Origanum ordinary - extraordinary oregano
Origanum ordinary (Origanum vulgare), or as it is called in Europe - oregano, is a distant relative of all of us well-known mint, lemon balm, sage, basil and other herbs. Oregano has high, valuable both in nutritional and medicinal properties, as well as a great aroma. As a spicy culture, oregano has long been used in the cuisines of the peoples of Europe and the Mediterranean. Oregano is almost the most important spice for making the legendary pizza in Italy and Greek salad. The plant has a rich source of antioxidants, contains ascorbic acid, essential oil and tannins. Given this, oregano is widely cultivated throughout the world.
In its natural habitat, oregano is a herbaceous plant growing in the southwestern part of Europe and especially in the Mediterranean. In our country, the favorite habitats of oregano are forest edges, glades open to the sun and wind, as well as dry and extensive meadows.
Oregano is familiar to people as a perennial, spicy and herbal culture, which is often used not only in cooking, which we have already mentioned, but also in landscape gardening decorative art and even in traditional medicine. Oregano also has other names, for example, in our country they call it the motherboard. Thanks to the work of breeders of oregano, many varieties have been created, there are 16 of them in the State Register of Russia, and there are also many new products created just a couple of years ago, these are cultivars: Fragrant bunch, Winter, Honey aroma and Ogranza.
Description of oregano
Oregano has a fairly straight stem with four faces and a soft edge. The root of the oregano is creeping, and the leaf blades have an oblong shape and end with a slightly pointed edge. On the upper side of the leaflets are dark green in color, and on the lower side are slightly silver. The maximum growth of this plant can be equal to one meter, but usually there are specimens with a height of half a meter to 0.7 meters. Oregano blooms in mid-summer. At this time, you can enjoy plenty of small-sized red-lilac and arranged in inflorescences, in the form of panicle-panicles flowers in which seeds begin to ripen usually in the third decade of August.
The undoubted advantage of this plant is the most delicate and very pleasant aroma that comes from its flowers. Oregano oregano, taking into account all the described properties, is often cultivated exclusively for the production of essential oil or grown, occupying large areas, only as a honey plant.
Oregano belongs to grassy perennial crops and, being grown on different soils and in different climatic zones, it can vary somewhat. At the same time, the oregano remains unchanged by the upright stalk, which branches out with the upper part of the soybeans, and the shoot, always ending with flowers collected in umbrellas. The color scheme of flowers can be different: you can see snow-white flowers, pinkish, lilac, which, together with inflorescences, can reach a height of almost one meter. Oregano usually blooms only in the second season after planting on the site.
How to grow oregano?
The easiest way to get oregano yourself is to grow it by simply sowing seeds into the ground. However, oregano is usually grown seedlings, then there is a high probability that the seedlings will bloom this year.
Choose a place for oregano
When preparing the soil, it is necessary to take into account that oregano is a plant that adores open and well-lit areas with leveled soil without microdroplets, without prolonged stagnation of moisture (it doesn’t matter - melt or rain). When planting oregano on the site, do not forget that this plant on it will last several years and it will absolutely not need a transplant.
The soil for planting oregano, in addition to evenness and moderate humidity, must necessarily be moderately fertile. To do this, you need to add 6-7 kg of well-rotted manure or humus, 250-300 grams of wood ash and a tablespoon of nitroammophoska per square meter of soil. If you are planning a spring planting of oregano, then you should fertilize the soil in the fall, this will be just fine. When digging the soil and applying fertilizer, be sure to also destroy the weeds in the soil, it is especially important to remove the wheatgrass roots.
In the spring, before re-digging the soil, which is already oriented toward planting oregano, it is necessary to add 2-5 kg of humus or well-rotted manure and a couple of tablespoons of nitroammophos.
The soil needs to be leveled as well as possible so that there are no lumps. This must be done taking into account that oregano planting material, as a rule, is very small and seedlings will take root worse on soil with large clumps. When the soil is leveled, it remains to make grooves in the soil and water them using melt or rain water, but always at room temperature.
Before sowing, oregano seeds should be mixed with river sand in equal proportions and sown in previously prepared grooves, embedded in the depth of one centimeter. River sand is necessary so that the seeds are more evenly distributed over the bed. After you need to sprinkle the seeds with soil and mulch the surface with humus. This method is simple, but it will help inhibit the evaporation of moisture from the soil surface, creating a suitable microclimate inside the soil.
The next groove for sowing oregano seeds must be done by stepping back from the first centimeters 23-26. After about 20 days, and sometimes a little more, shoots will certainly appear. Once the seedlings form a pair of real leaves, they can be planted in a new place. When picking seedlings, it is important to leave a distance of 18-19 cm between them. Those bushes that turned out to be redundant during picking can be planted in empty places of the site.
After planting, oregano seedlings must be periodically watered, weed control, and in the heat create a small shadow for them. About two months after sowing the seeds and receiving the first seedlings, these will already be full-fledged independent plants.
Growing oregano seedlings
The seedling method for producing oregano seedlings is more expensive, but it is also more effective. Preparations for the seedling method usually begin in the second decade of April, when the soil is being prepared. Soil for seedlings can consist of equal parts of river sand, ordinary garden soil and humus. At the very bottom of the container, making sure that there are drainage holes in it, you need to put a layer of drainage a couple of centimeters thick, and pour pre-prepared nutrient soil on top.
Before sowing, oregano seeds should be soaked for a day in a damp cloth, and then laid out in a soil mixture. The landing depth is the same - about a centimeter. After sowing oregano, the container should be covered with a plastic lid with openings for ventilation, and put the container in any room where there is enough light, but direct rays do not fall on it. In this case, the room must be maintained at a temperature of 19-21 degrees above zero, and the soil is slightly moist and occasionally ventilate the air in the room.
As soon as the plants form a pair of real leaves, it is necessary to pick them, that is, oregano seedlings should be planted in separate pots.
Before planting in open ground, oregano seedlings need to be hardened for a couple of days, for which they lower the temperature, bringing it to normal street, both day and night.
Oregano seedlings can be planted in open ground as soon as a stable positive temperature is established. You just have to carefully remove the seedlings from the cups and place it in the soil, trying not to destroy the earthen lump. After that, the soil around the plant needs to be thoroughly compacted and the surface mulched with humus, a layer of a couple of centimeters, this will save moisture and protect it from overheating.
Next season, with due attention and care, there should be flowering. About a week before it, it is necessary to feed the plants with a nitroammophos. To do this, you need to dilute a tablespoon of nitroammophos for half a bucket of water, this is enough for 12-15 plants.
Oregano propagation by dividing the bush
Oregano breeds well by dividing the bush, usually this division begins when the bush has reached the age of three or five years. The division is carried out in the spring, for this the plant is dug up and divided into parts so that each has at least two pairs of healthy buds. The divided parts of the bush can be planted in the holes, and in a couple of weeks their rooting will begin. In order for the divided parts of the bush to take root well, they need sufficient watering and periodic loosening of the soil.
Oregano propagation by cuttings and layering
To propagate marjoram with green cuttings, it is necessary to cut shoots in early July and cut them into cuttings 12-14 cm long, leaving only a couple of leaves on the crown. It is better to root the cuttings in nutritious and loose soil covered with a film, having buried approximately halfway, subject to frequent and fine irrigation, about 4-5 times a day. Under such conditions, up to 100% of oregano cuttings can take root.
Well-established and the method of propagation of oregano layers. To do this, early spring, the most direct shoot must be lowered into pre-made horizontal beds and lightly sprinkled with soil, leaving only one crown on the surface. In the future, you need to fight weeds, moisten the site, and then next spring upright shoots will start to grow, it is worth digging them out of the soil and separating from the mother plant, as you get full-fledged independent seedlings.
But no matter how the seedling is received, care for it is always the same and does not differ in particular complexity. Take watering, for example: it should be very moderate, you should not allow both a lack of moisture and its excess. The first two seasons after planting a plant on the site, it is necessary to remove weeds and loosen the soil, avoiding the formation of soil crust. After three seasons, when the plants are sufficiently developed, weeding can be completely eliminated and only gently mow the grass in the bite zone.
We noted that oregano in one place can grow for decades, however, to rejuvenate the plant, it is nevertheless necessary to renew the site every five or six years.
In the event that oregano is not grown as an ornamental plant, but is cut annually and dried (or to obtain oil later), then after each mowing it is necessary to feed the plants with infusion of chicken manure, diluted 15 times with water, for this purpose you can use mullein, but it is permissible to dilute it 10 times (at a rate of a liter per square meter).
It is perfectly permissible to use any complex mineral fertilizers, such as nitroammophoski in the amount of 15-20 g per square meter of soil and preferably in dissolved form. If you grow this fragrant grass exclusively on your site, then you can completely dispense with top dressing, otherwise it will actively grow to the detriment of quality.
Oregano Cutting and Storage
When the shoots of oregano grow by about a meter, you can begin to cut them. The best option for cutting is during the period when the plants bloom and smell most strongly. This period usually falls on the period from July to September.
Cutting is best done at a height of half a meter. After that, the cut off parts need to be bundled, and already in this form they can be dried. It is noticed that the dry grass of oregano smells even stronger. In order for the grass to lie down as long as possible without losing its varietal qualities, it must be stored in places that are reliably protected from direct sunlight, be sure to remove all leaf blades from the shoots.
Usually, dried sprigs of oregano are used from one and a half to three years, it all depends on the room - the drier it is, the sprigs are usually stored longer and vice versa.
The use of oregano
Oregano is an ideal option as a wide variety of seasonings, however, due to its specific taste and aroma, you need to add it a little, it is not to everyone's liking. Speaking of taste: the taste of oregano seasoning is slightly bitter, even slightly burning. Oregano just goes perfectly with black pepper, basil, marjoram. Oregano is used to make a huge number of dishes: here are lamb and lamb meat, veal and pork. You can cook these dishes both in the oven and on the grill, the taste of this will certainly not deteriorate.
Oregano is suitable for a wide variety of salads and sauces, especially for the famous almost the whole world of tomato sauce.
In addition, oregano has a number of medicinal properties, for example, it is used for colds, tonsillitis, as a diaphoretic, expectorant, and in the form of tea.
There is evidence that oregano helps with periodontal disease and stomatitis, with insomnia, and even with headaches.
Oregano is also used to prevent bowel disease, gastritis, rheumatism and atherosclerosis.
In general, this plant is necessary and useful for your site and, of course, for you, and if you pick a sprig of oregano and put in a cupboard, then the mole will disappear in it.
We look forward to commenting on the cultivation of oregano oregano and your favorite recipes for its use in cooking and as a medicinal plant.