There is nothing quite so fulfilling as wandering out to one’s own garden to pinch off a sprig of marjoram for a pot of homemade soup. Those people who have minimal space will love the ease and convenience that growing herbs, such as marjoram, will offer. Each herb has a distinctive fragrance and color – the perfect addition to any garden. Marjoram can reach one to two feet (.3 m to .6 m) tall. It has small gray-green leaves and white flowers.
The easiest way to start growing marjoram is by purchasing transplants, or small plants. Most nurseries and home garden centers offer an assortment of herbs in the spring. They are typically purchased in pots that are two inches (5.1 cm) to four inches (10.2 cm) in diameter. Some nurseries may even sell large quantities of marjoram in 1 gallon (3.78 l) containers.
For those gardeners who prefer to start growing marjoram from seeds, it is best to start the process six to eight weeks prior to the last forecasted frost for the area. Seeds should be sown barely underneath the surface of the soil. In only ten days time, the seeds will germinate. However, despite how anxious a gardener gets to plant the marjoram outside, the actual transplant should only occur after the last frost has occurred. The plants should be spaced about eight inches apart on all sides from any other plant.
It is best to choose a spot near the kitchen that receives about six hours of sunlight each day. There should also be a convenient method to water the marjoram. It is important to water the plants directly after they have been planted to get them established. However, once it is steadily growing, marjoram only needs to be watered occasionally. It does best in soil that drains quickly and has a sand component to it.
Since it is a hardy herb, fertilizer is not generally needed. Marjoram can be harvested five to six weeks after the planting or when the plants are about three inches tall. For the best flavored herbs, marjoram should be picked prior to the time its flowers open because the oils in the leaves have the highest concentration of flavor at this time.
Marjoram is most flavorful when it is dried. Simply cut the sprigs in the morning after the evaporation of the dew, if there is any. Then, tie the sprigs together at the cut ends and hang them upside down in a dry place that is out of the sun’s direct rays. Once the leaves have a crisp feel to them, strip them from the stem. All that is left is to simply store the leaves in an airtight jar or container.