How to Grow Oregano
The History of Oregano
Oregano is short for Origanum and belongs to the mint family. Oregano originally came from the Mediterranean region.
- The Greeks believed that the Goddess Aphrodite created it.
- The Romans embraced it for its culinary uses and ease of growth.
- Chinese medicine uses it for vomiting, stomach aches, and fever reduction.
Oregano continued to spread from the Mediterranean to Europe, Northern Africa, and eventually all over the globe. It is no wonder that something that is easy to grow, smells good, tastes good, and is good for you has become a staple in households all over.
How to Grow your own oregano
- 1. Space oregano plants 8 to 10 inches apart in a sunny spot with fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0 2. Give young plants fertile soil to take root in by mixing several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter into your native soil. 3. Keep soil consistently moist and water when the top inch becomes dry. 4. Encourage fabulous leaf production by regularly feeding with a water-soluble plant food.
- You may start harvesting your oregano plant once the stems grow at least 4 to 5 inches tall.
- The best time to harvest oregano is right before it blooms. At that point, the plant has developed its highest concentration of essential oils. ⁃ oregano can be harvested on a cut-and-come-again basis. Just take leaves from the plant as required for fresh use. And, as it starts to shift towards flowering, it’s an excellent time to harvest for later drying and long-term storage ⁃ The time of day that you choose for harvesting also matters in terms of flavor. Generally, it is recommended to collect stems or leaves early in the morning. You don’t even have to wait for the dew to dry on the leaves. ⁃ Keep in mind that oregano plants take around 2 to 3 weeks to grow back their foliage. Avoid harvesting it all at once. The better approach is to harvest your plants regularly, taking small amounts when required.
Ways to Use Oregano
- Oregano is often found in sauces and as a meat seasoning. You can use it dried or make it into a pesto.
Benefits of Oregano
- Rich in antioxidants
- Fights against bacteria
- Anti-cancer properties
- Regulates diabetes
- Promotes digestive health