Herb Gardening For Beginners

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Growing Oregano – Or Is That Growing Marjoram?

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Growing oregano and marjoram are a must for every culinary herb garden. These herbs are popular in Italian, Greek, French and Mexican cooking.

Oregano - Photo by Christian Bauer

Oregano- Growing oregano and marjoram is pretty much the same since these two herb plants are so closely related.  Both plants look very similar. Marjoram has a little more delicate flavor than oregano, which is its wild version.

Choose “pot marjoram” or O. onites for best flavor. This perennial plant forms an eight inch high cushion with white or mauve flowers.

Wild marjoram (oregano) or O. vulgare is grows about 2 ft. tall. The flowers are a little darker purple. It has a little more pungent taste.

O. marjoranna has the strongest flavor but is not as hardy. It is my choice for indoor herb gardens. It is happy to spend all winter on a window sill.

Uses - This is the famous pizza sauce herb. It is native to the Mediterranean and used for salad dressing, sea food, poultry, beans, eggplant, pasta, grilled meat and tomato based sauces.

Make a tea of the fresh leaves for a soothing drink. Make an infusion and add it to your bath to soothe tired muscles.

Add fresh chopped marjoram to salads or to butter for fish.

Oil of Oregano- I came to know this oil when my doctor of homeopathy saw a spider bite on my leg. He was very concerned at how raw the bite was and had me put oil of oregano on the bite. The horrible bite was gone in two days.

Use Oil of Oregano for fighting yeast, fungus, allergies, hay fever, sinusitis and infections due to cold and flu. You can use it internally and externally. It is quite hot so kids might not like it.

The doctor suggests taking 3 drops of oil 3 times a day to help build your immune system.

Propagation – Usually grown by seed. Sow early in the spring. Plants can also be divided in fall or spring. Oregano can take over so keep it cut back and not allowed to seed.

Growing- Oregano likes full sun and light drained soil. But will tolerate partial shade and a heavier soil. Oregano is happy in a container garden. To keep the foliage strong pinch back the flowers. I like to pinch back only half the flowers because the honey bees love them.

Storage- Fresh oregano can be keep in the refrigerator in plastic bags, for a short period.

Oregano does not change flavor when it is dried so it is perfect for storage. Just clip plants and hang to dry. Slide the dried leaves from the stems and place in jars. Keep in a dark cool place.

Enjoy growing oregano.


P.S. Next we will be looking and using oregano. I have some great recipes. Including my quick salsa recipe that gets raves.

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