Also Read: Top 5 Culinary Herbs to Grow, How to Make Italian Seasoning, How to Store Dried Food.Harvest oregano just before the flowers start forming, that’s when it will have the best, most intense flavor.If you have a perennial patch, watch for it to be ready to harvest in early June.Yup, even here in cold, wintery Manitoba, your oregano can be harvested in early June.Mid morning is considered the best time of day to harvest herbs – after any morning dew has evaporated but before the sun causes the essential oils to leave the plant or excessive heat causes wilting.When oregano comes back from previous years, it can grow very quickly and can withstand several harvests in one summer.If you just planted your oregano, it will take a little longer for it to be harvested, but keep an eye on it because it will flower even when it is small.Leaves that are bruised or starting to turn yellow don’t have a lot of flavor, so it’s best to remove them at this point.It’s important to remove water droplets or surface moisture from the oregano.So, before you tie your bundles or put them in paper bags, you must remove all surface moisture.I use a salad spinner and then lay out the oregano on a clean towel for an hour or more to remove surface moisture.When the oregano is totally dry and starting to wilt, that’s when you can tie it or bag it.OR, you can toss washed and dry oregano (no surface moisture) loosely into brown paper bags.It may seem obvious what it is now, but by the end of the summer when you’ve harvested a variety of herbs, they all start to look the same.Hang or store your bags in an undisturbed, dark and dry spot.Strip the leaves from the stems and place in a paper bag or glass jar.I know the fluctuating temperature from the stove are not ideal for herbs, but I’m not running to the basement every time I need oregano!Dried oregano, like most herbs will start to lose its flavour after about six months, but I usually continue to use it until next year’s harvest. .

3 Ways to Prune Oregano

During the spring and summer growing season, you'll want to prune your oregano often to encourage new growth. .

How to Prune Oregano

Feel free to cut off a few sprigs throughout the summer if you need fresh oregano for a recipe. .

How To Harvest Oregano For Later Use

Originating from Greece’s hilly countryside, oregano was described as the “joy of the mountain” by the local Greeks.Oregano is closely related to sweet marjoram, which is another extremely popular herb.To enjoy an ongoing supply and encourage healthy growth, it is essential to harvest oregano properly.And, as it starts to shift towards flowering, it’s an excellent time to harvest for later drying and long-term storage!Keep in mind that oregano plants take around 2 to 3 weeks to grow back their foliage.The better approach is to harvest your plants regularly, taking small amounts when required.Whether you are harvesting for fresh use or for storage, avoid taking more than 1/3rd of the oregano plant at one time.If you cut back the plant too heavily while harvesting oregano, it may have problems creating new growth.Once you’ve harvested the leaves, trim off the bare stem just above a leaf node so the plant can regenerate.Fresh herbs last longer in colder temperatures, which means refrigerating your bountiful harvest can help increase its lifespan.Place the cut ends in a glass or jar filled with 1 to 1.5 inches of water.Collect harvested stems into a bunch and wrap them loosely in a damp paper towel.Place the wrapped bundle in a plastic bag, pressing out excess air, and keep your herbs in the crisper drawer in the fridge.Make sure to check your herbs every couple days to ensure they’re not starting to wilt or developing any mold.While you can certainly use a dehydrator or an oven to dry the leaves, using high heat in the process can lead to flavor loss.Wash harvested oregano stems and dry them thoroughly, blotting off moisture well with paper towels.Once they are fully dry, tie the stems in a bunch using a rubber band or twine.If you are drying multiple bunches at once, hang them at least 6 inches apart to allow for proper air circulation.The packet will absorb excess moisture and prevent mold development when storing your herb.To freeze whole oregano leaves, wash them and blot them dry using paper towels.Add just enough liquid (either H2O or a broth) to ensure the oregano stays packed together, then freeze overnight. .

How to Harvest Oregano (without harming the plant)

Fresh oregano is a wonderful versatile Mediterranean herb that can be used in many types of dishes, from pasta and soups to pizza and salads.Oregano is a very aromatic herb, and its leaves add a lovely fresh flavor to any dish.Oregano is actually very easy to harvest in a way that promotes growth, keeps the plant healthy and discourages it from flowering with just a few quick tips.Give the plant time to recover and grow back after removing the leaves.This will ensure that the cut stem remains healthy, and help to prevent damage or disease.If you want to harvest a larger amount or are cutting your oregano back, then the approach you take is important for the long-term health of the plant.You will notice the space between the leaves on the branches increasing, and the plant gets too tall to support itself.You should make a cut right above a growth node (leaf pair), do not leave a bare section of stem at the top.As a bonus, regular harvesting of the tips of the stems discourages the oregano plant from flowering, which will stop the regrowth from occurring and can affect the flavor.Wash and dry oregano sprigs, remove as much of the surface moisture as you can with paper towels (a salad spinner works too!Pick the leaves and freeze whole in freezer bags or a freezer-safe airtight container. .

How to Harvest Oregano for Fresh and Dried Use

Purchasing dried and crushed oregano leaves from the grocery store is surprisingly expensive, especially given how easy the plant is to grow and harvest.This article shares information about how to harvest oregano for both fresh use and for drying, along with tips for growing it successfully.Like thyme – another popular Mediterranean native herb – oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a perennial plant that is very easy to cultivate.Unlike regular oregano, however, sweet marjoram is not winter hardy in cold climates.The part of an oregano plant we typically eat are the leaves, though the stems and flower buds are sometimes eaten as well.The best time of day for harvesting oregano is in the morning, after the dew has dried but while the leaves are still full of moisture.Harvesting on a hot, dry, sunny afternoon can translate to a more intense (and sometimes slightly bitter) flavor.You can make multiple harvests from the same plant using one or both of the methods outlined below, depending on whether you plan to enjoy your oregano fresh or dry it for future use.If you have a very large amount of oregano to harvest, a pair of long-bladed hedge loppers gets the job done a lot faster.For fresh use, you’ll want tender oregano sprig tips that are high in essential oils and offer the most intense flavor.Rinse the oregano stems off after bringing them indoors and then remove as much moisture as possible by using a salad spinner.While it’s best to enjoy fresh oregano immediately after harvest, if you must keep it for a day or two, store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel in it.If you plan to dry your oregano harvest, you can be a lot more aggressive in the amount of foliage you remove from each plant.As long as the plant is sited in direct sunlight, it will easily regrow and carry on with business as usual for the rest of the growing season.After you’ve made your harvest, you can give the plant a light fertilization and mulch it with compost if you feel the need to baby it a bit.Oregano is great for companion planting as it lures in a lot of small native bees and other beneficial insects like soldier beetles, parasitic wasps, lacewings, and ladybugs.Simply start the drying process after giving the stems a quick shake to dislodge any insects hiding in them.If you plan to dry oregano in an oven, spread the stems out in a single layer on baking trays.The oregano is fully dried on the dehydrator trays when it crumbles easily between your thumb and forefinger.Knowing how to harvest oregano, as well as the best time to do it, isn’t difficult, but it is a key to successfully growing and enjoying this flavorful herb. .

Pruning An Oregano Plant: A Perennial Herb With Soft Woody Stems

When my neighbor asked me to prune her oregano cascading out of a large terra cotta pot, I said “heck yeah”.Time for the overdue pruning of an oregano plant so all that tender new growth can appear as the weather warms.Those old stems will eventually get woody over time and the plant becomes quite dense making it harder for the new growth to appear in spring and summer.In colder climates it’s best to wait until spring when the danger of a freeze has passed.I grew up in Connecticut where we left the oregano be in fall & threw some hay over it for protection.This is how the oregano looked before pruning – dense as can be with straggly stems way underneath.I used 2 pruners – Felcos for the big pruning & my Fiskar Floral Snips for the “finesse” work at the end.Let’s be real, your oregano isn’t pretty at this point & will look like it’s been scalped for a month or so!Oregano loves the heat & will come back fast once the weather starts to warm.With all that oregano I pruned off, I see lots of batches of marinara sauce coming right up!Your cost for the products will be no higher but Joy Us garden receives a small commission.Thank you for helping us spread the word & make the world a more beautiful place! .

How to Grow Oregano Plants

However, its trailing growth also makes it a good seasonal ground cover, or it can serve as a nice edging along a path.In late summer, enjoy Greek or Italian oregano‘s white flowers against its bright-green leaves.For impressive growth and lots of tasty harvests, be sure to start with strong young oregano plants from Bonnie Plants®, the company that has been helping home gardeners grow their own food for over a century.The long stems look great spilling over the edges of containers and also work well as a ground cover.Oregano prefers a sunny spot; however, in zone 7 and farther south, it benefits from a little afternoon shade.So, for best results, you'll also want to feed oregano with Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® Edibles Plant Nutrition throughout the growing season (follow the directions on the label).Oregano spreads easily; in late spring, cut it back to one-third of its size in order to make the plant bushier.To ensure you have fresh oregano at your fingertips year-round, another great option is to grow it indoors in a water-based (aka hydroponic) system.In the garden it is easy to mistake an oregano plant for look-alike sweet marjoram, although the two are easily distinguished by their flavours and scents.The flavor of oregano is most intense in mid-summer, just before it blooms, making this the best time to harvest leaves for drying.The "secret" ingredient in Aunt Bee's spaghetti sauce, oregano adds deep flavor to Italian or Greek dishes, meat, fish, eggs, cheese, tomatoes, and vegetables such as beans and zucchini. .

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