Oregano is a pungent herb that perfectly complements any Mediterranean dish although it is usually only recognisable in its dried form and from a jar. But oregano is one of the best starter herbs to grow in a raised garden bed. Because it originates from arid regions, it is nice and hardy and can take quite a bit of abuse and neglect from even the smallest and newest of green thumbs. Oregano’s needs are relatively simple – lots of sun, well-draining soil and moderate amounts of water – and as a perennial will continue to grow happily year after year.
What you’ll need
My First GardenTM
Quality potting mix
How to grow
- Choose a place for your raised garden bed that gets plenty of sunlight.
- Prepare your garden bed with potting mix.
- Sow your oregano seeds directly into the soil spaced about 10cm apart and water until the soil is moist. Seedlings should sprout in around 2 weeks.
- Keep the soil moist until seedlings appear and then water your oregano only when the soil is dry because overwatering can lead to root rot.
- Pinch off flower buds as they start to grow and pick regularly when it is at least 15cm tall. Frequent harvests will result in more lush foliage.
- Cut back your oregano in the colder months and cover with mulch in preparation for the next spring/summer growing season.
Aunty Steph’s Spaghetti Bolognese with fresh oregano
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion diced
3 stalks celery diced
1 carrot diced
3 cloves garlic minced
600g lean beef mince
170g tomato paste
1 tin of diced tomatoes
2 tbsp. fresh chopped oregano
½ cup flat leaf parsley
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese to serve
Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes or until brown. Add celery, carrot and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Gradually add mince and cook until brown.
- Add remaining ingredients, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Serve with cooked spaghetti and sprinkle with Parmesan if desired.
Oregano is a surprising storehouse of nutrients. It contains vitamin K, an often overlooked but very important nutrient for healthy bones, the minerals iron and manganese as well as antioxidants. Plus, oregano has natural anti-bacterial properties. All the more reason to grow some in your garden beds today!