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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Oregano: My Joy of The Mountain

If you are just starting your herb garden, or starting on gardening for that matter, then oregano is just the thing for you.  This hardy plant grows in almost all types of conditions, and thrives most when not being showered with too much attention.  Oregano is perfect for container gardening with little attention and care.  The soil requirements for growing oregano in containers is not rocket science. It can grow in almost any type of soil, but grows well in soil that is light, well-drained, alkaline, and low on nutrients.  Exposure to arid conditions can even make this plant grow well, as long as its roots have enough room to grow.   My oregano seedlings came in 3" seedling containers made up of thin plastic.  How I transplanted my oregano is described in my general gardening section.  My daughter was with me and asking questions why I'm breaking down the terracotta pots and why am I making a mess at our living room.  I could not do it outside for even if it was around 3pm in the afternoon, the sun was high and scorching.

The second picture is taken on the 5th day.  The birds were showing interest on them, so I had to protect them in some way.  I still have 2 seedlings in this 6" container.  You should have at least 12" of area for growing oregano in containers, and that is just for one plant.  Time will come that I will eventually have to separate the seedlings of my oregano.  They are already starting to crowd each other in their small world.


This was taken on the 7th day.  They are now starting to be as high as the sticks that I placed around them.  I then made a decision to separate the two oregano plants.  The could barely hold one plant, much less two.



I separated the plants by cutting the smallest one close to the ground as possible.  I did the separation when the sun was not that high and the temperature was not that hot.  I buried the plants up to the level of their first 2 leaves.  This is to give them a lot of space to develop roots.  I did not trim the leaves off as the plant was top-heavy.  If this oregano was bigger, the lower leaves would have been trimmed off to allow a depth of 4 inches for root development.  What's good about oregano is that they can develop roots even without any encouragement.  Just give them enough soil and moisture, and they will grow just fine.

You do not need a lot of fertilizer when growing oregano in containers.  Too much nourishment will give your plants a bitter, acrid taste that makes them not suitable for cooking.  I just sprayed the leaves with seaweed and fish emulsion to protect them from pests.  There is no need to side dress the oregano, spritzing them will be enough.

March 31, 2010  This is what my oregano looks like on its second week.  The leaves are thick, sweet-smelling and starting to become heavy.  The stems are now showing signs of bending because of th weight of the leaves.  I only sprayed them with fish emulsion and no side-dressing.

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