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Commonly, many people tend to confuse Marjoram and Oregano due to the fact that the aromatic herbs appear similar, and they come from the same family. While they do share some similar traits, there are some notable differences that keep them apart. Marjoram is well-known as a sausage spice or tasty addition to turkey stuffing, as well as providing medicinal benefits. With so much to offer, growing Marjoram in Aquaponics gardens is a sustainable way to ensure you have a steady source of the herb when your recipe calls for it.
In this article, we will show you how you can cultivate top-quality Marjoram in your Aquaponic system.
Why Grow Marjoram in your Aquaponics Garden?
Marjoram or Origanum Majorana is a perennial plant that comes from the Mint family. As a matter of fact, the herb is a close relative of Sage, Basil, and Thyme. Marjoram originated from Turkey and Northern Africa. Though a perennial plant, it is normally grown as an annual. Similar to its other famous relatives, Marjoram is a mainstay of a wide range of Mediterranean recipes.
In ancient times, the Greeks called Marjoram “Joy of the Mountain” because of its natural ability to heal conditions such as edema, poisoning, and convulsions. Meanwhile, in Egypt, people traditionally use the herb to disinfect and heal people who are sick. Today, this essential plant is commercially grown in the United States, Europe, the Mediterranean, and India.
Cooking with the Marjoram From Your Garden
Besides being a key ingredient in the Mediterranean dishes, Marjoram is also a basic component of the spice blend “Herbes de Provence.” You will hear others say you can substitute Oregano and Marjoram in your recipe. However, take note that Marjoram tastes slightly spicy, sweeter, and with a bit of citrus and floral undertones compared to Oregano. Thus, when you use Oregano as a replacement for Marjoram in your recipe, apply only half of its portion.
So, how do you take advantage of Marjoram’s sweet flavor? In Greek dishes, you will find the herb mixed in with garlic and onions. It is likewise a favorite seasoning for meat and grilled lamb. For Italians, the herb goes well with pizza, fish, and tomato sauces. It also adds spice to veal, soups, and stews. Lastly, Marjoram brings a mild tangy flavor to vegetables like carrots, spinach, and peas.
Health Benefits of Marjoram
While Marjoram is truly handy in the kitchen, do not forget that this herb likewise boasts a myriad of health benefits. The ancient times have already benefited and witnessed its healing properties. Yet, its medicinal contributions do not stop there. Below are some of the herb’s health gains:
- Marjoram carries antimicrobial properties. A study suggests that its diluted oil form alleviates fungal infections.
- It has been traditionally known to reduce digestive problems such as stomach ulcers. Research done on rats showed that Marjoram extracts decreased the rate of the disease from occurring.
- When consumed as a herbal tea, Marjoram may aid in managing women’s menstrual cycle.
Possible Health Complications
If you are pregnant or taking particular medications, you should consider consulting your physician first before taking Marjoram supplements, drinking the herbal tea, or using its oil form. The reason behind this is because the herb may have varying side effects.
Pregnant women should refrain from taking the herb’s supplements since it can negatively affect their reproductive hormones. Those who are drinking anticoagulants or blood thinners should see a doctor first because consuming Marjoram can lead to adverse reactions such as severe low blood sugar and bleeding.
Cultivating Marjoram in your Aquaponics Garden
In general, growing Marjoram in Aquaponics gardens is fairly simple. Keep in mind that this low-growing herb is drought-tolerant. It needs minimal care, so the herb is perfectly suitable for newbie herb growers. Take a look at the basic parameters you need to follow to cultivate the plant in your system.
To make sure your Marjoram thrives, provide a pH range between 6.5 to 7.5.
Most culinary herbs will flourish in full sun. For best results, allow a partial shade, but see to it your herb receives at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. On the other hand, if you have an indoor garden, you can also use fluorescent plant lights or plant grow lights.
Remember that it is best to start cultivating the herb in early spring or late winter. The herb does not do well in freezing temperatures, and it may result in your plants dying. The optimal temperature for the herb is 70°F.
The herb normally grows approximately 24 to 36 inches. See to it you provide plant spacing between 15 to 18 inches apart to prevent your herbs from competing with nutrients.
Perlite and Vermiculite are safe and non-toxic media you can use in growing Marjoram in Aquaponics gardens. Oasis cubes and coco peat are likewise nice alternatives.
Ornamental Koi fish are great candidates for an Aquaponics set up. This type of fish can tolerate various water conditions. It can thrive in temperatures between 35°F to 85°F, but the optimal range is 59°F to 77°F to ensure you avoid stress. Koi likewise consume algae, so it is beneficial for both your budget and your system.