How to care and grow the oregano aromatic plant
Oregano is a small aromatic plant that, depending on its variety, can be found as a shrub of reduced height or weed: it includes between 45 and 50 species all originated in the Mediterranean area. That can be easily explained with the fact that the plant belongs to the Mediterranean scrub and that rapidly and healthy develops in this climate.
Oregano is part of the Lamiaceae family and amongst the most famous varieties there is common oregano and majorana oregano, also called majoran.
Precisely due to the fact that it belongs to the Mediterranean area and it has both a stimulating taste and an intense perfume, it results amongst the aromatic plant which use is primarily spread in the mediterranean cuisine. Actually, it is used commonly to flavor sauces, dips, vegetable pies, pizzas, but it is also used on meat and fish based dishes. Particularly, its use is relevant in sicilian and southern Italy’s cuisine.
However, this plant has many other uses: for example, oregano has always been known even in ancient times for its therapeutic properties: its nutritional composition is based, besides vitamins, mineral salts, proteins and carbohydrates, on the phenols carvacrol and thymol. For this it has analgesic, antispasmodic, stomatic and antiseptics properties. Moreover, it is an excellent expectorant and tonic, so much so that the essential oil obtained from its leaves is a fundamental product in aromatherapy. At the same time by infusing the leaves, an infusion that is recommended in cases of migraines, coughs and digestive issues is obtained. Since it is also a good anti-inflammatory, it also is taken to fight rheumatic pains. Precisely for its therapeutic qualities, in flower language oregano is associated with the idea of relief and health. Its penetrating smell makes it an excellent ant repellent too. On the impulse of the Sicilian region, it has been classified inside PAT (Traditional Italian food Products) as a typical Sicilian product.
Cultivating oregano: what is there to know
The name of the plant derives from two greek words: the first is “oros”, which means mountain, while te second is "ganaos", which literally means i like. This indicates clearly that the plant grows preferably at a certain height or in a mountain, generally in sunny areas. In fact, oregano is ideal for the mediterranean climate.
As for the soil, this plan is resistant, so that it grows well both in alkaline and acid soil; it is important that there isn’t any water stagnation that could cause rot and mold in the roots. Basically, we can say that if it is drained, any soil can be used to sow oregano in it.
From a weather point of view, it must be said that the plants tolerate both drought and low temperatures very well: so there are no stringent indications regarding the climatic zone of cultivation. Alternatively, it is possible to plant oregano in a pot and transport the plant inside or in the shade during the rigid winter months and to protect it from the summer's heat.
How is this aromatic plant cultivated?
When you decide to grow oregano you need to keep in mind that there are two different ways to go forward: both equally valid, however the techniques and times are different.
In the first case the seedlings are developed in winter in the nursery: first of all, a thin layer of peat is spread on the bottom of the container. Here, the seeds that need to be covered with soil are planted. The seedlings will sprout after 10 days or so and the planting in the vegetable garden is in march: it’s suggested that they are planted in a sunny area, 30 centimeters apart from each other.
In the second instance the seeds are planted directly in the vegetable garden or in the open field in spring: spade and fertilize the soil, then spread the seeds, cover them and water them. The seedlings will start to sprout after 15 days. Precisely due to the fact that the sowing takes place in a scattered manner, even the growth occurs in a disorderly manner: consequently, it is necessary to carry out a thinning operation.