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  Help with Oregano

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MDLady43 blog
Joined: 7/18/2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 137
Posted: Apr/30/2011 6:21 PM PST

Hello,

I have purchased my first oregano plant this year and would like some information about using it as a seasoning. I read somewhere that you pick it when it gets 6" tall, another place I read where you pick it when it grows flowers. My questions are, when can you pick it? Does this herb have to be dried before you use it? If so, how do you dry it?

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witt blog photos
Joined: 3/28/2008
Location: Lancaster, SC
Posts: 16643
Moderator
Posted: May/01/2011 3:16 AM PST

You can pretty much use oregano at any stage. Just pick a few stems, wash and dry it. Then chop the leaves up. You can use tiny leaves whole if you wish. Personally, I have so much that I pick lots of stems, twist and wad them together to bruise the leaves, releasing the essential oils and tie the bunch with cotton string -- sort of a bouquet garni. I toss the whole thing into the pot of sauce. Then extract the bundle and toss it away.
To dry it, you just cut a few stems, tie them together and air dry. Crumble the dried leaves to use.
I hope this helps.
MDLady43 blog
Joined: 7/18/2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 137
Posted: May/11/2011 2:47 PM PST

Thank you so much!!
bussete1 blog photos
Joined: 8/18/2007
Location: Omaha
Posts: 330
Posted: May/19/2011 1:12 PM PST

I found a trick that works if you don't have much room to dry your herbs - put them in a paper bag. They'll dry the same with no mess.
chrispaul97 blog photos
Joined: 6/11/2008
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 159
Posted: Dec/29/2012 3:28 PM PST

I've been growing oregano for years. When I have it in a pot, I start to pick/cut at the stem just a few leaves from the top. This allows it to grow better. You can transplant oregano very easily into a bigger container for more of the herb.
ech77
Joined: 3/29/2013
Location: nj
Posts: 7
Posted: Apr/03/2013 10:07 AM PST

Oregano should be harvested and dried on a regular basis to help stop the stems from becoming to woody. That being said though, the general rule with herbs is that in order to get the highest essential oil content you should harvest after a short dry spell and usually at night around the period of a full moon. Now most people consider that superstition, but if you take some time read some of the many studies done by major universities (University of Maryland in particular) you will see that this process is hugely supported by scientific data.
nelsoncastro
Joined: 11/06/2012
Location: Vic
Posts: 62
Posted: Apr/07/2013 8:21 PM PST

As with most herbs, oregano leaves taste best before the plant flowers. You can begin harvesting when plants have reached 4-5 inches in height. Cutting stems all the way back to the ground will encourage more stems and a fuller plant. The stems tend to get woody and the easiest way to strip the leaves is to hold the stem by the top, uncut end and run your finger down the stem.
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