Though not a choice oregano variety for cooking, this variety makes a great ground cover. Foliage is green with pink to deep-purple flowers. The fresh and dried flowers are used in herbal crafting. Approx. 10,700 seeds/g.
CULTURE: Most herbs originated in the Mediterranean where it is hot and arid with poor, sandy soils, so herbs are relatively happy under those conditions. They like being in a sunny location at least 6 hours per day. Herbs also prefer well-drained soils; so if you have clay soils, add sand to provide good drainage. The pH of your soil should be near neutral (6.5-7), so lime is used to raise the pH of most Coastal gardens. Herbs respond favourably to moderate fertilization. If you over-fertilize, the plants may produce lots of foliage, but with little flavour. When you first start to establish your herb garden, water regularly. After the first season most herbs will tolerate somewhat drier soil conditions. For an early start on the herb garden, start seed indoors. Hardy seedlings can be transplanted after the last frost, and tender types after June 1. Most herb varieties can be started six to eight weeks before transplanting into the garden.
HARVEST: Harvest at different times for different uses. Nothing can compare with using fresh herbs in cooking, teas, or salads. Simply go out to the garden and snip what you need at any time. However, for preserving herbs or distilling oils, harvest at their peak of maturity when blooms are just beginning to appear. At this point the leaves contain the highest concentration of their essential oils. For herbal crafting, harvest flowers at or just prior to this peak; this is when flowers will usually keep their colour and stay intact.
If you are growing for seed use, you need to harvest when the flower has matured and the seeds start to turn brown. If roots are desired, harvest at the end of the growing season when the plants begin to die down. At this time, the plant has stored most of its energy in the root.
Harvesting should be done in mid-morning after the dew has dried. Never harvest in the heat of the day, as transpiration of the plant reduces the level of oils in the foliage.
Drying is the most common way to preserve herbs. Hang small bunches from the ceiling in a dry, dark location with some ventilation. Drying usually takes between one and two weeks. You can also use your microwave oven set on defrost for about 8-15 minutes. The food drier is another good way to dry herbs in just a few hours. Once the herbs are completely dry, place them in air-tight containers and store in a dark, dry location until you are ready to use them.