For foodies, food is not just a means to feed and stay alive; it is also a valuable tool with which to make art.
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The truth is that, those who are dedicated to gastronomy, can get to make exquisite dishes just by combining a couple of ingredients, since they have the technique and experience that are needed to make something simple, something complex and completely new.
If you are one of those people who cooks for pleasure, and not just for necessity, surely you see your kitchen as a great laboratory that gives you the opportunity to experiment with a wide range of flavors, many of which you can modify through spices.
Popular spices include cumin, basil, ginger, turmeric, thyme, rosemary, and oregano. However, as much as you like to cook with them, it may happen that, when checking your spice rack, you no longer have one of these. Therefore, the ideal is that you can make your own garden at home and grow some of these spices.
In this way, you will only have to go out to the garden and take what you need to season your meals as you prefer. Would you like to know how you can grow oregano in your own home? If the answer is yes, you cannot stop reading this interesting post.
In it, I will explain everything you need to know about growing this plant. Also, you will know what you need to achieve it and what are some of the benefits that oregano offers for your health.
Thus, when you finish reading it, you will have the tools you need to get to work and enjoy the delicious aroma and flavor that oregano gives to different foods.
Instructions for growing oregano at home
Oregano is an aromatic perennial herbaceous plant, which is used very frequently in Mediterranean cuisine. The leaves of this plant are used as a condiment. They can be used both dried and fresh. However, dry they provide much more aroma and flavor.
This plant can grow between 20 and 80 centimeters and the flavor of its leaves and flowers will depend on the conditions in which it is grown. In addition, it should be noted that this plant is also widely used for medicinal purposes.
In relation to its cultivation, the first thing you should keep in mind is that there are 3 ways to carry it out: by seed, by division of rhizomes, that is, by cutting underground rhizomes so that new plants can grow, or by cuttings, that is that is, by planting small cuttings that are taken from the root, stem, or leaves and planted in a moist environment for new plants to grow.
Cultivation by rhizomes and cuttings are the most recommended, since, if you sow it through seeds, the plant will need more time to grow.
The seed can be sown directly in the ground, but they can also be sown in seedbeds, small pots or in containers made of newspaper with a measure of 10 cm in height and 5 cm in diameter. In this case, the plant should be transplanted when it has 4 pairs of definitive leaves. Germination time usually does not exceed 2 weeks.
In places where winter is not so strong, oregano can be grown as a plant with a life capacity of more than 2 years, creating different clumps with entangled roots. It is possible to divide it every 2 or 3 years and, in turn, use them to increase the number of crops.
However, old plants will produce leaves with much less flavor than leaves taken from newer or younger plants.
The cultivation of oregano through cuttings extracted from the healthiest branches is considered the ideal method, since the plants that are produced have a great resemblance to the matrix, and they also take less time to grow.
In this case, the procedure requires that the branches that are cut have a size of 15 cm in length, approximately, and all the leaves must be removed, leaving only those that are at the closest end of the branch.
Finally, the lower part of the branch is submerged in a container of water until the roots begin to appear. Then, it must be planted in the place that has been chosen for it.
Each crop should have a separation of about 30 cm. However, this can vary depending on the size of the crop. Likewise, it is important to eliminate all traces of invasive plants, since these are responsible for absorbing the nutrients and resources that oregano needs.
In addition to the above, what else do you need to know about growing oregano at home?
What do you need to grow oregano at home?
Before you decide to plant oregano at home, you need to take a few factors into consideration. For example:
- The climate: oregano is a plant whose growth is best in moderately warm climates, between 21 and 25°C. However, it is capable of withstanding temperatures ranging from 4°C to 32. Which allows us to see that it is a very resistant and adaptable plant.
- Light: oregano requires plenty of light. It needs to receive direct sunlight for a few hours a day. If you want oregano with a more pungent flavor and a more intense aroma, you should expose the plant to sunlight for a longer time.
- The land: it is important that the soil is well drained and, preferably, it must be fertile. However, it should be noted that oregano has the ability to grow in very poor soil. This plant is very tolerant to the pH of the soil, although the ideal is for it to be between 6 and 8. Another aspect to take into account regarding the conditions of the land is that the soil must be calcareous.
- Watering: you should try to water it frequently so that the soil stays moist. When the crop is already developed, it is permissible for the soil to dry out for a short time.
However, you should not go to extremes. Both the lack and excess of water can cause the crop to end up being damaged.
But, what other recommendations should you consider in order to have a healthy oregano crop?
Tips for growing oregano at home
Now, is it possible to start using oregano leaves as soon as they have sprouted? No. You should know that the leaves will begin to sprout when the plant is already about 20 cm tall. In turn, the ideal is that you use them after the plant has produced flowers.
It is important to keep in mind that you can also take advantage of the flowers to season the food, as long as they have already opened, not before.
On the other hand, the flavor of oregano leaves tends to be more intense when the leaves are dry. In order to achieve this, you can expose them to the sun for 1 or 2 days, depending on its intensity. Remove them from time to time to make sure that the ones left on the bottom also dry properly.
However, you can also dry them in a dark, warm and dry place, but with some degree of ventilation. Finally, you should know that oregano can produce for 2 or 5 years, depending on the climate where it has been grown and the growing conditions it has.
Therefore, if you like the flavor of oregano in food and want to make the most of it, what are you waiting for to have your own crop at home? As you have already noticed, it is a very simple procedure. In addition, this plant does not require special care. So you can enjoy its benefits with the least effort.