Preserving The Harvest: Oregano

by Texas Homesteader

I’ve tried on numerous occasions to grow oregano but for some reason never successfully.  This year I planted an oregano plant as proof of the eternal optimist that I am.  Surprisingly the oregano is flourishing!

Italian seasonings are one of my favorites. So I’m always using a mixture of some kind in my cooking. Because I’m so cheap thrifty, wherever possible I like to grow and preserve my own.  So now I want to preserve this surprising oregano harvest.

This type of oregano grows primarily by stems along the ground. So I really don’t want to take too many of those as I’m hoping it will continue to spread. It might be wise to take most of the cuttings today from the top with only a few from the perimeter.

Preserving Oregano. Italian seasonings are my favorites. Because It tastes better fresh I like to grow and preserve my own. #TexasHomesteader

I brought the cuttings inside and washed them in a colander. Then I laid them on a towel to air dry. When they were dry I moved them to a large platter to finish drying. I’ll fluff the oregano several times each day until it’s completely dry, probably about 1.5 to 2 weeks.

Or sometimes I’ll hang the stems in my kitchen from a cotton string. That also allows airflow and the leaves dry easily with no other input from me. I simply leave them hanging until they’re completely dry.

Then I remove the leaves from the stems and place my home-grown dried herb in an empty spice container, giggling gleefully at how I’ve managed to bypass another expensive purchase.   Hummm…  Now I’m eyeballing the new oregano growth and I think I may do this again very soon.


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23 thoughts on “Preserving The Harvest: Oregano

  1. Lee Traister

    I do the same as you described. It works great. I am still using dry oregano from last summer. I also do the same with thyme and dill and tea herbs like lemon balm and mint. You really don’t need fence machines to dry herbs… Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jeannie

    This year I grew basil for the first time and have completely enjoyed it, I’ve been posting recipes for a couple of weeks in hopes I will have a nice “collection” by the end of the summer. Oregano is my next goal. for what it’s worth

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Jeannie – basil is wonderful and prolific. I still have plenty from last year so I didn’t plant it this year but it’s already on the schedule for next year’s edible landscape garden! ~TxH~

  3. Maureen

    Now that you got oregano to take, it will multiply really fast. Herbs love being cut and the more you use it the more it will grow. Parsley and oregano dry really well and I make my bail into pesto or just finely chop it, cover it in olive oil and freeze it. It works really well.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      That’s awesome Maureen, I’m certainly doing my part by keeping the oregano harvested! LOL I’m hoping to have a permanent oregano spot in the garden and hopefully also getting a start back in my edible landscaping in the flowerbed by our front door. I love oregano. ~TxH~

  4. Vickie

    I love the idea of drying the herbs on the dashboard of a car! Can you imagine how good the car would smell! Haha – no need to buy those car freshener things ever again! I am also growing oregano for the first time and the plant is actually pretty – sort of like a ground cover! I didn’t know it was going to come back year after year – what a bonus! Thanks for the drying tutorial – I’m going to have to start doing this! Vickie

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Vickie – if you dry oregano in your car during the day, it’s a guaranteed certainty you’ll be in the mood for homemade pizza for supper. LOL I’m hoping to try again getting the oregano to take off in my edible landscape flower bed at our front porch for just the reason you mention – it’s a beautiful (and edible) ground cover. ~TxH~

  5. Carrie

    We dry all of our herbs. I purchased this on amazon a few years ago and we love it. I normally hang it on our frong porch, but if the weather is bad or rainy we hand in in our pantry. I see it is no longer available on Amazon but if you search for hanging dehydrators there are similar items.

    It works great because it will blow with the breeze, but it is screened in so the herbs do not move around much and bugs do not get in. Herbs dry pretty quickly with it, and it folds up for storage.

  6. Stacie

    Do you think it would be okay to dry fresh herbs using a food dehydrator overnight or would they dry too quickly?

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Bruce, when I dry basil I usually cut the stems, wash them and shake out the water then bind them with some cotton string (like a bouquet) and hang them upside down in my pantry for several days. The leaves are then easily removed and placed in jars for use in cooking. I’ve never grown parsley but I’m assuming the same method as oregano would work? Anyone else have any thoughts on parsley? ~TxH~

  7. Candy C.

    Nice looking plant! 🙂
    I had an oregano plant in a 5-gallon bucket that came back year after year for quite some time. Maybe yours will come back next year now that it is established.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Oh I hope so Candy. I tried to incorporate it into my edible landscaping for years, as it’s a beautiful lush ground cover but it would die each time I’d plant it. Fingers crossed that this one makes it. ~TxH~


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