Category: "Mary Mary, How does it grow"

Let's Start the Garden

March 15th, 2020
Well its mid February and there is 6 inches of snow outside here we are at the northern edge of zone five getting ready to start seeds.  First task of course is to select what seeds we want to grow.  This sounds simple enough but with the short summer and cold nights it is not that easy.  We need to select cold hardy plants that we can finish easily indoors if the weather turns cold early.  For simplicity and because we love Italian Food, we chose for the five basic ingredients for Italian seasoning mix: oregano, sweet basil, thyme, rosemary, and parsley.  These, of course, are not the only herbs you can use in Italian seasoning mix, but they are the most common and probably the easiest to grow.
Oregano
 Oregano is very easy to grow and, perhaps too easy because if you don't take some care it can easily get away from you and take over your garden patch.  To prevent this your original should be planted with deep edging around the bed and the bottom lined with garden fabric.
 Oregano seeds can go in the pot 6 to 10 weeks before last frost however the soil temperature must be 21° C or 70° F for later transplanting outdoors. About 1 out of 4 seeds usually don't germinate, so be sure to allow for ample planting space.  If you're going to keep your oregano in pots they should be at least 12 inches or 31 cm in diameter.  For stronger flavor select a sunny spot with well drained soil.  Trim or thin when plants reach 4 inches tall and regular trimming will achieve bushier plants.
 Selection of planting location is important.  oregano likes sunny while draining and medium fed soil.  For planting outdoors sheet seeds should be zoned about 25 cm (10 in) apart so be sure and select a plot that is big enough for the number of plants you want to grow.
 When planting, seeds should be sewn 1/4 in deep and then watered in well. Don't pack soil around seeds. Frequent but moderate watering is needed until plants are well established, then the should be well watered only when the soil around the plant feels dry.
 Remember, frequent and gentle pruning will produce greater crops.