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Fans of aromatic spices often try to grow spicy plants on their own right on the windowsill or in the garden in order to end up with a high-quality and environmentally friendly product. One of the popular crops remains marjoram, which is great for most dishes. But this representative of the family is quite picky about temperature conditions, soil and care, so not everyone manages to achieve the desired results when growing it.
In order for the work to be crowned with success, it is worth learning in more detail which varieties of marjoram to give preference to and the agricultural technology of its cultivation.
Marjoram is native to southern Europe, the Middle East and the Mediterranean, and it is also distributed wild in Asia Minor and North Africa. As a spice, the plant is cultivated in:
- countries of Western Europe;
- Central Asia.
In small quantities, marjoram is grown in the Caucasus, Ukraine, the Baltic States, Moldova and the Crimea. It is worth noting, representatives of the family of lambs are divided into flower and leaf varieties... The first of them is most often grown in Central Europe, and the second - in the southern countries.
Favorable time and climatic conditions
The main difficulty in growing a spicy crop is that it is very thermophilic and does not tolerate the slightest frost. It is for this reason that gardeners living in the middle lane have to tinker with seedlings.
Seeds germinate at a temperature of at least +15 degrees and they are sown in seedling greenhouses not earlier than April. The optimal conditions for the emergence of seedlings are considered to be a temperature of + 20-25 degrees. The mature seedlings are transferred to a permanent place in the open ground in mid-June, when the spring cataclysms are left behind and warm weather sets in.
Also, the seeds are buried in the ground before winter, having previously covered them with a layer of dry peat, sawdust, straw, or covered with film and glass. With the onset of spring, the covering material is gradually removed.
reference: at a temperature of +5 degrees, the plant stops the growing process, and with a further decrease in indicators, it dies altogether.
In cool climates, marjoram seeds may not sprout if sown early outdoors, so it is best grown as an annual houseplant or as a seedling method.
It is worth noting that some marjoram varieties are distinguished by late vegetation periods and react more steadily to a decrease in temperature, so it is permissible to sow them a little earlier - at the end of March. For example, "Lakomka" is harvested 120 days after germination, and "Tushinsky Semko" - after 130-140.
Choosing a place in the open field
To get good green mass, experts recommend planting marjoram seedlings on western or southern slopes with fertile soil... The garden bed should be located in a sunny, well-heated and ventilated place (no partial shade). However, it should be borne in mind that the culture is afraid of drafts and strong winds.
The most suitable for growing this crop are light soils (sandy loam or loamy), provided with organic matter and nutrients. In impoverished areas, you can specially build high boxes for seedlings filled with a soil mixture consisting of humus, high peat (1/3 part), garden chernozem, turf and leafy soil.
Important: The northern slopes and shade cause a decrease in yield and a deterioration in the quality of the plant's essential oils.
It is advisable to pay attention to the soil from the fall - apply such organic and mineral fertilizers as potassium sulfate, humus, superphosphate. In the spring, you can add urea or ammonium nitrate. Immediately before planting, the land is enriched with the following substances (per 1 sq. M):
- potassium salt - 10-15 g;
- superphosphate - 35-40 g;
- urea - 15-20 g.
It is ideal to plant marjoram in loose soil, but the digging should be shallow - no more than 10-15 cm. It is in the lush soil that the roots of the plant are well distributed and take root faster when transplanting.
Often the future harvest depends on the quality of the seed, therefore, when going to a garden store, when choosing, you need to pay attention to the date of collection of seeds and their packaging, because the shelf life of marjoram is no more than 1 year. Old seed may not sprout. The product is best purchased only in specialized stores, from large manufacturing companies, breeders or trusted sellers. Ask to show quality certificates so that weeds do not sprout instead of marjoram.
It is worth noting that if you have positive experience in growing marjoram, you can collect the seeds yourself, however, given the short storage period, you should not stock up for future use.
How to grow marjoram from seeds?
- To sow a crop in open ground, you must wait until the soil warms up enough.
- Then you need to carefully consider all the seeds, rejecting dried, small or damaged ones. To get the first shoots faster and disinfect the material from harmful microorganisms, the seeds are evenly placed on a piece of cloth soaked in 1% potassium permanganate solution and covered with a film. Then all this is left overnight in a warm place, after which it is dried and sown into grooves 15-20 mm deep, located at a distance of 150 mm.
Advice: For convenience, the seeds can be mixed with dry (calcined) river sand and then spread in the soil.
- The plantings are not buried, but sprinkled with a layer of earth sifted through a sieve. At the very end of the process, the soil is moistened with a small amount of water from the spray bottle.
If all the necessary conditions are met, seedlings will appear in 2 weeks.
We offer you to watch a video about growing marjoram from seeds:
How to grow bushes?
To get strong bushes for further transplanting into open ground, seeds are sown in 2/3 containers filled with nutritious soil (2 parts of humus, 1 part each of sand, leafy earth and perlite). The plantings are kept at a temperature of + 20-25 degrees and soil moisture no more than 60%. As the seedlings grow, weak plants are periodically removed so that the distance between them is 50 mm.
When 2-3 pairs of leaves appear at the seedlings, they will be ready to dive. Before planting in open ground, the plants are hardened - in good, clear weather, the boxes are taken outside for several hours if the air temperature reaches an average of + 15-20 degrees. Subsequently, the hardening period gradually increases so that the culture gets used to the sun, wind and less pain in a new place.
Transfer to the ground
Planting crops on the beds is carried out approximately 50-55 days after the appearance of the first shoots. Since marjoram bushes grow lush, holes for them must be dug at a distance of 20 cm between seedlings and 40 cm between rows so that the plants receive enough sunlight and do not crush each other. Then you should proceed as follows:
- spill soil abundantly in containers with seedlings so that the root system is not damaged during transplantation;
- pour warm water over the prepared holes in which the plants are planted;
- cover the seedling with a layer of earth, and then raise it a little so that voids are formed under the root, allowing air and water to pass through.
In order to avoid the appearance of a crust on the soil, it is not recommended to immediately water the planted bushes with water on top.
It is unacceptable to fall asleep when planting tender sprouts with large lumps of earth... It is best to separately prepare loose and light soil in advance for sprinkling the roots.
To help the seedlings adapt to new conditions, they are protected with covering material for 2 weeks. At the first time after transplanting, marjoram should be watered every other day and loosened the ground after each watering.
For the seeds
After sowing the material according to the above scheme, the moistened soil must be covered with a dome made of film or glass and kept at a temperature of + 20-23 degrees. With the appearance of the first shoots, the coating is removed, and the temperature regime drops to about + 12-16 degrees (for a week). Further, the plants are kept in such conditions:
- + 18-20 degrees during the day;
- + 14-16 degrees at night.
At first, it is best not to expose immature sprouts to direct sunlight in order to avoid burns. It is optimal to keep them in partial shade. Also it is important to carry out timely watering with soft water at room temperature... Otherwise, the weak root system will start to rot and the plants will die.
reference: in the first month of growth and development, marjoram reacts negatively to lack of moisture.
For young shoots
To obtain fragrant foliage, the soil under the seedlings must be periodically moistened and loosened, and weeds should be removed from the beds in a timely manner, because they can shade plants and take nutrients from the ground. Marjoram is a photophilous and drought tolerant crop, so it cannot tolerate shade or partial shade. The optimum temperature for normal growth of the spice is +25 degrees.
To obtain a juicy green mass, soil moisture should be 50-60%.
The first feeding is carried out no earlier than 25 days after planting the seedlings in the ground. For this, the sprouts are watered with a solution consisting of 1 bucket of water and 15 g of ammonium nitrate. The volume of liquid per 1 sq. m should be approximately 50 ml... Such treatments are carried out no more than once every 15 days. Top dressing with nitrate can be alternated with other complex fertilizers. As the crop grows, the amount of fertilizing and watering is reduced.
Wood ash or kemira can be used as fertilizer.
Features of removal at home
Growing fragrant spicy greens is also possible in flower pots on the windowsill in the apartment. It is convenient to keep containers with plants in places such as:
- window sills;
- glazed balconies (until autumn);
- bright, warm rooms (on pedestals, tables, etc.).
When choosing a place for marjoram, you need to remember that during the flowering period it exudes a strong aroma, therefore, for example, it is not recommended to put it in the bedroom.
Regular airing of rooms / balconies in the warm season will be an excellent prevention of cultural diseases. It is also permissible to take the pots outside in the summer.
For pots, marjoram flower forms are ideal, and for pots - undersized, bushy and early ripening.
The seasonal period does not really matter when growing such a spice in an apartment, however, before sowing, it is worth considering the fact that plants obey biological cycles, therefore it is best to plant in the spring, because this will increase the percentage of seed germination. In autumn, marjoram reproduces by dividing the bush and cuttings.
In winter, containers with herbs are placed on the south side, and in the summer - on the west or east. Planting and further caring for the plant does not differ from the process of growing a crop in the open field.
If the apartment has little natural light, sprouts provide artificial lighting (at least 6 hours a day).
In order for the bushes in the apartment to grow as long as possible (2-3 years), they need to be fed once a month with agrolife or poured vermicompost into the pot. In the future, they are renewed and transplanted into containers with new soil.
Marjoram is ready for harvest at the beginning of flowering, which usually happens in August. If the gardener plans to get the most juicy foliage, you need to cut the flower stalks immediately after they appear, but it is worth considering that the flowers themselves are an excellent addition to tea, tinctures and raw materials for decoctions. The branches are cut with a sharp knife at a distance of at least 10 cm from the ground. Re-pruning of overgrown bushes is carried out in late September - early October.
The collected greens are laid out in a thin layer on a flat surface. and dried in a warm, well-ventilated and shaded area. As soon as the mass dries and becomes brittle, it is crushed and transferred to hermetically sealed containers. In this form, marjoram can be stored for 1 year.
Important: cut off shoots should not be left in direct sunlight, as this will lead to the loss of essential oils.
Diseases and pests
The green mass of marjoram contains from 1 to 3.5% essential oils, which provides it with protection from most types of insects. However, the smell of this culture attracts the marjoram moth, which is best dealt with with special pheromone or glue traps. Also, solutions of insecticidal preparations are used to combat the larvae.
Of the fungal diseases, plants are most often affected by Alternaria, which manifests itself on the leaves in the form of dark spots of irregular shape. To avoid the spread of the disease, it is necessary to regularly inspect the plantings and promptly remove diseased specimens... For the purpose of prevention, the intensity of watering is reduced, which provokes the spread of fungi. If a large area is affected by Alternaria, then the plants are treated with a fungicide solution.
What to plant before and after this spice?
The best precursors for planting marjoram are onions, potatoes, legumes, and cabbage. In the area where the leaf crop was grown, it is good to plant root crops in the future. For example, radishes, carrots, beets, or turnips.
Having mastered the basic rules of marjoram agricultural technology, even a novice gardener will be able to independently grow a tasty, aromatic and healthy seasoning, from which incredibly mouth-watering dishes, drinks and even medicines are obtained.