I cleaned up the herb patch over the weekend and mulched it with pine straw in effort to try to discourage more weeds from growing:
The soil in the herb patch is not very good quality and tends to grow weeds quite well. Each year the herbs fight it out with the crabgrass. Most of the perennial herbs in this spot came with the house and have been well established for many years. These include chives, garlic chives, and Greek oregano.
It was time to accept the fact that the Greek oregano isn’t going to grow this year. It was about a 1-foot wide planting when I purchased the house and has since expanded to a 2-foot oblong in this herb patch. I use Greek oregano in many dishes, soups, salads, sauces, and of course pizza topping. Here is a picture from last year:
Each growing season, I usually give oregano a trim once it flowers. Almost immediately, new shoots begin growing from the cut stems allowing me to harvest more before frost. Last summer there was no re-growth after trimming. At first I attributed it to the awfully rainy summer we had and hoped that it would recover in the spring.
When other perennial herbs were rousing from their winter slumber, the oregano continued to show no signs of life. This weekend, I inspected the original plant area carefully hoping to find some green growth, but found none. So I inserted a trowel to dig out a section and inspect the roots. I found it was indeed dead and began digging it out of the herb patch. So sad.
This will however, give me opportunity to amend the soil here with some good quality compost.
Luckily, I have transplanted a bunch to a different part of the yard and this second planting is still alive and growing well. But it is quite small right now and will take a few years to achieve the harvest that I am accustomed to:
I have planted seeds to replace the Greek Oregano in the same spot. Hopefully they will grow a strong cluster that will survive for years to come. They look like such delicate seedlings:
It's difficult to believe that these tiny seedlings will grow into a hearty perennial herb that expands year after year. Greek oregano is a perennial herb that is related to the Mint family. It can be invasive, so it is best to keep it confined area.