Marjoram: Sweet And Wild Varieties
Marjoram has two major kinds, the sweet and the wild. What is difference? Wild marjoram is distinguished by its thyme – like scent, while the sweet marjoram has a distinctive oregano-like aroma.
In terms of kitchen use, the sweet marjoram offers more benefits than its wild counterpart. It is more fragrant and is best for food. Dried sweet marjoram has the same flavorful taste and aroma as the fresh one.
Interestingly, sweet marjoram is a part of the oregano family and looks a lot like oregano. No wonder it can often be confused for oregano. What makes it different from oregano is that it is has a milder taste, while oregano has strong flavor that may overpower the dish.
Nevertheless, sweet marjoram can be a substitute to oregano if a more subtle taste is what you’re looking for in your soups, stews, pork and other meat dishes.
Marjoram and peppers are great partners. Sausage and stuffed dishes will taste better with marjoram in them. It may not be as common as other herbs, but growing marjoram can definitely bring something to the table. Read on for our full guide on how to grow marjoram in your own garden.
Marjoram is a tender, perennial herb but can also be planted annually if you are after the leaves. It does not self-plant so you might have to do some extra work for each replant. When it comes to soil, Marjoram mainly needs a well-drained common loam garden or sandy soil. It can also grow in any type of well-drained garden soil. Moreover, the soil should have at least 6.5 to 7.5 pH, and slightly alkaline. Marjoram needs minimal watering. It should be placed somewhere with full sun.
Since Marjoram seeds are quite small and do not grow well in frost, it is best to start them indoors. However, if you want to start them outdoors, you can do so provided that your location does not experience frost. Transplanting Marjoram is also possible.
The steps below will apply when you grow Marjoram seeds indoors.
Sow the seeds in flats during the frost and you may transplant them outside after the winter season ends. Plan your calendar well if you intend to transplant the plants outdoors since they do not do well during winter. Additionally, you must transplant Marjoram plants outdoors when they are big enough to handle. It will take about 7 to 14 days for the seeds to germinate, and about 6 weeks for them to mature.
To encourage sufficient room to grow, the final spacing of plants must be 15 to 18 inches apart. Marjoram can grow 2 to 3 feet once matured. Start harvesting once Marjoram grows up to three feet tall. This should take you about 2 to 4 weeks from sprouting. Harvest the shoots before the flowers bloom. Just take about a quarter of the plant but not more if you want your Marjoram to keep on developing.
Marjoram attracts birds, bees and butterflies because of its aromatic qualities. It would be great to place Marjoram together with other plants that need pollination. Spiders, mites and other insects may also come by and visit, but an insecticidal soap or other natural fertilizers can keep these bugs away.