Growing Oregano, Planting, Care, and Harvesting

A step by step guide for growing Oregano in the home garden

Today, we deal with the growing of Oregano at home. We also talk about Oregano plant care, harvesting tips, and planting procedure. Oregano is one of the types of herbs that are mostly used in Italian recipes. It is a plant that will provide a fantastic ground cover and it also has many uses in the kitchen. Oregano is a herb which can be grown in both indoor and outdoor locations, that is irrespective of the location, with a little amount of care and time, you can enjoy by growing Oregano on your own at home or outdoors.

Oregano Plant types:

There are many different types of Oregano:

  • Golden Oregano
  • Marjoram
  • Syrian Oregano
  • Ornamental oregano – Kent Beauty, Hopeley’s purple Oregano
  • Mexican Oregano
  • Cuban Oregano

Decide the growing method of Oregano first:

  • Oregano is a herb that can be grown from either clippings or seeds. So if you have few plants of oregano already, then you can opt to use clippings rather than purchasing new seeds from the market. When you are making use of oregano seeds, you can normally expect that at least ¼ of oregano seeds will not grow. So you would be required to go for the plantation of many seeds.
  • Clippings have to be taken from the oregano plants which are already established. You have to wait till the plants’ roots are developed in a good manner and a new growth initiates which you can see before the clippings.
  • The oregano plant is the one which will love to grow in sunlight and the soil which is well-drained. So make sure that you are selecting a site of the plantation which has these two characteristics. If you are residing in colder climatic conditions, you should start the plantation of the oregano plant in the indoor locations and then transfer it to the outdoor locations when the weather is warm.
  • Oregano will grow at its best in a soil that is fertilized in a moderate way. There is no requirement to add compost or any kind of fertilizer to the soil in order to make it grow well.
  • An oregano plant that is completely grown will be at a height of 1 foot and at a width of about 2 feet. In order to get the best results, you will need to provide your oregano plant with a space of 10 inches in between the plants.
  • If you are planning of growing oregano indoors, you will need to select a pit that has a diameter of about 1 foot. In this method, your oregano plant will have sufficient space to grow.
  • The plantation of the oregano can be planned as early as 2 or 3 months before the last expected frost which will occur during the spring season. Anyways, in the colder climatic conditions, you will have to take care of the protection of your oregano plants by adding a layer of hay.
  • In replacement to hay, you can also make use of blankets, plastic sheets, and bedsheets. For the prevention of damage to the plants which are just budding, you can make use of stakes to prepare your covering.
  • Once you see the sun rising and the air getting warm, you will have to remove the covering from the oregano plants. While you are making use of hay, you will have to remove the hay without covering the plant after the completion of the last frost.
Oregano Plant Care.
Oregano Plant Care. (Right side image credit: Indoorgardenook

(Right side image credit: Indoorgardenook)

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Plantation and Care of Oregano:

  • The seeds have to be planted at a depth of a 1/4th inch and the clippings have to be buried at a depth of a ½ inch. You should have patience at the time of the emergence of plants from the grounds as the seeds will sprout gradually, through the plantation, when done in the indoor locations, will make the seeds sprout in rapidly taking less time.
  • Make sure that you are avoiding attempting the usage of seeds that have been stored for a long time period. As time goes, the changes in seed growth will reduce.
  • Strip the leaf cuttings at the end which is about to get planted.
  • Plants will generally take 1 week to 10 days for sprouting below the ground. Anyways, your oregano plants will take the time based on factors like quality of soil, sunlight, and the watering frequency.

Care and maintenance of Oregano:

  • For the first few months of growth of oregano, the plants have to be watered on a regular basis so that they would be able to get started. Once the establishment of the plants is done, you can decrease the quantity of water. You will need to check if the plants require water by just touching the soil with your fingers. If you see that the soil is dry, then you can go ahead and water the area in a thorough manner.
  • The plants which are grown in containers have to be taken care of in a similar manner when the oregano is grown in the outdoor locations. Anyways, when you are watering, you will have to douse the oregano plant until you see water coming out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the container.
  • By pinching or trimming the leaves and ends of your oregano plant, you can make the leaves grow denser. You will have to wait till the plant reaches the length of 4 inches and you will have to use a pair of scissors to thin the growth which is occurring in the outer part in a light manner.
  • Trimming will also help in the prevention of the growth of the excess stem of your plant. This particular condition is termed as legginess and this will decrease the crop yield.
  • You should be noticing a branch at the point where you are trimming the plant when it continues to grow. As a result, these branches will have more numbers of leaves which means more quantity of Oregano.
  • As you are trimming, you can make use of the fresh oregano in any dish, or you can even dry it for the usage of it later.
  • The oregano plants which are thin and not that healthy will compete with the plants which are healthy and consume more amount of resources. This will have a negative impact on the oregano plants which are healthier. Plants that have the age of three to four years will be at the last stage of the life cycle of oregano and these will also produce less which will make them the prime candidates for the purpose of removal.
  • There is a chance that you might not know which of the oregano plants present in your garden are young and old. When you are in this situation, you can wait till the time of spring, and then you will be able to judge the age of the plant at its starting stage of growth.
  • Weeds are the ones that will take off all the nutrients which are valuable and stop the sun from reaching the plants or will soak the water which we provide for the sake of our oregano plants. The weeds have to be grasped in a firm manner at the base with pressure which is sturdy and firm and you will need to pull out as many roots of the weeds as possible.
  • There are many numbers of garden tools which you may use for the assistance of your weeding. The tools like spade will make your work easy.
  • Oregano is the one that can make use when it is fresh and just taken from the garden. You will have to wash the oregano first to wash off all the bugs, bacteria, and dirt present on it. Let the oregano which is washed to get dried or you will have to pat it dry by making use of a towel. Then, the oregano will be ready to be used in any kind of dish which will need fresh oregano.
  • Oregano will reach its peak potency just before the blooming period. The season of blooming is completely dependent on the locality you are residing in.

Harvesting Oregano and drying it:

  • The best time for you to dry the oregano is in the morning after you see the sunrise and also evaporate any kind of dew. You will have to make use of a pair of scissors or shears to remove the leafy bunches from the plant by leaving a section of the stem on it.
  • After that, you will need to gather the bunches in the form of small bundles and you can make use of a rubber band to tie the bundles together by making use of a rubber band.
  • Make sure that you are not bundling the oregano together in a much too dense manner. This may give rise to drying in an uneven manner and this may also result in less than the product which you desired for.
  • Covering the bundles will help in the prevention of dust from gathering on your oregano as it will get dry and will keep the sun away from removing the color which is present on the plant. Paper bags will work in a good manner in order to cover your bundles, but make sure that you are cutting the slits in these bundles for the promotion of air circulation so that the oregano gets dried in a better manner.
  • Also, make sure that is monitoring the oregano while it is in the process of drying. The sunlight which obtains directly to the plant may sometimes give rise to moisture taking place in the bag, which will cause mold to grow and destroy the dried oregano.

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Storage of dried oregano:

  • When the leaves will become brittle, it would be ready for storage. You will have to lay out a wax paper sheet and then you can arrange your bundles on it. Then you will have to crumble the plants and pick the stems which you have to throw away. The dried oregano has to be stored in an airtight jar and you can enjoy it all across the year.
  • For the transfer of dried oregano to be made easily into a container, you will have to take the wax paper which has two corners, and make a funnel-like structure with it. One end of the funnel has to be placed above the mouth of the container and the paper has to be tapped to shake the dried leaves into it.

Facts about growing Oregano:

  • It is easy to grow Oregano. Oregano can be grown from cuttings, seeds, or any container plants which are bought. The seeds have to start in the indoor locations and moreover, covering the seeds of oregano with soil is not required.
  • The oregano plants will take a time of one week to ten days for sprouting. The time which oregano takes to grow will be completely based on the sunlight, quality of soil, and watering frequency.
  • Oregano plants love to be in the climatic conditions which are warm. In lower temperatures, there is less chance for the oregano plants to survive.
  • Oregano is a herb that is perennial. These have the flowers which are in the color of white or rose-purple.
  • Oregano will generally grow better in the soil which is moderately fertile. So there is no need for fertilization or addition of compost.
  • Like most of the herbs, the leaves of oregano will also taste to their best before the plant starts flowering. So, it is better to pinch-off the oregano flowers in order to keep the plants bushy and also for the prevention of bolting.
  • Finally, we can say growing Oregano is fun and profitable.

That’s all folks about techniques of growing Oregano and plating ideas.

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