Oregano is a perennial herb that belongs to the mint family. It is a highly aromatic herb with a pungent flavor that is commonly used in Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines. The leaves of the plant are typically small and oval-shaped, and can be either fresh or dried. Oregano is commonly grown in gardens and containers and can be used fresh, dried or frozen. In addition to culinary use, oregano has medicinal properties and is used in traditional medicine to treat respiratory and digestive problems. It is also a popular ingredient in natural remedies and beauty products. Oregano is relatively easy to grow and can be grown both indoors and outdoors in a variety of growing conditions.
How to Grow Oregano Organically
- Choose a planting site: Oregano prefers full sun and well-draining soil. It can grow in a variety of soil types but prefers slightly alkaline soil with a pH between 6.0 and 8.0.
- Plant the seeds or transplants: Oregano can be started indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date, or planted directly in the garden after the soil has warmed up in the spring. Plant the seeds or transplants about 6-12 inches apart.
- Water the plants: Oregano prefers to be kept moist but not waterlogged, so water deeply once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
- Fertilize the plants: Oregano does not require a lot of fertilization but will benefit from a light application of balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10, once or twice during the growing season.
- Prune the plants: Oregano can become woody if it is not pruned regularly. Prune the plant back by about half in the spring before new growth appears, and again in the fall after the growing season has ended.
- Harvest the oregano: Oregano can be harvested at any time once the plant has reached a height of about 4-6 inches. Cut the stems just above a leaf node, leaving about 2 inches of stem behind. Hang the stems upside down in a warm, dry place to dry, or use fresh.
With these simple steps, you can grow your own flavorful oregano to use in a variety of dishes, from pizza to pasta sauce.