If you have been vegetable gardening for some time then you are more than likely already aware of the “zones”. These are the classifications of areas of the country of temperature ranges and growing conditions as designated by the United States Department of Agriculture. Knowing this, if you find out you are in zone, I have good news. Oregano grows as a perennial in your location whereas for the rest of us it grows as an annual outdoors and a perennial indoors so long as the conditions are right.
With that said, there is no need worry. Oregano can still be added to your home vegetable garden fairly easily. Oregano can be added to soups, dips, and other dishes of which one that is my favorite, pizza, it is a must. Here are some steps you can follow to increase your chances of a great oregano harvest.
These steps take into account that you will be growing your plants outdoors. If that is not the case, and you are planting them in pots for the indoors on a window sill or in a sun room, then follow the information that is apparently appropriate for your needs.
I always like to start most of my seeds indoors and oregano falls into this category. Start your seeds indoors at least eight weeks prior the final frost of the season in your area. Oregano seeds will germinate in about 14 days, and sooner if you use a portable greenhouse available from your local home or garden center for just a couple of bucks.
Oregano likes soil that is neutral to even a bit alkaline. Keep your soil above 6.0 and less then 7.5 on the pH scale. You can test your soil’s pH level with a home soil testing kit available at any home or garden center for less than a few dollars. Once you obtain your reading, follow the instructions that come with the kit to raise or lower your soil’s pH to get it into the 6.0 to 7.5 range.
When it is time to move your indoor oregano plants to the outdoors make sure that when you plant them you space them out about eight inches. This will give them plenty of room to grow. Oregano can tolerate light shade but grows best in full sun and requires very little watering.
Once the leaves are large enough to use they can be harvested. It is up to you whether you want to pick individual leaves or use a pair of garden scissors to cut an entire sprig.
If you like rotate your crops, as most home vegetable gardeners do, it is best to avoid following marjoram or basil and as crazy as it sounds, oregano makes for a good companion plant for almost everything, so take advantage of extra space by planting your oregano there.
As you can see it is fairly easy to add this great herb to your backyard, porch or patio garden.