Get The Most Out of Your Oregano from Backyard Eats

Harvesting Oregano

When It’s Ready
  • Pick individual leaves when the plant reaches at least 4″ height
  • Pick handfuls of oregano leaves regularly to continuously stimulate growth of the plant
  • If harvesting a large amount, cut at the the plant at the base of the stem before it begins to flower
How To
  • Use a sharp knife or shears to clip stems and/or leaves away from the bush

About Mediterranean Herbs

Mediterranean herbs are plants that grow 0.5-3 ft tall. They require partial to full sun to thrive, but not trellising or pruning.

Flowering/Fruiting Tendencies

Mediterranean herbs are easy, multi-harvest plants for fresh use, drying, teas, and medicines. Most are typically easy to establish and just need seasonal clean-ups.

Design Notes

Space herbs about 18″ apart. Most are Mediterranean herbs don’t do well in super cold or moist soil. Will overwinter better in warm conditions.

Care Notes

Kitchen herbs benefit from compost. Mulching can be kept to a minimum as many kitchen herbs won’t benefit from the extra moisture retention. Kitchen herbs can typically be thinned/harvested in the summer and fall to keep them from growing wild. Many will get unwieldy and less productive after a few years and may need to be replaced.

Newly planted perennials require some additional care to help establish and support the plants as they grow. Water newly planted perennials deeply at the root 2-3 times a week during the first growing season. Apply compost and wood chip mulch in the late winter/early spring.

Storing Oregano

Long-Term Storage: “Woody” perennial herbs like oregano can be dried at home to enjoy all year long! First, trim stems from the main plant. Tie 3-5 stems together into a bundle, then hang them to dry in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place for 2-3 weeks. 

Once the herbs are dry and brittle, you can store and enjoy them long-term.

Cooking With Oregano

  1. Oregano Tomato Sauce: Add dried oregano to your homemade tomato sauce for a fragrant and flavorful twist. Simmer the sauce with oregano, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and herbs for a classic and versatile pasta sauce.
  2. Greek Salad: Sprinkle dried or fresh oregano over a traditional Greek salad composed of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, feta cheese, olives, and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. Oregano adds an authentic Mediterranean touch to this refreshing salad.
  3. Oregano Marinade: Combine dried oregano with olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to create a tangy and herb-infused marinade for grilled chicken, fish, or vegetables. Let the ingredients marinate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  4. Oregano Roasted Potatoes: Toss cubed potatoes with olive oil, dried oregano, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven until the potatoes are golden and crispy. The aromatic oregano complements the savory flavors of the roasted potatoes.
  5. Oregano Infused Olive Oil: Place fresh oregano sprigs in a bottle of olive oil and let it infuse for a few days. Use the infused oil as a dipping sauce for bread, drizzle it over salads, or incorporate it into various recipes to impart a distinct oregano flavor.

Try These Oregano Recipes:

Want To Learn More?

At Backyard Eats, we’re passionate about helping our clients discover and share the magic of homegrown good. Our Harvest Guides will teach you everything you need to know to harvest, store, and cook with fresh produce right from your own backyard! Our Harvest Toolkit Directory includes a list of all our step-by-step guides. Click below to give them a try!

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