15
Nov

Home Herb Hacks | Part 2 - Oregano

Basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, there are so many amazing herbs! We are going to be giving you our Home Herb Hacks, all our top tips on how to grow herbs in your own home.

Cooking with fresh herbs makes such a difference to your cooking instead of using dried herbs. We would always recommend using fresh produce when cooking a meal whenever you can.

Having herbs in your kitchen or garden that you can pick fresh for your meal of the day is a great way to take your home cooking to the next level!

Plus, if you frequently use herbs in your cooking you can save so much money by choosing to grow your own plants.

So, what is the best way to grow herbs at home?

We have chosen some of the most popular and commonly used herbs, last time we looked at Basil, this time we are looking at...

Oregano

Oregano is frequently used in our Italian dishes. It is a pungent perennial herb with an incredibly strong flavour that is easy to recognise. At home you are likely used to using dry oregano if you like to cook Italian food, but, once you have tried cooking with fresh oregano you may never go back!

Oregano is a hardy plant that will thrive with a little bit of attention and plenty of sunlight. You can grow it from seeds, or you could buy a young plant from a local gardening centre. We recommend growing oregano in its own pot.

Where should you plant your seeds or plant?

Oregano loves the sun so be sure to plant it somewhere that it will get plenty of warm sunshine. It also likes to be kept warm so be careful not to put it somewhere too cold. For example if you are planting indoors keep it on a well-lit side, but not in direct light such as a window. If you are planting it outdoors make sure the cold weather is over before planting your oregano.

When should you plant your oregano seeds?

You should aim to plant your oregano seeds or young plants between February and May. Oregano likes sunshine and warmth so make sure that the last of the winter frost is over before you begin planting for more ideal growing conditions. 

Growing your oregano plant

Oregano can be a very rewarding plant to grow and when grown right the fresh flavour is sensational. To harvest it, cut off a stem and then strip the leaves. Rotate the pot with every watering to ensure even growth. It is important to also look out for bugs and pests, make sure you check under the leaves and on top of the soil. If the plant is infested you can either remove them, use gentle pesticides (make sure to wash your cut-offs before eating if so), repot, or completely start over if needed.

How can you keep the soil just right?

Plant your seeds or young plants in fairly neutral soil, if you use soil that is too rich it can ruin the quality and flavour of your plant. If you want to use fertilizer to promote growth, use a liquid or pellet fertilizer. Make sure you follow the directions on the bottle, do not overuse the fertilizer as again, this could lead to a ruined flavour and quality.

What is the right lighting to keep oregano in?

Oregano needs bright, indirect light in order to thrive. If your plant does not get enough sunlight it will make the plant leggy and weak. If you are watering it correctly and notice it is still quite limp, think about moving it to a better-lit location. A risk of having it in direct light, which is okay for a short amount of time, but if you let it become over-exposed this will result in a sunburn on the leaves. 

How often should you water an oregano plant?

Oregano does not like to be overwatered! If you give it too much it can ruin your crop or possibly even kill it if it is waterlogged. Ensure the pot that you plant it in has good drainage through holes in the bottom of the pot. Water the plant when the surface of the soil is dry, but don't let it dry out.

How much space should you give your oregano plant?

Never plant more than one oregano plant together. Their roots are highly competitive, over planting them will create too much competition for space and water, this will result in weak plants with a poor quality of leaf and flavour.

How much oregano can I pick from my plant?

We recommend never picking more than a third of your oregano plant leaves off in one go. If you over harvest your plant it will not grow back properly, or worse you could end up killing your oregano plant entirely. Make sure to only take what you need and allow time for it to grow back after a large harvest.

We hope our second set of home herb hacks help you improve your plant growing! 

Be sure to follow us on our social media or keep an eye out on our website for our next part of the home herb hacks series.