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How To Grow, Use, and Dry Oregano

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Oregano has to be one of my favorite herbs to grow!  It’s so easy and we love Italian dishes here so we use it a lot!

But aside from those two facts, there are a ton of other reasons for you to love and grow Oregano in your own garden.

It makes for a great ground cover and has a wealth of medicinal properties!

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Let’s start out by talking about how you can grow your own.

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How to grow Oregano?

You could purchase started plants at your local greenhouse, but I seem to like adding more to my plate.

Starting Oregano from seed is super easy and after the fact you can plant cuttings from an existing plant.  (Have I mentioned how much I like free?)

If you decide to start from seed, or establish some cuttings early, get them started indoors about 6-10 weeks before your last frost date.  They can be transplanted anytime after the last frost.

Oregano loves full sun, so pick a bright spot for it.

The plants will grow to about 1-2 feet tall and 18 inches wide.

To make your plants fuller, pinch the shoots off when they get to 4 inches.  (These can be used or transplanted for more plants!)

Thin out your plants at about 3-4 years, in the early Spring.

Aside from being a perennial, they are also self seeding, so more plants may crop up that you didn’t even start!

How to use Oregano?

So, now that you know how to grow Oregano, how can it be used?

I mentioned before that we’re big on Italian dishes, and it can be added to just about all of them!

Top off your pizza or pasta dishes, add it to your sauces, or even knead it into breads and pizza dough!

But the list of health benefits is actually staggering!

Oregano contains fiber, iron, manganese, Vitamin E, iron, calcium, omega fatty acids, typtophan, Vitamin K, and antioxidants.  Doesn’t that make you want to just go munch on it??

It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.

Make a tea with it to relax your nerves or settle your stomach.

There is also an incredible list of ailments that Oregano helps battle:

  • Respiratory Disorders
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Skin conditions such as acne and dandruff
  • colds
  • muscle pain
  • bronchitis
  • toothaches
  • bloating
  • headaches
  • heart conditions
  • allergies
  • intestinal parasites
  • earaches
  • fatigue
  • repelling insects

Now if you’re not too baffled by this awesome list, let’s talk about how to store your harvest!

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How To Preserve Your Oregano

So, we’ve figured out how to grow oregano and how we can use it.  But, how do you store it?

Oregano can be frozen, or as I prefer, it can be dried.  Not only that, it’s super easy!

Some herbs can turn yellow when you try to dry them, but not Oregano!  All you have to do is snip the stems with scissors, gather them into bundles, wrap the end with twine or a rubber band and hang to dry.

My bundles take about a week to dry.  But this depends on the humidity.  (We live in a very humid climate!)

When the bundles are fully dried, run your fingers along the stem to remove the leaves (or use these herb scissors to chop it up!).

Store your dried Oregano in an airtight container.  I love using these storage lids for mason jars!

Another great way to preserve and use Oregano is to infuse it in oil!  This can be used for cooking, medicinal use or even making soaps!  Make sure to check out my post on how to infuse oils!

If you’re looking for another healthy edible plant check out 23 Reasons Why You Need Nasturtium In Your Garden!

Looking for inspiration to stock your homestead pantry?  Check out my post How To Stock Your Homestead Pantry!

What is your favorite herb?  Tell me in the comments!