Welcome to my website. Its about growing fresh herbs amongst my vegetables and fruit trees and their use in the kitchen. The presence of these herbs benefits the other edible plants by attracting pollinators and helping to repel pests. They add beauty and pleasant aromas to my garden with their attractive foliage and flowers...............John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Growing Sweet Marjoram
Latest Update 1st August 2016.
I have grown Sweet Marjoram from seed asa culinary herb for a few years now.
I use it with other herbs to make a general purpose condiment of crushed dried leaves.
Its happy in my garden and quite at home in our hot dry summers.
Its largely pest free, and the only precautions taken are to spray the foliage with aerated compost tea once a month and feed the soil with thermal compost once a year.
Most pollinating insects in my garden are attracted to the small clusters of white flowers, and the aromatic scent of the leaves deterairborne pests.
Garden bed type: Drip line irrigated organic bed.
Recommended soil pH: 6.0 - 8.0.
Minimum Sun per Day: 3 hours.
Plant Spacings (centres): 300mm.
Good Companions: Beneficial companion for all plants.
Climate: Warm Temperate.
Geographic Hemisphere: Southern.
This food is low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in
It is also a good source of Phosphorus and Potassium, and a
very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K,
Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese.
They prefer sandy soil but grow well in most healthy organic soils.
They grow well in hot dry conditions and resist drought.
Sweet Marjoram needs well drained soil and full sun.
light feeders and don't need artificial fertilisers.
Spring, clear a space for Sweet Marjoram by removing old mulch, dead leaves
and unwanted organic material. Choose a place where Sweet Marjoram has not been
grown for several years.
Apply a 60mm top dressing thermal compostand cover with 50mm of fresh organic mulch.
Sweet Marjoram is a perennial plant grown from seed.
Sow seeds in August on the surface of an organic seed growing mix in a mini pot, and cover lightly with sieved seed mix.
the mini pot for an hour in a tray containing 10mm of water (preferably
rainwater). The water will wick up into the soil without flooding it.
Sink the mini pot up to its rim in a propagator's wicking media. This will
keep the soil moist until the seedlings are ready to
transplant. Protect the seedlings against frost if necessary.
4 weeks the seeds are transplanted individually into organic potting mix in jiffy pots and returned to the propagator.
further 4 weeks plant the seedlings in the prepared soil after clearing spaces in the mulch.
Return the mulch as soon as the Sweet Marjoram is established.
Apply a foliar spray of aerated compost tea every 4 weeks when the other edible plants are sprayed.
If left to
its own devices a Sweet Marjoram plant will become woody after a couple of
years. To prevent this you should prune the plant in spring. Cut the green growth back by 1/3rd but don't cut back into old wood.
Harvesting and Storage.
Sweet Marjoram can
be harvested at any time, but don't strip the leaves too much or you could set the plants growth back some time as it recovers.
Begin using the leaves as soon as the plant is large enough to spare
You can dry Sweet Marjoram in a dehydrator after stripping the leaves from their branches. Once the leaves are dry, crush them and store them in an airtight container.
I grow my herbs in a drip irrigated raised bed, and run copper tape around it 100mm off the ground.
Copper tape is a
very effective barrier as the slugs and snails get a small electric
shock when they come into contact with it, and they retreat to
less hostile surroundings.
I get one or two juvenile snails in my raised beds. I believe they get
into the bed as eggs though the compost heap. When this happens, I use
a few iron chelate snail baits to round them up. These bates are
approved for use in organic gardens, but I only use the bare minimum to
do the job.
Use the same methods described above for whitefly.
applications of aerated compost tea boosts the natural defences of plants by colonising their leaf surfaces with beneficial microbes.
The microbes defend the plant against airborne pests and diseases.
proper soil preparation including regular applications of home made
compost boosts the community of beneficial
microbes, which defend the plants roots against plant pathogens.