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How do you store your oregano?

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How do you store your oregano?

Post  cpl100 on 7/13/2012, 9:02 am

My oregano plant is finally taking off. I have it potted in a regular pot with organic potting soil (which I did prior to learning about SFG). I could easily snip some off, but have no need of it right now in a recipe. I was thinking it would be more productive if regularly snipped (like parsley/basil) but not actually sure that is true. If so, do you just snip some, hang it to dry and put it in a jar? How long does that usually take? Or do you freeze it?

Trying to find out what others do so I don't waste mine as buying dried oregano in the store is expensive!

Thanks!
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Re: How do you store your oregano?

Post  Lavender Debs on 7/13/2012, 10:02 am

I shave mine down (it ALWAYS comes back and then some!) and hang it to dry in a quiet corner of my kitchen. When it gets crunchy I strip it from the stems and deposit into plastic zipper-bags that for some unknown reason I store in my top dresser drawer. If the feds ever raid us I'll have some explaining to do.

I transfer small amounts to the jars in my herb cabinet as needed.


Last edited by Lavender Debs on 7/13/2012, 10:03 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to add--harvest just before full bloom)
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Re: How do you store your oregano?

Post  cpl100 on 7/13/2012, 10:14 am

That was really LOL funny!

What do you mean by 'shave it down'?
Don't we just go out with scissors and snip some off? My 'branches' or whatever they are called are 6 inches long now and I believe I read that is the time to cull back.

How far back to you shave the plant and do you shave all of it at once or a certain percentage? I want to trim it back so more grows and not harm the plant so it stops.

Thanks!
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Re: How do you store your oregano?

Post  Lavender Debs on 7/13/2012, 10:32 am

I cut it down to nubs. But my oregano has gotten so huge that there is too much to harvest so when it stops looking lush and starts looking weedy I use a weed-whacker on it. I try to avoid giving it to the chickens or putting it directly into the compost (everything in the chicken yard ends up in the compost). I have it coming up all over the place because of my past practice of putting it into the compost.
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Re: How do you store your oregano?

Post  cpl100 on 7/13/2012, 10:38 am

Mine is in a pot and definitely not huge. I am not sure whether it is going to overwinter in it but I don't think it will survive.

I should have asked earlier so as not to keep bothering you, but how long does it take after you take it down to the nubs until you can harvest again? Thank you for sharing your experience.
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Re: How do you store your oregano?

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/13/2012, 10:57 am


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Re: How do you store your oregano?

Post  Lavender Debs on 7/13/2012, 11:39 am

cpl100 wrote:...snip....how long does it take after you take it down to the nubs until you can harvest again? ....
I only get one main harvest a year....maybe I only take one main harvest a year, it springs right back when I cut it. If I need to I can snip at it through the winter. If I put my cuttings into a glass of water they will root.

You can harvest it at any stage for seasoning.(my first plant was in a pot because I did not know what a warrior it is in the herb garden---in the PNW) I harvest most herbs I want to dry just before or as the first flower blooms for maximum oil content in the dry leaves. Oregano is one of the few herbs I like better as a dry herb than fresh.
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Re: How do you store your oregano?

Post  cpl100 on 7/13/2012, 12:19 pm

I have read that about dry vs. fresh oregano.

I am gleaning that I should wait to cut back my oregano until I begin to see flowers and then I should cut it first thing the next morning. I now wonder if this happens at the end of the season or a certain month or what. I guess I will see.

Perhaps then I will replant it into a spot of garden soil and hope it over winters in the Northeast.

If only I had discovered SFG in the winter and could have read and digested everything in advance of trying to 'do' everything! I think then I would not feel so overwhelmed and discouraged.
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Re: How do you store your oregano?

Post  floyd1440 on 7/13/2012, 7:40 pm


I read that if you take the leaves off the stem and then let them dry, it has a stronger flavor.

This is the first year I have grown it and my wife took the leaves off the stem and put it on a pizza with basil. It was GREAT!!!

Good to know it will grow back but will it winter over in 6a?



I transfer small amounts to the jars in my herb cabinet as needed.[/quote]
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Re: How do you store your oregano?

Post  nycquilter on 7/15/2012, 11:00 pm

basil is as vicious as mint in taking over--I started with a tiny area and it now has spread to several square feet! I cut it low to the ground, dry it by hanging in a cool, dark place. When totally dry, I pull the leaves from the stems, compost the dried stems and put the leaves into a glass jar.

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Re: How do you store your oregano?

Post  mtottle on 7/15/2012, 11:36 pm

nycquilter wrote:basil is as vicious as mint in taking over--I started with a tiny area and it now has spread to several square feet! .

Basil is an annual. It can't take over unless you let it bolt and drop seed all over the place. Mint is perennial and sends runners all over the place - plus it roots anywhere it touches ground, which is why it's so invasive. Basil just grows in a clump where you plant the seeds. I have mint everywhere in my yard - being Italian, I WISH my basil were so invasive! Very Happy

On topic, I cut my oregano back right before the flowers start opening (three weeks ago, actually), and then I normally get a second smaller harvest in the fall when I cut it back to the ground and mulch/cold frame the herb garden. I dry it on an Alton Brown furnace filter/box fan dehydrator, then strip it from the stems and store it in glass jars.
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Re: How do you store your oregano?

Post  GWN on 7/16/2012, 12:53 am

I agree, I WISH my basil were invasive. I find basil about the wimpiest of all plants, however I perservere because I love it, but it only grows in the warmest of times
Oregano on the other hand is much stronger, I have not found it to be like mint though.
I have a huge Oregano plant that has gone to flower and I am thinking of putting it through my dehydrator, ...... but unsure, after it has flowered?
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Re: How do you store your oregano?

Post  nycquilter on 7/16/2012, 6:06 am

oops--my fingers didn't type what my brain said. I know basil is an annual. I meant oregano. I really was meaning to stay on topic! my bad, as the kids say.

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Re: How do you store your oregano?

Post  mtottle on 7/16/2012, 7:15 am

GWN wrote:I agree, I WISH my basil were invasive. I find basil about the wimpiest of all plants, however I perservere because I love it, but it only grows in the warmest of times
Oregano on the other hand is much stronger, I have not found it to be like mint though.
I have a huge Oregano plant that has gone to flower and I am thinking of putting it through my dehydrator, ...... but unsure, after it has flowered?

I do mine when there are tons of unopened flowers. Basically just as the tip flowers begin to open. IMO the flowers are the best part. I've also been told that the flowers are the more expensive 'fancy' or 'gourmet' oregano in the store, and the leaves are the cheaper stuff. Don't know if that's true or not though.. Smile

Don't cut the whole plant back yet, cut the branches just below where the flowers are, and you'll get at least one more flush of flowers before frost.

I agree basil is a wimpy plant that takes forever to get established, but I have had good luck with it simply by continually chopping it down - leaving one or two leaf sets on each stem (I make TONS of pesto each year!Smile). Each plant branches out into a small bush about a foot and a half tall. I have several plants in the herb garden on the west side of the house (6 hours of full scorching sun), and I also have a couple in a window box outside the kitchen window on the east side (4 hours of morning sun), and believe it or not they are basically the same size.

nycquilter wrote:oops--my fingers didn't type what my brain said. I know basil is an annual. I meant oregano. I really was meaning to stay on topic! my bad, as the kids say.

Hahah its all good Smile The oregano does wander a bit but it's still nowhere near as bad as mint. I'm constantly pulling the mint runners out when they start popping up in the lawn and other gardens.. Never had to do that with the oregano! Very Happy
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Re: How do you store your oregano?

Post  floyd1440 on 7/16/2012, 8:12 pm

I just pruned my oregano plant back and removed the leaves and have them in a cool place to dry. Read from an earlier posting that that keeps the oils in the leaves.

How long do they take to dry?
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