Majorana 0,5 g
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The marjoram herb
A widespread herb, stomachic medicine
One of the best known plants in the family of the labiate family. In ancient times, it was cultivated mainly in its native countries (North Africa, Western Asia). In Europe, it began to be cultivated on a large scale in the 14th century and is now known and planted almost all over the world. It was introduced to Hungary by the Turks in the 16th century.
It is a perennial in warmer climates and an annual in our country. Instead of a short, vestigial main root, it often develops a dense, thin adventitious root system covered with thread-like root hairs. Growing to 30-35 cm, the rigid stems are four-edged and branch out profusely just below the soil surface. The stem is greyish green and heavily hairy when young, becoming glabrous and slightly reddish when older. The transversely opposite leaves are rounded ovate, with intact margins and blunt tips. Young leaves covered with greyish mottled hairs, with short pedunclesattached to the stem by a short stalk, their shoulders rounded or wedge-shaped.
Its reddish-white flowers are clustered in seven- to eight-petalled spherical pseudobulbs. The blackberry leaves are in four rows, overlapping each other in a shingle-like tightness. These small bracts are 3-4 mm long, ovate in shape, hairy like the stem leaves. The flowers are very short-stalked, making them barely visible among the leaves. The tiny green cup of five leaves is slit on one side, barely protruding from the leaf level. The white or reddish, 2-3 mm long pair is characteristically bipinnate, unlike the cup, which appears to be ovate, almost entirely confined to the upper lip. 4 stamens strongly protruding from the pair. The two bracts are fused together to produce four acorn-shaped bracts. The very small, light brown, oval fruits remain in the cup for a short time after ripening and are easily perianth.
Environmental requirements of marjoram
A fastidious herb. There are a few critical points in its cultivation, one of which is to meet its heat requirements. Its seeds germinate above 10 °C, but the optimum germination temperature is around 20 °C. The small seedlings can tolerate at most one to two degrees below ground level, and then only temporarily. After emergence, prolonged cold weather can cause the death of the whole stand. A minimum temperature of 15-18 °C is required for growth, but 20-25 °C is favourable. Severe chilling, around 10 °C, will stop the entire growth of the plant. In cool spring and summer, expect low yields with little essential oil content. It is especially important to get plenty of warmth and sunlight during the budding period.
Its need for warmth is coupled with a need for light, and it does not tolerate even light shade. It is especially suited to sunny sites. Long days are needed for the flowers to develop. During this period, persistent overcast weather reduces the number of flowers and many of the existing flowers remain infertile.
Relatively water-hungry, it can be grown safely with irrigation or very good water management. Not only for germination, but throughout its development it requires a uniform water supply, with a soil water content of 60-65%. Because of its root system running close to the surface, the soil is veryis very sensitive to waterlogging. In this case, if it does not receive natural or artificial rainfall soon, it will produce a very poor quality crop. Irrigation is particularly necessary at the time of budding, at the beginning of flowering and after the first cut. It is also demanding on the soil. It is safe to grow in areas suitable for vegetable production. In more extreme soil types (cold clay, sand) it should not be experimented with. Medium-textured loam, loess and loam soils with very good water management and rich humus are ideal. Shallow soil is also suitable if well supplied with nutrients.
It needs a lot of nutrients because of its double cutting and vigorous growth. It is best rotated in the second year after organic fertilisation. Its nutrient requirements vary from one growing season to another. From germination to intensive shoot growth, it requires a lot of potassium and less nitrogen. Until the beginning of flowering, i.e. the vigorous growth phase, it takes up equally higher amounts of all nutrients. After flowering, it needs very little potassium. For an area of 10m2, calculate 30-40 dkg superphosphate, 25-35 dkg potash salt, 30-50 dkg pesticide. The basic fertilizers are kale salt and superphosphate in autumn and pesticide in spring and summer.
There are two ways of propagating marjoram: either by planting it in the open ground or by planting it out. The latter method gives a much safer and more complete stand. It can be grown in a window box or pot, so you always have the herb to hand.
Preparing the bed
It can be easily inserted into a rotation, but do not grow it after itself. It requires very careful and thorough soil preparation, spreading organic fertilisers evenly before deep ploughing or digging in autumn, and fertilisers containing phosphorus and potassium. Before reseeding, start chopping up the larger stumps in the autumn and finish in the spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. At this time, apply a quarter to a third of the nitrogen fertiliser. Finish the seedbed preparation by raking and, if possible, rolling.
Seed should be sown in open ground in early March, as soon as soil conditions permit. The row spacing should be 40-50 cm and the sowing depth should not be more than 0,5 cm, as the seeds will not sprout. After sowing, compact the soil surface by rolling, even then you can expect germination in 3-4 weeks. It is much safer and easier to grow seedlings in small areas. You can grow the seedlings under a foil without heating. Sow in early March, scattered on the soil surface, in the same way as in the field. Cover with loose peat or sand 1-2 cm thick, then water thoroughly. From now on, grow in the same way as for peppers and tomatoes. Continuous ventilation is very important, as high humidity is detrimental to the development of small plants. The 7-8 cm long seedlings can be planted out at the end of April/beginning of May with a row spacing of 40-50 cm and a stake spacing of 15-20 cm. Water thoroughly after planting. In some areas, 10-20 small plants are planted in a clump in a bush in one place.
At the first or second scarification, set the staking distance of the replanted plants at 20 cm. Initial weeding is very important, as already slow emergence and sluggish development can be severely slowed by much faster-growing weeds. Satisfactory yields and quality can be expected from irrigated crops. Any natural or artificial watering should be followed by soil loosening and dusting. Before irrigation, apply nitrogen fertilisers in 2 or 3 instalments after the first cut.
The whole above ground leafy shoot is suitable for harvesting. The essential oil content is at its maximum at flowering, when it is best to harvest, and later, when the flowers are dying, when the activethe level of active substances decreases. It can be cut twice a year: first in July and secondly towards the end of September. The shoots are cut off, leaving 4-5 cm of stubble. It is particularly important that no tall stubble is left when first harvesting. The cut parts of the plant should be spread out thinly and dried in a dry, airy, shady place. After drying, crush the whole plant material into small pieces, except for the thicker parts of the stems.
Of the diseases, Alternaria sp. is the most serious. This fungal infection can become so widespread that it can kill the whole stand. Infection should be expected from the first buds appearing. If brownish black withering spots are observed, the plantation can only be protected by continuous spraying with fungicides (until cutting).
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