This popular herb whose name means "joy of the mountain" is an easy to grow perennial which only needs moderate water once established. Oregano is an excellent culinary herb with a strong aroma and flavour and is used extensively in Greek and Italian cuisine, especially Pizza!
Oregano can also be grown as a ornamental plant either in a flower bed, hanging basket or window box and the flowers which appear in midsummer attract both bees and other pollinating insects.
|When to Sow||All year round indoors, outdoors May to September.|
|Where to Sow||Grows best in light well drained soil, in a sunny position.|
|Sow seeds indoors 0.5cm (¼ in) deep, in pots or trays of compost and lightly cover the seeds with a sprinkling of compost , and place at a temperature of 15-20°C.|
|Sow direct outside, once all risk of frost has passed, in shallow seed drills or in pots or containers.|
|What to do Next||When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots and harden off the plants for 7 to 10 days.|
|If to be grown outdoors transplant them into their final growing position once the risk of frost has passed, 30cm (12in) apart.|
|Direct sown seedlings can be thinned to 30cm (12in) or if growing in a pot thin to 2-3 plants per pot.|
|Whilst the plant is still young keep the compost moist however once established do not overwater.|
|Harvest||April to October.|
|Handy Tips||Frequent harvests will produce a bushier plant and keep foliage succulent.|
|Oregano will therefore go dormant in winter (almost dead looking). Avoid over watering during this period and new growth should appear in spring.|
|Companion Planting||Plant Oregano near broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower to repel cabbage butterfly and near cucumbers to repel cucumber beetle.|
|Nutritional Information||Oregano is a good source of Vitamin K, Iron and manganese.|
|Serving Suggestion||Used extensively in Italian, Greek, Spanish, North African and Mexican cuisines. Oregano goes particularly well with tomatoes, vegetables and grilled meat. Use in pasta sauces and on pizzas. It retains its flavour well and can be used either fresh or dried.|