Grow oregano and add a hint of Italy to your dish. In the right conditions, oregano will flourish, be sure to follow the steps.
Oregano is a very good companion for most of the plants in the garden as it repels pests, and increases humidity for other plants (because it doesn’t need a lot of water).
Not only, does it repel pests in the garden, but you can also use it to repel pests from your house plants.
Oregano is very good for you and your garden. There are a lot of health benefits you can get from oregano, such as;
Details for Growing Oregano
|Planting Months||Late spring (a few weeks after the last frost)|
|Harvest Months||Before blooming (from July)|
|Temperature to Plant||60-68 F (15-20 degrees Celsius) – No frost|
|Planting Depth||4 inches|
|Spacing||1/4 of an inch (0.6 cm)- from seed and clippings in 1/2 an inch (1.3 cm)|
|Sunlight||Full exposure to the sun|
|Direction||South, warm and sunny|
|pH Level||6-9 – Best 6.5-7.5|
|Companion Plants||Basil – Asparagus – Pest repellent|
|Health Benefits||Boosting your immune system- Lots of antioxidants (40 times more than an apple)- Vitamin K which is good for your heart and bones- Anti-inflammatory – Antibacterial and antifungal – Helps to clean your skin and help with acne|
Seven Steps to Growing Oregano
You can grow oregano from clippings or seeds. Clippings can be used from an existing oregano plant, otherwise, you can use seeds. When planting oregano from seed, 25 % or more of the seeds will never germinate, so use a little more.
If you are going to use clippings, use them from fully developed plants that have their full root system.
Soil pH Testing
You need to make sure that you accurately test your soil to give your plants the best chance.
If you are using seeds, you will have to plant them 1/4 of an inch deep (0.6 cm). When using clippings, you have to bury them 1/2 inch deep (1.3 cm).
Seeds need quite a long time to sprout, so you have to be patient. Planting them indoors can reduce the time of sprouting. Using old seeds can be risky, as their quality and chances of sprouting, highly decrease.
To successfully grow oregano, you have to choose a proper spot. Oregano needs a lot of sunshine and well-drained soil. If you live in a colder climate, you should start growing them indoors, and transplant them outside when it’s warm enough (a few weeks after the last frost). More likely you won’t need any fertilizer or compost, as oregano is relatively undemanding.
The best way to germinate your seeds so that they have a great start is with a germination kit. Seeds that are grown this way produce greater results.
Plan well, if you want to have more plants, as a fully-grown oregano bush, it can reach more than 70 cm in height and width (more than 2 x 2 feet).
There should be 20-25 cm (8-10 inches) space, between each plant. In case you want to grow oregano indoors, a pot with a 30 cm (1 foot) diameter should be big enough. As we mentioned before, you can plant oregano early indoors, before transplanting it outside.
That means 5-10 weeks before the last frost is predicted. After transplanting it outside, if you have any worries that it still might be cold, you can protect it with plant sheets, hay, or blankets. When the sun comes out, you can remove your covers for the day, and place them back in the evening.
If you are planting the seeds, you can start them indoors at the beginning of spring. You can transplant the plants when they develop roots, to the garden (a few weeks after the last frost), when the temperature of the soil is from 15-20 degrees Celsius (60-80 F).
If you use cuttings, strip the bottom of the cutting from leaves, before planting. You can plant them in pots or in the garden. They will need from 5-12 days to sprout, but it might take more or less, depending on the sunlight, soil, etc.
In the first months, you should water your oregano in moderation. When the plants grow stronger, you don’t have to water as much. To easily check if it needs water, touch the soil around the plant. If it’s dry, you should water it.
The same goes for growing oregano in pots. Make sure that your pots have drainage holes, for the excess water to flow away.
Regularly trimming your plants, will make them grow thicker and denser. The plant has to reach at least 15 cm (6 inches). You can use regular scissors or shears, to shape up the plants. Trimming will increase the amount of oregano you can get from your plants. You can use it fresh, or dry it.
Regularly clean the weeds growing around your oregano, as they are stealing important nutrients. After 3-4 years, remove the old oregano plants, as they become less productive, and replace them with new ones.
Picking and drying your oregano. You can use fresh or dry oregano. When used fresh, you should wash it well, to remove bugs and dirt. You can let it dry, or pat it with a paper towel.
One of the issues people have is that their crops produce all at once. The best way to overcome this is with a dehydrator so you can store your food for years and the flavor is amazing.
The best time to pick oregano is in early noon. Use scissors or shears to cut the branches, and leave a part of the stem. Gather the branches together, making bundles. You can use a piece of thin rope or a rubber band to fasten them into bundles. Make sure they have enough room to “breathe”, not tying them up too close.
You can use oregano in food, or to treat different ailments. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties, prove very useful to kill different types of bacteria and treat infections. If you use it to treat skin problems or infections, mix a few drops of oregano oil with olive or coconut oil, and use it as a lotion on the infected area.
This oil will also work as an anti-inflammatory, for muscle or joint pain. Oregano tea will help with a cold, flu, throat infections, or digestive problems. You can prepare tea with one teaspoon of dry or fresh oregano and a cup of boiled water. Let it soak for 10 minutes.
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