Harvesting Oregano is a Snip

The oregano that I thought was dead from last year, and weak from perhaps too vigorous of Spring weeding, came back very nicely. I really thought that I accidentally pulled out the last sprig of it when the wild overgrown mint was being tamed back. That’s a lesson in patience, my dear.

Oregano, or as some like to call it, ‘the pizza herb‘ is one of my favorite herbs. It has a rich, energizing scent that is somehow stimulating to the senses.

Oregano dries well and retains much of its wonderful aroma. Just crush a few flakes of the dried herb between your fingers as you add it to your food. It can be added during the cooking stage, too, unlike some other more delicate herbs such as tarragon. Just the other night we had baked chicken with crushed oregano. It was juicy and delicious.

Harvesting oregano is easy. All you’ll need is a pair of scissors or a sharp knife for cutting off the amount of new growth that you want to harvest. I prefer scissors because a knife can pull up the plant by the roots if a tough stem won’t be easily cut.

Harvest herbs before they flower to get the truest flavors and aromas, which means the spring time for most of us.

Even though I harvested some oregano herb in May, July, and throughout the growing season as needed, we still have some to harvest in November. Leaves are allowed to pile up around the herbs in the herb garden to keep them going as long as the weather doesn’t get too frosty.

Because our herb beds are right adjacent to the house that faces south, they are in a warmer micro-climate than herbs in the open garden and so may retain some green throughout winter. Protect your herbs from the coldest weather and you’ll be able to enjoy their flavors and aromas all year long.