How and when to plant oregano in your garden.
Motherwort (motherwort, frankincense, oregano) is a perennial fragrant plant that grows in bushes from 30 to 70 cm high. Thanks to its strong roots, motherwort is able to grow independently in the garden. Its leaves are small, egg-shaped with a sharp tip. Blooms come in a wide variety of shades, as more than 20 decorative varieties of this plant have been bred today. Motherwort is used not only for delicious tea, but also as a medicinal herb.
Also read the article: Healing herbs: motherwort (oregano)
Planting motherwort with seeds involves the preliminary selection of a favorable place for the plant, where it will not only grow well, but will also be able to accumulate useful substances in its leaves. The bed with the mother plant should be located in a well-lit area, since in the shade the plant will stretch excessively and will not be able to preserve its aroma. At the same time, oregano is completely undemanding to the type of soil, as it can take root almost everywhere. But since we are talking about perennial plants, it is better to choose an area with nutritious soil, which is also regularly moistened.
Too arid or constantly wet areas will not suit the plant, as it may not grow or degenerate and become an ordinary weed. It is also important to add manure or compost to the beds under the mother plant from autumn, if there is none – then even saltpeter is suitable.
How to plant motherwort in open ground: the method of cultivation through seedlings
Most often, oregano is grown from seeds, but it is recommended to sow them as seedlings. The fact is that the first shoots of motherwort are usually very weak, and weeds can easily drive them away. Therefore, it is much more practical to grow seedlings in pots on the windowsill from spring, and to plant them in open ground closer to summer.
When and how to sow motherwort
If motherwort is grown from seed, it is very important to guess over time when to plant. For seedlings, it can be sown in ordinary plastic pots or boxes already in March. The earlier you do it, the stronger the seedlings will be for planting in open ground. During sowing, it is necessary to fill the pots with a nutrient soil mixture, which is better to buy in a store and mix a little with ordinary sand. Be sure to spray it with water from a spray bottle and compact it a little, then make rows and cover them with seeds. You should not deepen the seeds by more than 1 cm. You have to wait quite a long time for the first sprouts – from 10 to 15 days. All this time, pots or boxes of oregano must be kept at a temperature of 20-22 ° C and on a well-lit windowsill. Many gardeners, when growing seedlings, also tighten the pots with polyethylene, but in the case of motherwort, this is not urgently necessary.
When the mother plant is planted for seedlings, it will surprise you with its thin seedlings, which are even scary to touch at first. But over time, they will significantly strengthen and become similar to an adult plant.
How to care for motherwort seedlings
A small seedling is very sensitive to weeds, which can drive it out and drown it. Therefore, even in pots, it is important to carefully inspect the seedlings and remove everything that is not the mother plant. If your sprouts came out very intensively, then over time they need to be thinned out so that the seedlings can strengthen well. Also, do not forget to regularly water the mother plant in pots, for which it is better to use a sprayer.
After all, you can wash off weakly rooted plants with a large amount of water, and the moisture introduced in the spraying process is quite enough for seedlings. Be sure to keep the seedling in the sun and turn it if you notice one-sided development.
Placement of seedlings of motherwort
After 2-3 leaves appear on the seedling, it must be dived, that is, planted in separate pots, so that it can gain strength by the time when it is necessary to plant oregano in open ground. You can dip the seedlings in peat pots, which can then be planted on the beds. Already in the middle of May, the mother plant will be ready to be planted in open ground. There is nothing complicated in this, the main thing is to choose a not too hot day for this and water the seedlings regularly
Small bushes of seedlings are planted in an open area after both the earth and the air have warmed up sufficiently, usually in May. Leave about 20 centimeters of free space between the plants.
Propagation of motherwort by rhizomes is less often used. They are planted to a depth of up to 5 centimeters.
How to take care of the Oregano
Caring for a fragrant perennial, it is important to find the optimal balance when watering, especially immediately after planting seedlings in the ground. The plant can die from stagnant moisture, but it also tolerates drought very poorly. The bushes are tender, it is desirable to water them from a watering can with small holes. Regular “rain” is better than too much watering from a hose.
Usually, motherwort grows perfectly in one place for up to 3 years, and the area needs periodic weeding, because motherwort is sensitive to weeds.
The leaves will be larger if the flowers are cut from the bushes, and removing part of last year’s twigs helps to stimulate the growth of young shoots in the spring. During the period of budding, the mother plant will be grateful for fertilizing with mineral fertilizers. It tolerates winter well, before the onset of cold weather, the bed should be covered.
When to collect oregano
Flowering lasts from July to September. It is during this period that the aroma is strongest and you can cut off the shoots for drying, but in no case do not pull them out. It is recommended to collect no more than 2/3 of the twigs from one bush, then it is necessary to let the plant recover.
The grass is dried by hanging it in bundles or spreading it on paper, but preferably not in a draft. By the way, it smells much stronger in dry form. Then the plant material is placed in a jar and tightly closed with a lid. So it can be stored for up to 2 years.