Garden lesson learned

I grew mustard and borage for the first time this year. Both did great, providing some greens to eat before sending up flowering stalks. But soon after sending up the stalks and flowering they both fell over onto the rest of the garden. They seem to still be healthy and are still flowering, just now they’re reclining across the garden. The problem is: they’re squashing the other plants!

In all my research about the plants I was planting this year I must have missed the suggestions that mustard and borage be staked/supported. But after a quick google search with the word “staking” included with borage and mustard I see now all the recommentations that they be staked/supported. Oops, well, now I know.

I’m afraid of hurting the plants, especially the mustard (I want those seeds to mature), when I go to stake them back upright. So, the borage is going to be my staking guinea pig.

Mustard fallen amongst other garden plants

Mustard (the yellow flowers) fallen amongst other garden plants.

Toppled borage

Toppled borage (the blue flowers) amongst swiss chard and cabbage.

Staking up the borage

Borage has very prickly, bristly stems that stab painfully when you try to grab the stalks–I learned this the hard way. So wear gloves when handling borage.

I stuck two long sticks into the ground on either side of the borage. Then tied garden twine to the base of one of the sticks. I gently lifted the borage upright and wrapped the twine around. I had to keep lifting and wrapping my way up to the flowering tops of the plant.

Borage staked

Borage staked with sticks and green garden twine.

Staked borage

Another angle of the staked borage.

The borage really didn’t want to go back upright again. I think I heard some snaps of leaves (hopefully not the stems!) breaking as I maneuvered them back upright. It looks like a sloppy mess. I’ll see how the borage looks tomorrow.

Next day update

I checked on the borage periodically today. It appears to be doing fine, despite the snapping I’d heard. Whew!

Now I know for next year that these two plants need staking or support.


Categories: flowers, garden | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Garden lesson learned

  1. miaslittlefarm

    It seems like every week I’m learning a new “lesson” in my own garden! Funny how that works! I’ve never staked my borage though. I sprinkle seeds throughout my garden and let them do what they want. When they get in the way or seem to floppy I cut them down to feed to the chickens.


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