A step by step guide to growing Oregano hydroponically
Well, we may love herbs and growing them on the ground. How about growing Oregano hydroponically (without soil)? yes it is possbile and we soon learn the process. Oregano is an excellent herb to have on your own place. Who doesn’t loves adding fresh leaves of oregano on top of scrambled eggs or tomato sauce? The plant grows slowly and does not require a lot of attention. Oregano is a small, bushy herb with a strong characteristic flavour that is especially pungent when the herb is fresh. The leaves are used fresh as well as dried in most types of cuisines, but it has a special place in Italian and French cuisine. There are three main types of oregano used for culinary purposes: Greek (Origanum vulgare hirtum), Mexican (Lippia graveolens, which really isn’t oregano at all), and Italian (Origanum x majoricum). The chemical responsible for the oregano taste (carvacrol) is also found in other species as well.
Oregano is at times confused with marjoram, which is a similar but a different herb. Italian oregano is a hybrid of marjoram, however. Every oregano species has slightly a different flavour which varies even more based on the growing conditions, but all are comparable in their preferences. Oregano has small, rounded leaves that are misty in some of the species; this makes it harder for them to deal with high humidity. It is a perennial herb and a native of the Mediterranean region. Oregano flowers can be found in a variety of colours like lilac, pink, purple, or white.
Oregano seed germination in hydroponics
Growing oregano is trouble-free it can easily be grown from seeds or cuttings. Growing oregano from seed is more preferred and easy because it produces true to the parent plants.
Seeds can be sown directly to the system in spring when the temperature is at least 15 degrees centigrade, or you can also sow seeds in starter grow media cubes or plugs 6 weeks before field transplanting oregano, or it is recommended to germinate seeds indoors six weeks prior to the last frost.
Oregano seeds can germinate in approximately 8 to 14 days, but can also germinate in as less as 7 to 10 days in committed propagation media such as Oasis Rootcubes, Rapid Rooters, or rockwool with good moisture retention capacity. Place these starters in a sunny location such as a window to facilitate germination. Once the seedlings have reached approximately 6 inches (15 cm.)of height, the plants can be thinned down to remove diseased or weak seedlings. You can also both shorten growing time and achieve more consistent tastes if you propagate oregano using cuttings instead. Use a rooting hormone, but not necessarily (you can get this at any store with garden supplies) and a growing substrate with good water-holding capacity; rockwool or peat works great. Cut sprigs from a mature disease-free oregano plant, wet the ends, and dip them into the hormone powder (if available). Place the dusted sprig in the substrate. When 5–10 roots start sprouting from the sprig, it’s ready to be transplanted. This could take up to 6 weeks duration.
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The best hydroponic system for oregano
Growing oregano using a hydroponic system of gardening. These systems are technology-based and need no soil or direct sunlight, so they can be used wherever – including your basement or shed. Essentially a hydroponic system is a medium by which hydroponic fertilizer is provided to the growing plants. For the home gardener, Kratky, DWC and a small ebb-and-flow system is an excellent option for a hydroponic herb garden. In an ebb-and-flow system, the plants are generally held in plastic pots in a flooding table, and the reservoir is present underneath. A timer is installed and clicks a submersible pump on, flooding the roots with nutrient-rich water and expelling out the waste gasses.
The nutrient solution to growing oregano hydroponically
You can buy specially formulated hydroponic nutrient solution for growing oregano easily from any horticultural store and dissolve the content in water as per the directions mentioned on the packet.
Important attributes to be maintained for ideal hydroponic growth:
- pH: 6.0–8.0
- EC: 1.5–2.0
- Nutrient solution Temperature: 55–70º F
- N-P-K (in ppm): 111-62-66
The pH of the Liquid Grow-based hydroponic solution may drop below 4.0 by the end of the growing period, which is not an ideal condition for nutrient uptake; you should refill the reservoir with fresh nutrient solution to replenish the growing conditions. Be especially alert of overwatering: like hydroponic mint, hydroponic rosemary, oregano have a preference for low watering and is prone to root rot and other diseases if kept too wet.
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Hydroponic Oregano grown in outdoors prefers full sunlight. Oregano will develop indoors very well under grow lights like standard fluorescent lamps, and extremely well under high output T5 fluorescent plant lights, compact fluorescent, or high-intensity discharge (metal halide or high-pressure sodium) plant grow lights.
Harvesting Oregano Herb
Let’s talk about how to harvest oregano, oregano herb plants are usually grown to be used for cooking. Plants can be harvested anytime once they have reached 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm.) of height. Harvesting oregano leaves as flower buds appear will often yield the best flavour. You can harvest oregano leaves in the morning hours just the once dew has dried. For finest flavour (especially if growing oregano for kitchen use) or more compact plant growth, flower buds can be pinched off as they begin to flower. Oregano leaves can be stored as a whole, placed in freezer bags and be frozen for later use. They can also be air-dried in a dark, well-ventilated area and stored in airtight containers until it is ready to use. Hydroponically grown plants can be grown indoors year-round. Once oregano is harvested, fresh oregano sprigs have a shelf-life of about 1–3 weeks. Be careful of over-chilling or unnecessary moisture on the foliage.
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