Gardening

How to plant oregano

There are some species in the genus Origanum that are known as oregano, the most cultivated species being called Origanum vulgare . Oregano is a perennial plant that reaches from 20 cm to 80 cm in height, and the taste of its leaves and flowers can vary greatly with the conditions in which it is grown.

Climate

Oregano is a plant that grows best in mild or moderately warm weather, but can be grown in a temperature range of 4 ° C to 32 ° C. Ideally, the temperature should be between 21 ° C and 25 °.

Brightness

Oregano needs high light and should receive direct sunlight for at least a few hours daily. The more sunlight you receive, the more pungent and aromatic your leaves will be.

Ground

The soil must be well drained and preferably fertile, although oregano can grow even in poor soils. The plant is very tolerant of soil pH, but the ideal is that the pH is between 6 and 8. The plant grows best in calcareous soil.

Irrigation

Irrigate frequently so that the soil is kept slightly moist. If the plants are well developed, there is no problem if the soil dries out superficially for a short period between irrigation. Both the lack and the excess of water harm the oregano.

Planting

Oregano can be propagated by seeds, by clump division or by cuttings, the latter two methods being preferred, since planting with seeds requires more time for plant growth and the beginning of the harvest.

The seeds can be sown directly in the final location of the vegetable garden, or they can be sown in seedlings, small pots or cups made of newsprint approximately 10 cm high and 5 cm in diameter. In this case, the oregano seedlings are transplanted when they have 4 pairs of definitive leaves. Seed germination usually occurs within two weeks.

In places where the winter is not harsh and the plant is grown as a perennial, the plants form woody clumps with rather tangled roots. Every 2 or 3 years, these can be divided and used to increase the number of plants. The disadvantage is that old plants usually produce leaves that are not considered as tasty as the leaves of younger plants.

Planting by cuttings, that is, by cut branches of healthy adult plants, is the ideal method, as it produces plants that are identical to the mother plant and they take less time to grow. Cut branches approximately 15 cm long and remove the leaves leaving only those closest to the end of the branch (leave 3 or 4 pairs of leaves). Dip the bottom half of the branch in a container of water until roots emerge and then plant in the final location.

The spacing between oregano plants can generally be 30 cm, but this value can vary with the size of the cultivar or the species of oregano.

Oregano can also be grown easily in medium or large sized planters and pots.

Cultivation

Remove invasive plants that are competing for nutrients and resources.

Harvest

Leaf harvesting can begin when the plant is at least 20 cm tall. The leaves are considered to have the best flavor when the flowers start to appear. Flowers are also used as a condiment, and should be picked as soon as they open.

The taste of the leaves is strongest when they are dry, and this is usually the way in which they are used. Fresh leaves can be left to dry in a dark, warm, dry place that is well ventilated.

Oregano produces well for 4 or 5 years if grown in an appropriate climate and in good growing conditions.

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