How To Grow Oregano And Where You Can Use It

Oregano is a medicinal herb that belongs to the mint family. For a long time, people have relied on it as a way to impart flavor in foods as well as for medicine. Studies show that it boasts of numerous health benefits which continue to make it popular.

The naming of this herb is owed to two Greek words: oros and ganos. Together, they refer to joy. Oregano grows to a height of about half a meter, and it produces purple leaves that range from two to three centimeters in length. The leaves have various chemicals ranging from pinene to thymol which give it its distinct scent. Additionally, they have antioxidant as well as anti-bacterial properties.

If you need information on how to grow oregano and where you can use it, here goes:

Uses

This Mediterranean herb comes in handy in cooking as well as in the creation of medicinal products, in addition to its use in repelling insects and treating infections. Studies show that some of its active ingredients could one day help scientists come up with cures for diseases such as diabetes and osteoporosis. You can use this herb in making bread rolls, marinades, and sauces, thanks to its tantalizing flavors. Note though that people with allergies to mint should take caution when consuming this herb.

Cultivation

This commonly used herb is easy to grow, and you can plant it in your outdoors for a lovely ground cover or indoors where you can protect it from harsh weather. It does not take up much space, and you can comfortably grow it in your wooden shed where you can give it the care it deserves. How should you go about this?

Growing Method Selection

As is the case with most plants, there are many ways in which you can start growing oregano, and it all depends on your gardening experience as well as how much time you wish to spend on waiting for the plants to mature. The choices here are two: seeds or clippings. Where you already have some of these herbs growing in your compound, using cuttings is the best option as you don’t have to buy seeds. Where you do not have existing plants, choosing seeds may be the best option. It is necessary to note that when you use seeds, about a quarter of them will not germinate. For this reason, it is advisable to buy more seeds than is necessary to make up for any losses that may occur, more so when planting the seeds outdoors.

Also, where you do not have much experience in gardening, it helps to start with clippings as they have higher success rates as compared to seeds. They are also cost-effective, and they grow with ease. With cuttings, ensure that you get them from already established plants as this will ensure that they are healthy and will survive on their own. The best way to ensure this is by waiting for the roots of the existing plants to spread and develop and when new growth appears, you can start harvesting the clippings. If you do not have plants but wish to use cuttings, you can get them from a local nursery.

Site Selection

Once you have chosen how you will start your plants, it is time to decide on the ideal location for the herbs. You should note that these plants love access to sunlight in addition to well-draining soil. Thus, if you plan on having them in the outdoors, say near your wooden shed, you should look into these conditions. Suppose you live in a cold area, it is advisable to start the plants indoors, and when they are strong enough, you can harden them off and move them to the outdoors. You could also opt to have them indoors for the rest of their life as they do not need much space.

This herb does not require much fertilizer. Thus, if you plan on planting it in an area that previously had compost, you may not need to add more manure to help the plants thrive. If you have the plants in your wooden shed, it helps to add some fertilizer as well as place the pots near a south-facing window where they can get the sunlight required to thrive.

Spacing Considerations

A full-grown plant will measure about two and a half feet in height and two feet in width. Thus, you should make allowances for this growth. If you plan on having the herbs in your garden, it helps to separate the seedlings by at least ten inches. If they are indoors, you should use a pot that is at least one foot wide to pave the way for expansion. Lack of adequate room to spread hinders the growth of oregano and will thus keep you from enjoying its many benefits.

Planting

The earlier you plant the oregano, the earlier you can start to enjoy its flavors. Where you wish to have the plants outdoors, it is best to schedule the planting to at least ten weeks before the last frost of spring. You can check with the local forecast to tell when this will be, so that you can plan accordingly. It helps to protect your plants with hay when the temperatures are unfavorable. For people planting in wooden sheds, this will not be an issue. Once the sun comes out, remove the coverings, preferably after the last frost.

The seeds should be at least a quarter of an inch in the soil, while clippings should be at least half an inch deep. Patience is of the essence in this process as the seeds may take a while to sprout, especially when in the outdoors. Clippings take about a week to germinate. However, the timing depends on the quality of the soil, water content, as well as access to direct sunlight.

Aftercare

Watering should take place regularly in the first few months. Once the roots establish, you can reduce the watering. Where the plants are in a wooden shed, you need to check the water content of the soil to decide on a watering schedule as you do not want to wet the soil, but rather dampen it.

As the plants mature and reach heights of at least four inches, it helps to trim the leaves and ends, as this encourages the growth of thicker leaves. Also, be sure to get rid of older and sick plants as they negatively affect the strong ones in the lot. Weeding around the plants is also of the essence.

You should enjoy flavorful oregano in no time with these practices in play. All the best!

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