Greek Oregano: origanum heracleoticum
- Strong and powerful yet warm and complex flavour
- Sow February-March (indoors), outdoors after last frost
- Harvest: Pick the leaves anytime before flowering
- Leave some flowers as they are loved by bees and butterflies
Origanum was called the 'joy of the mountain' as it covered the hillsides and smells beautiful in the summer. It was believed the sweet smell was created by the ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite as a symbol of happiness.
Greek Oregano is considered the best oregano for culinary use with a strong and powerful yet warm and complex flavour. This is due to a higher concentration of the phenolic compound carvacrol which lends oregano its penetrating quality. The leaves are a mid to dark green, small and oval with a pointed tip. They are perennial and love a hot sunny position and will grow to a height of approximately 60cm. Oregano flowers profusely and the multitudes of tiny blooms put on a real show loved by butterflies and bees.
Sow: Sow indoors February onwards 5mm deep in good organic seed compost at a temperature 15-20°C. Thin the seedlings to about 20-30cm apart. Sow March onwards outdoors.
Grow: Prefers a sunny well drained, alkaline fertile soil. When the seedlings are a big enough to handle plant into free draining soil 8cm pots. Transplant into the growing site or into pots about 30cm apart/in size after the last frost. Cut down the flowering heads to encourage more leaf production but leave some flowers for the bees.
Harvest: July to October. Pick the leaves at anytime before flowering. Cut stems and hang them to dry for winter use.