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Growing Oregano – From The Planter to Italian Dishes

Most people who cook will have used the dried version of oregano, but growing oregano is easy. 

If you love the flavor of garden fresh taste in your recipes, be sure to try growing herbs. Oregano is a herb used in many international dishes, but is best known for use in Italian recipes. 

Oregano is a fuss free herb as long as you remember to give it at least a little water. Oregano is also a great addition to any vegetable garden.

A few plants of oregano with provide you with enough to use fresh during the spring,  summer and fall, and dried or frozen to use during the winter.

I cook with this herb at least 4 times a week.  It is wonderful in any Italian or Mediterranean recipes.

Growing oregano is very easy. It's also a perennial so it will come back next year.

Did you know that oregano has a look-alike cousin? It’s called marjoram. They can be hard to tell apart, like many herbs. Check out my post on herb identification to make this task easier.

Growing oregano is easy if you follow these tips.

Ready to start growing oregano? The plant is easy care. Check out these tips for success

Great for containers

Oregano is a perennial and will come back year after year.  It does well in pots which will keep its size contained.

Sunlight needs for oregano

Oregano like a sunny spot.  If you live in Zone 7 and farther south, give it some afternoon shade, or you will be watering all the time, since it wilts easily if it gets too much sun.

Like most herbs, it can take full sunlight.

Soil and water needs

Keep evenly moist in well drained soil. Adding compost or other organic matter will help the soil to drain easily. If you amend the soil with organic matter, there will be little need for fertilizer.

In zones 7 and north, add some composted leaf mulch, hay, or straw, over the winter.  In warmer zones it is evergreen.

Mature size of oregano

Oregano spreads easily and can reach a height of 2 feet and up to 1 1/2 feet wide.

Cut the plant back in late spring to make it bushier

In zones 7 and north, mulch over the winter.  In warmer zones it is evergreen.

Pruning oregano

Cut out dead stems in the spring before the plant starts new growth.

Cut off flowers which form.  Oregano taste best if not allowed to flower. Herbs that bolt will taste bitter.

Harvesting , storing, and cooking with oregano

Harvest repeatedly during the growing season (spring through fall.) After you harvest and start cooking with oregano, add it later in the recipe to keep it’s flavor (dried oregano is much stronger in taste than fresh.

To dry oregano, hang it in small bunches upside down.  Once the oregano has dried, remove the leaves from the stems and store them whole in a glass container. To store the essential oils, wait until just before using to chop the leaves. (See more tips on perserving herbs here.

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Ron Manser

Saturday 29th of May 2021

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