oregano...how to tell if culinary?

t-bird(Chicago 5/6)May 25, 2013

I bought this oregano, but I don't know when to harvest/how to prep to get the flavor. I'm think it is not a culinary type, but maybe I am harvesting wrong?

When to harvest for most flavor....how to dry - or is fresh use good like basil?

it is at least, quite attractive! It mounds ups here and there and looks good.

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I think dried is the best flavor for oregano. But please feel free to share a picture. We may be able to help say whether or not it is a culinary plant. Too often herbs get mislabeled.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 2:09PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

If it is OREGANO, you can use it at any stage. But normally, you should give it a chance to grow a little bit, if you intend to plant it and keep it for years to come.

Note: some varieties might not be perennial.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 3:10AM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

I would harvest in the morning for use that evening.

Supposedly the most flavorful oregano for cooking is Greek. If yours has a weak flavor, you may want to just admire its looks, and pick up another plant for culinary use.

Jan

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 11:10PM
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wally_1936(8b)

I bought my Greek Oregano a couple years ago. Came in a 3 inch pot by the second year it was three feet by three feet. The only thing I found that was killing it was too much shade. It is now in partial shade and doing fine. My tomato plants were producing too much additional shade but it came back quickly this spring and I was able to give quite a bit of it this year.

They do say that we should harvest it in the morning before the heat draws the moisture-flavor back to its roots.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 12:00AM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

Thanks for photo, this is mine, appreciate any insight on it.

I will harvest some right now, and see where that gets me!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 9:17AM
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gjcore(zone 5 Aurora Co)

Approximately how may hours of direct sun is your oregano getting? Full sun will give it a stronger flavor in my experience.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 9:51PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

The leaves look very smooth and shiny. Are they really that way? Or are they maybe wet in the picture? Oregano (Origanum vulgare) I'm familiar with has very dull, hairy leaves.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 6:18PM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

Fatima is correct, that looks more like oregano mint or oregano -them mint than the woody oregano plant I am familiar with.

Jan

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 7:13PM
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gvozdika(8 OR)

The top growth sure looks like culinary oregano. But I've never seen leaves so big and pointy. What kind of conditions is it growing in? If it gets a lot of water and futerlizer it might loose the flavor. I have two pots with thyme grown from the same seeds, one is left to its own devices in the sun and another is growing with flowers with lots of water, etc. They don't even look like the same plant and only the forgotten one has flavor.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 8:45PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Those pictures make me hungry for a spaghetti sauce made with fresh oregano. I'll do some tomorrow. Mine is a small plant but has more than enough growth for the sauce. The next time will be with fresh tomatoes from the garden..Not to forget some fresh thyme in there too.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 11:37PM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

I take it back, Home Depot is selling pots of that same plant, labled 'oreganum vulgaris.' They don't have it in their herb section, but in their perennial section, so perhaps it is not a culinary variety. I didn't smell it, but If it is culinary, I would expect the leaves to have a sharp, strong smell.

Jan

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 2:34PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Mislabeling of herbs (especially) seems to be common at big box stores. If you have locally owned nurseries where you are, please give them your business first. They are owned by people who live, shop, and pay taxes in your town plus they are most times more knowledgeable and helpful.

And yes, oregano is very scented. A bush of the leaves should be quite aromatic.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 11:46AM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

The HD garden department where I live is the worst! Their suppliers often ship perennials with no labels whatsoever, and no one on the staff ever knows what they have in stock. My favorite nursery (Chery Valley, near Beaumont, CA) is several miles from here, but It's always worth the drive.. I just picked up a couple of gallon pots of lovely, healthy Lemon Verbena, a six pack of lush orange thyme, an "Indian Mint" (Satureja douglasii) that may be the true yerba buena, a lovage and a papalo plant. None of those plants woutd be available in any of the big box stores, ever.

The papalo was a happy find. I thought I'd never grown it before, but as it turns out I actually have a plant of it from a random seed I stuck in the soil early this spring. And all the time I was thinking it was volunteer cottonwood tree that would need to either be pulled up or transplanted, so I could put the pot to another use.

Yippiee! I'll have beau coup papalo seeds to share this fall.

jan

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 3:16PM
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