Aromatic plants



Borage is an annual herbaceous plant, which in Italy also lives spontaneously, in uncultivated areas, near streams or other water sources. It is a spartan plant, which does not require great cultural care, which tends to develop naturally. However, if you want to use Borage in the kitchen, or for medicinal purposes, it is advisable to stimulate its development, in order to obtain numerous large and fleshy leaves. Borage plants tend to be satisfied with the water provided by rainfall, so they should be grown in an area totally exposed to bad weather. In case of drought, or even during the particularly hot summer months, it is advisable to water the plant periodically, but avoiding keeping the soil wet for a long time. With the arrival of autumn, after producing the small seeds, the Borage plant dries up and dies. It will be necessary to sow it again the following year, even if it tends to self-sow.

Cultivating Borage

Borage is a medicinal plant, used for healing purposes, but also for cooking. All parts are used: leaves, stems, seeds, flowers and roots. For this reason it is advisable to have luxuriant and strong plants, which can withstand the periodic cutting of some of the leaves. Borage is in fact used fresh, so some parts of the plant are taken as necessary, throughout the growing season. The best way to have Borage plants in the vegetable garden or garden is to sow them, which is done directly at home. It is advisable first to identify an area free from weeds, where the soil will be enriched with little manure, and then worked it thoroughly. The seeds are scattered, avoiding to pile them in some places, leaving the ground bare in others. Sowing takes place in March-April, when the frost is now a distant memory and the minimum night temperatures are above 12-15 ° C. After the plants have sprouted, it is better to thin them out, to allow for a wider development.

Fertilize the Borage

Borage plants sown in a soil enriched with manure tend not to need other types of fertilizer; they are in fact very vigorous and undemanding plants. In the event that a large production is required, or for cultivation in pots, where the root system has little space to develop, it is advisable to provide a slow-release granular fertilizer at the base of the stem. Complete and balanced fertilizers should be preferred, which contain a good amount of nitrogen, to stimulate the correct development of the green parts of the plant. Those who own a vegetable garden can use the fertilizer that they generally use for other table crops. The practicality of the slow release fertilizer lies in the fact that this product progressively melts with watering or rains, providing the correct amount of mineral salts over the months. In the case of Borage, which dries up in autumn, a single supply of slow release fertilizer is more than enough to meet all the plant’s needs.

Parasites and diseases

Borage is a plant that is grown in the open field, in beautiful areas illuminated by direct sunlight. If sown in very shady places they can have a stunted development and also be easy prey for fungal parasites. At the beginning of spring the buds can be attacked by aphids, which must be removed using special insecticides. Afterwards it is good to avoid using any part of the plant for at least 15 days. Most of the borage problems are related more to the cultivation needs than to the parasites; if they water excessively they tend to be affected by rot of the collar, while if kept in drought and very hot places they can stop their development and dry up completely. Borage plants are used as food in many regional recipes,

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