Sweet marjoram is a tender perennial but is grown as an annual. It has a milder, sweeter taste than oregano and can be used fresh or dried. Use the leaves and flowers in many meat and vegetable recipes and in salads for an interesting taste. Tiny pink or white flower clusters appear in August through September. It grows 12" tall.
Harvest sprigs when the flowers start to bloom for best flavor. You can pick for fresh use anytime after the plant reaches 8" in height. Continual picking will prevent rapid flowering. Drying mellows and deepens the flavor. Dry on screens or cheesecloth in a warm, dry place. Test for dryness by crushing a leaf between your thumb and finger. It should have a crispy, crackly sound and feel. Remove the leaves from the stems and store in glass jars. Crush the leaves before adding to recipes.
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