How to Grow Oregano
You're probably familiar with the aromatic oils of oregano if you're a fan of Italian or Mexican cooking. Oregano is a common culinary herb, and an essential to add to a herbal garden. Originally, the herb was native to the Mediterranean and central Asia. It is often used in pasta dishes, pizza, soups, salads and breads. Oregano contains phytonutrients and 42 times more antioxidants than an apple. Like most herbs, oregano is a perennial and will grow year to year once you establish your plants.
What You Need
Preparing a Garden Area
Select an area to grow your oregano that gets full sun, and has well-drained soil.
Loosen the soil to a depth of 12 inches with a shovel. Add 4 inches of compost to the soil. Use a rake to even the soil out in the garden area.
Planting from Seed
Plant two seeds in each section of your flat at a depth of ½ inch. Moisten the soil with water, and place the flat in a sunny window.
Keep the soil for your oregano seedlings moist each day by spraying with water. Begin to transplant your seedlings after the danger of frost has passed.
Thin your seedlings to one plant in each section of the flat. Loosen the remaining seedlings from the flat so that you get the entire root ball.
Dig a hole big enough for the root ball of your seedling. Place the root ball in the soil, and rake soil from the garden over the roots. Firmly pat the soil over the roots and around the base of the seedling to secure the plant.
Plant each of your oregano seedlings a foot apart.
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Planting from Cuttings
Select a healthy, well-established oregano plant to take a cutting from in late spring. Find a branch with good tip growth and nodes forming along the branch for using as a cutting.
Cut below one of the nodes on the branch at about 5 inches from the tip. Dip the base of the cutting in rooting hormone.
Plant your cutting in soil so that about 2 inches of the base of the stem are in soil. Your cutting will form roots within the next month.
Wait till the following spring to transplant your plants into your garden area. Transplant each plant by loosening the root ball from the pot. Dig a hole big enough for the root ball, and cover the root ball and base of the plant firmly with garden soil so that the plant is secure. Space each plant a foot apart.
Caring for Your Oregano
Check your soil each day to see if the soil is damp around your plants. Water your oregano lightly if the soil is dry by giving the plants just enough water to moisten the soil.
Begin harvesting your oregano once the plants reach 6 inches in height. Cut each stem above the third pair of leaves by cutting right above the leaf axil. Cutting your plants back to this level will help them to grow more compact and sturdy. Harvest individual leaves as you need them.
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