill date?  I know that there is no purpose in sowing borage seed here much past the middle of August.  I don't think the daylight hours are long enough for proper nectar flow, so I don't bother after that time.  If you have any more questions, please put them out there, I will answer what I may have forgotten to write about.  Have the wonderful day, great life and a beautiful day to boot.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2007, 12:37:03 PM »

Thanx. Sounds similar to how I collect cosmos, daisies, poppies and such. I think our weather is similar in timing, but you get more winter snow. Hard frost is usually early nevember, but I have had days of sixties into January this past year.
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2007, 02:05:52 AM »

Konasdad.  Our seed gathering is very similar.  We are on the southwest coast of B.C.  We are usually very, very mild.  Mostly rain in wintertime, the occasional snowfall and deep freezing in January.  We experience intermittant freezes, none that last more than say, perhaps a few days.  BUT, once the frost kill, all is gone.  That can occur anywhere from beginning of October to the end October.  Always a mystery.  We had a couple of very warm days in February this year, extraordinary.  It seems there has been very strange weather patterns, all over this world in the near past.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2009, 07:36:47 PM »

Glad to hear about your borage.  Incredibly beautiful plant eh?

About the seed gathering.  You will watch the flowers on the plant.  When the flowers drop off, there forms a pod.  Observe the growth of the flower pod.  In some time (I am not sure the timeframe), you will undoubtedly see the little green seeds growing, open the pod a little bit and observe it, just for fun. This is your learning tool.

When the seeds are ripe, of course they will be brown, but they fall so quickly to the ground when they are brown, it is hard to catch them in the nick of time.  The birds will get them first in many cases.

When the seeds are ready, I pick them when they are still pretty much green.  You will see the pod open, the seeds will be very, very visible.  They will turn brown very very quickly, sometimes even overnight, so it is a fine line.  When you see the pod open up and the seeds are visible, then is the time to pick off the pod.  Leave them for a couple of days in a warm spot, you will see the seeds turn brown, almost before your very eyes.  These seeds then can be replanted immediately.  They will germinate very quickly, within a week, if they have moist conditions.  That will be your job, to keep them "reasonably" moist.  By reasonably, I mean let the dew from nature do its job (do you get dew?  We get lots of dew, but we are in a very moist climate).  Or just when you think about it, spray some water on them.  Again, do watch out for the birds.  Quite often I will just put a whisper of some dirt over them, to hide them a little from the birds, but they will germinate without being covered.

Cindi

Great useful info Cindi.
I have a few borage plants that have been flowering for a while so I might start checking them out and try to save some seed for next season.

ML
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heaflaw
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2009, 12:03:22 AM »

I have about 35 Borage plants that are blooming or beginning to bloom now.  This is the first time I have planted them, so thanks for the advice on gathering the seeds.  I have not seen a lot of honey bees on them, though.  I don't think my bees are really working anything right now.  High's are averaging low 70's.  Did I wait too late to plant them and days are too short for nectar?  I was hoping to see an abundance of bees on them like I see on fruit trees in early spring.  I am dissapointed.
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2009, 12:32:01 AM »

I have 3 borage plants in my small vege patch in the back yard, and I specifically planting them after reading how good they were at attracting bees. Funny thing is I have never seen 1 bee on them, even when they are in full flower huh yet there are quite a few bees on my lawn foraging on the clover that is growing out of my nitrogen defficient, undermowed lawn.
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Cindi
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2009, 09:31:24 AM »

Heaflaw, now that is certainly more than interesting.  When did you plant them?  I would be very curious about that.  Borage takes about 6 weeks from the time of seed germination until the first buds and blooms shortly thereafter.  If they are just beginning to bloom now, I do wonder about the nectar content.  Nectar is most highest in certain plants in the hot days of summer.  But your summer is still going strong it sounds like.  But maybe the shorter day length may govern this nectar.  There would be no reason otherwise that the bees are working the borage strongly.  Same as for you Meadlover, you said that you didn't see bees on the borage.  I think, in your case, perhaps there was something more attractive to them when the borage was blooming.  Borage is KNOWN to be an extremely great plant for the bees to gather nectar from.  Maybe you just haven't noticed them?  Maybe they had gathered the nectar "for that day" and the nectar had not developed enough to attract the bees (I have no backup about the previous statement, don't know if they produce nectar all day, or parts of the day, just a thought).

Heaflaw.  Do you have room to let the borage self-seed?  I know that you will gather the seed, but also at the same time, borage is a massively good plant that knows how to self-seed incredibly well, smiling.  You will find borage popping up everywhere.  THis can be good, this can be bad, depending upon how you view self-seeding plants.  Borage that self-seeds is a good thing.  Because the seeds that have fallen to the ground will germinate in the spring when the time is right.  This self-seeding will carry on all summer and a continual supply of borage can be on property all summer/fall due to the seeds of maturing plants falling off and growing.  Anyways, good luck, maybe the bees are drinking when you are not looking, hee, hee.  Have that most incredibly wonderful and awesome day, great health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2009, 10:37:47 AM »

cindi, that borage you sent me was beautiful.  the bees loved it and hopefully i'll have much more of it next year.

odd thing is that they didn't seem to interested in it until the blooms were older.  when they did go for it, they were all over the stuff.
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Meadlover
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2009, 05:23:18 PM »

Nectar is most highest in certain plants in the hot days of summer.

Cindi

That might be it Cindi, as we are still in the 1st half of spring here currently so maybe the nectar level is low at the moment. The temperature is coming up to nice warm temps now and this week has been around 28C = 82.5F so it is by no means cold, but we still have a bit of heating up to go yet.

ML
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Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2009, 09:39:06 AM »

Meadlover, oh brother, I forgot that you were in Australia.  Of course, you are just heading into summer there, smiling.  I was thinking that your borage was beginning to bloom in the cooler days of fall (like here), eeks.  I know what country you live in, just didn't pay attention as I was typing too fast, smiling.  Anyways, as Kathy said, when the blooms are older, that is when the bees LOVE it, and that they will, remember, once you have borage, you have that til the end of days, it will self-seed for years and years, carrying on crop after crop all during the growing season.

Kathy, I am so pleased that you were pleased with your borage, you ain't seen nuthin' yet, wait til next year, just like your buckwheat  applause  applause. Have that most wonderful and awesome of days, great health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2009, 09:57:28 AM »

Just thought I would put a couple of pretty pictures in.  The first one is a close up of the borage flower, it is at this point that the bees are interested.  Borage loves to be grown with lots of room around it, don't plant them too close, if they are too close, i.e., with self-seeded plants, pull the extra ones out, give it about a foot, no less between plants, if you can. 

The second picture is that of phacelia tanacetifolia and borage.  Phacelia is another plant that the bees LOVE, even more than borage, and it is a self-seeder too.  The bee is flying away from a luxurious intake of nectar, happy as can be, to bring her lovely load of nectar to be stored within her home by her pals.  The pollen from borage and phacelia is purple as purple can be.  And let me tell you, when you see that bee with the legs all covered in purple pollen, well, words cannot speak of the beauty.   Enjoy the pictures and have the most wonderful day, with awesome health.  Cindi

Borage



Borage and Phacelia



The purple pollen on the bee from the phacelia (and borage is purple too)

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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2009, 05:02:58 PM »

Thanks Cindi  Smiley
My Borage flowers look exactly like that, maybe even a bit more advanced as there are some dry flowers dropping off. Considering we are almost in the middle of spring here now I have 2 questions:

1. Would you expect in mid spring for them at a flowering stage to have very little nectar?
2. As the days get hotter and hotter, would you expect the nectar level to increase or will the nectar level remain low (since they were planted too early) meaning I need to plant some new Borage at the right time to get the higher nectar levels?

I've done a bit of gardening but never really looked into nectar levels of plants, so this side of things is new to me  huh

ML
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Cindi
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« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2009, 10:38:52 AM »

Thanks Cindi  Smiley

1. Would you expect in mid spring for them at a flowering stage to have very little nectar?
2. As the days get hotter and hotter, would you expect the nectar level to increase or will the nectar level remain low (since they were planted too early) meaning I need to plant some new Borage at the right time to get the higher nectar levels?
ML

Meadlover.  I can not completely and accurately answer your questions.  But I will give my thoughts here.  I would think it being mid spring and them flowering that the nectars would be high.  I say this because the plants are beginning to grow strongly, they are on the uphill climb, not the downhill climb, they are growing and growing and growing.  I would believe high nectar.  It is in the waning days of summer that the plants would not have as much nectar, the plants, as they are dieing (and that would be for anytime that the plants are dying because of old age, be it summer or fall).  When they are growing, they would have good nectar available. 

#2 question.  I don't think the plants were planted too early, period.  If they germinated and grew, the timing was correct.  The plants will only grow when the conditions (seed germination) are correct.  As the weather gets hotter, the nectar level will increase.  BUT....one thing to remember, if there is a complete dearth of moisture, that nectar level will diminish.  I am not sure what part of your country you are in, but I know some areas are completely void of moisture (well, you know what I mean, extremely dry).  This absence of moisture would prompt a low level of nectar, I would think.  What is your climate like?  Dry, moist, inbetween?  I would be interested.

Remember what I was saying about borage blooming 6 weeks after seed germination?  It is true.  If you want a continual supply of borage, I would sow seed every couple of weeks to ensure this (if you have the seed).  As the plants age, the seeds will drop off anyways and new plants will form.  But you can hasten this along.  Gather the seeds from these plants as they age and spread them.  They need only be covered by a whisp of soil (they will even germinate without soil covering, but covering slightly will hide them from birds).  IN nature the seeds are not covered, they germinate, soil is just to hold them in place and protection.

I hope that I have answered your questions to your fullest need.  If you have more, please ask, I will try to explain deeper or help you out.  Good luck.  AND....have that most beautiful and best day, health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2009, 08:15:38 PM »

I have had continuous bloom, seed drop and new plants coming along all season this past year.  I haven't planted a single seed, just a couple of plants I purchased at a plant sale two years ago.  They just come up, those that come up in the wrong place are transplanted or eliminated (mainly eliminated, there can be only so many borage plants in one yard!!).  I've found the bees love it, unless the white clover is in bloom.
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« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2010, 07:44:57 PM »

WOW!!! I'm glad I read this thread . Borage and phacelia are different plants and both good for bees . THANKS!!
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2010, 08:19:26 PM »

Suprstakr,

I posted that my bees were not working my Borage much.  But later, once they matured, my bees were all over them.  I plan to plant more this year.
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