growing oregano in michigan
A handful of plants will provide you with enough oregano to use fresh in season and to dry for use throughout the rest of the year. Plant oregano in spring, once all chances of frost have passed. Spacing. Water thoroughly only after the soil is dry to the touch. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The flowers stalks are spiky and may be white, pink, or purple. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Oregano prefers a soil pH of 6.0 to 7.0. You can begin harvesting when plants have reached 4 to 5 inches in height. We all benefit from Michigan farm families who take pride in perfecting the art and science of growing fresh, high-quality foods and products, year after year. Most pesticides are not suitable for plants that are to be consumed. If planting seeds, it is recommended to soak them in water beforehand in order to increase the germination rate. Some herbs may grow in partially shaded areas but will not have the flavor of full-sun locations. Where: Oregano is one of those plants that looks beautiful planted within the landscaping or along a path.It is a “garden anchor” that comes back every spring, providing height and dimension within the garden. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, Dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil, Western and Southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean. If the plants become invasive, they can be surrounded with a 10 to 12 inch strip of edging buried into the soil. February 1, 2011. Best location: Plant oregano in full sun; it will tolerate light shade. Tomatoes With Feta and Oregano Ingredients: 4 firm-ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick 1/4 cup olive oil Do not add compost or fertilizer to its growing area. Many others are available as plants or seeds. Allow the soil to dry out fully between waterings. Although many herbs are Mediterranean natives that won’t survive cold winters, you may be surprised at the number of beautiful, aromatic herbs that grow in zone 5 climates. How to Plant Oregano. Herbs, however, are among the easiest things to grow in a Michigan garden, if you choose the right plants and pay attention to cold tolerance. This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. Many herbs have been historically used as medicines. Click the article that follows for a list of hardy zone 5 herb plants. Oregano can thrive in poor soil that is well-drained. Greek oregano is one of the most common types used in cooking. People around the world have used herbs for centuries in cosmetics, fragrances, medicines, dyes and cooking. The first year, they produce some leaves and the next year, they grow to maturity. Oregano can thrive in poor soil that is well-drained. Michigan climates range from temperate at the southernmost border to sub-Arctic in the Upper Peninsula. Sandy loam is best suited for oregano. Spices are usually roots, bark, fruits, berries and sometimes seeds of plants (including trees) that often grow in tropical climates. Oregano works well with meats, tomato-based dishes and sauces, and eggs. Oregano. Space oregano plants 8 to 10 inches apart in a sunny spot with fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0. In fact, some cold hardy herbs, including hyssop and catnip, withstand punishing cold winters as far north as USDA plant hardiness zone 4. Beekeepers purposefully plant oregano near apiaries because it adds a wonderful flavor to honey made by oregano-eating bees. In most areas simply wait until a few hard freezes and then cut back tall herbs to within 4 to 6 inches of the ground. Oregano is an easy to care for plant that requires at least six to eight hours of sun. Bees love oregano flowers and will cover the plants as they take up nectar and pollen. Herbs are defined as annual or perennial plants whose leaves, stems and flowers and sometimes seeds and seed heads are used for flavor or fragrance. Planting Oregano Outdoors. hirtum.There are lots of other oreganos within the same genus Origanum, as well as some that are in different genera and not true oreganos, such as Cuban oregano (Pectranthus amboinicus).Within the Origanum genus, there are several that are used just for ornamental value, and … Image via University of Illinois Extension. When the seeds are used, it is called coriander and it is a spice. True oregano is marginally hardy in zone 5. Wet soils can cause root rot. By using The Spruce, you accept our, Oregano: Learn How to Grow, Dry, and Use the Popular Herb, 6 Beautiful Herbs For Gardens and Containers, How to Grow Sweet Marjoram in Your Kitchen Garden. Oregano is a hardy perennial plant that is easy to grow in the home garden. Gretchen Voyle, Michigan State University Extension - Oregano plants are widely available in nurseries and through specialty catalogs. Whether you are new to gardening or a veteran, our vegetable gardening tip sheet will help you be successful from planting to harvest. Also, it is not possible to gauge the strength of herbs or spices so this makes dosing difficult. Cutting stems all the way back to the ground will encourage more stems from the base and a fuller plant. Even common oregano, Origanum vulgare, can take many forms. Oregano starts as a ground-hugging rosette of leaves, but it can easily grow to about two feet tall. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Soil preparation: Grow oregano in loose, well-drained soil. Oregano is a loose, open plant growing from six inches to two feet tall with gray-green leaves and small purple or white flowers. To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). but no less than 15 inches (38 cm.) Perennial herbs that can be grown in Michigan: * Need winter protection (cover with straw or other mulch); often not hardy. Our water, weather and diverse growing regions make Michigan-grown fresh foods and products just naturally better. Some perennial herbs become invasive; spearmint and many mints fall into that category. (1) Parsley, flat leaf or Italian, is best for culinary uses and is semi-hardy; and (2) Caraway, the flavor of rye bread; has seeds, leaves and roots that are used. Place seeds on top of the growing medium and press them into the surface. Oregano is a hearty plant that naturally likes to grow in the temperatures most homes are kept at. The genus is native to the Mediterranean and West Asia, but Oregano vulgare has naturalized in many areas, including the eastern United States. There are many named oregano varieties, and common names tend to vary by region. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. It’s also perfect for soups and stews to bump flavor. How to Grow Oregano Indoors. Most have stems that can get very woody. Give growing oregano 6-12 inches between plants and 12-18 inches between rows, depending on the variety. For example, Chinese parsley is an herb called cilantro when its green leaves are used for flavorings. This a partial list of culinary or beverage herbs for Michigan gardens. Oregano may need some winter protection in hardiness zones 5 and lower. Get a soil test to determine nutrients and soil pH. You can also divide plants simply to make more plants. Unless you are growing it only for ornamental reasons, the best option for choosing oregano is to taste and smell it. Oregano, a plant from the mint family, is a signature flavor of many Italian, Mexican, and Spanish dishes. It is also possible to grow some herbs on a sunny windowsill in your house over the winter. For more information, visit The smaller varieties also do well in rock and alpine gardens. Large amounts of nutrients, such as nitrogen, can change the flavor of this herb. How to Plant Oregano. Gardeners have the option of growing an herb garden or mixing the herbs in with plantings of vegetables or flowers. It does grow quickly and spread, but that will allow you to pot up some oregano for your windowsill and for your friends! Soil preparation: Grow oregano in loose, well-drained soil. away from an artificial light source. Oregano seeds require some light to germinate, so cover only slightly with soil. Commonly thought of as being an Italian herb, oregano is also a staple in both Greek and Mexican cuisine. Wet or heavy soil is not suitable. If your seedlings have been in a grow room or greenhouse, make sure to harden them off for about a week first. Barbara Gillette is a Master Gardener, Herbalist, beekeeper, and journalist with decades of experience propagating and growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and ornamentals. The 4-H Name and Emblem have special protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707. As with most herbs, oregano leaves taste best before the plant flowers. Oregano is one of those Mediterranean herbs that grow well in full sun, planted in lean-to-average soil that is well-drained.Climate, soil, and moisture can all cause variation in the oregano’s flavor, and rich soil tend's to dilute the pungency of the flavor. Some herbs benefit from winter protection, which means covering them with straw or other mulch. Most herbs will be either perennial or annual in growth: Herbs for the garden can be purchased as seeds or plants from nurseries or plant catalogs. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit It is also possible to grow some herbs on a sunny windowsill in your house over the winter. These areas need to receive eight or more hours of full sunlight a day. Some varieties have fuzzy leaves, others not. Oregano plants can be started from seeds, divisions, or cuttings. Although many herbs are Mediterranean natives that won't survive cold winters, you may be surprised at the number of beautiful, aromatic herbs that grow in zone 5 climates. A small garden outside the kitchen door is convenient to quick seasoning excursions. Oregano leaves are oval, dark green and in opposite pairs. Today, herbs are more popular than ever for cooking. Avoid windswept areas. Most oregano varieties need full sun, however, the golden oregano variety does best in partial shade; its leaves tend to scorch in full sun. A soil pH of 6.5 would be ideal. Oregano must be planted in a full sun location and good drainage is required for best growth and overwintering. The part of the plant that is being used defines it an herb or a spice. Oregano is no exception—it will grow in soil that is only moderately fertile. Do not overwater oregano. Since different species of oregano will cross-pollinate, you may not get what you expect from seed you saved yourself. Covering the plants with an evergreen bough after the ground has frozen will protect it from wind damage. One oregano plant that is put in full sun, fairly dry soil and harvested frequently will supply all that you need. Annual herbs that can be grown under Michigan conditions: Two are classified as biennial herbs which will live for two years.


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