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Orache: Everything To Plant, Care And Harvest

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Garden orache has long been considered a weed

How and when can you plant the orache in your garden? What should be considered when caring for, propagating, and harvesting the plant and what can it be used for? And how can you remove the garden notification? You can find out all of this in our special article.

For a long time, gardening was considered a harmful weed that only made gardening difficult. Today, however, we know: the garden notification is more useful than you think. The undemanding leafy vegetables particularly score points in the garden with their uncomplicated cultivation, but also shine with their taste and nutritional quality.

Orache: characteristics and origin

As a member of the foxtail family (Amaranthaceae), orache is closely related to the cultivated plants known to us such as real spinach ( Spinacia oleracea ), quinoa ( Chenopodium quinoa ), and beetroot ( Beta vulgaris ). The orache probably has its home in the Near East and the Orient, but quickly found its way to Europe, where it was valued by the ancient Romans and Greeks as a food and medicinal plant and was preserved in 400 BC. The first time it was described. The Romans and Greeks also brought the orache to Central Europe and Germany, where it was on the menu well into the Middle Ages.

It was not until the discovery and cultivation of real spinach that the garden report was slowly pushed out of the kitchen gardens. Nowadays the wild plant can still be found all over Europe and in Central Asia as far as China, but it is often viewed as a weed. It has a high site tolerance and low nutrient requirements, which is why it occurs everywhere in natural areas as “weeds” or weeds.

pink orache

In contrast to their relatives, orache does not form a basal rosette of leaves. Instead, the plant grows continuously in height, so that it reaches a stately height of up to 2.5 meters in the course of its life. The arrow-shaped, triangular, or oblong-egg-shaped leaves of the orache are arranged alternately on the stem and are about 5 to 25 centimeters long. They have smooth or slightly toothed edges. The inconspicuous red or green flowers of the garden orache stand together in inflorescences and are pollinated by the wind or by insects.

Tip: The annual plant can quickly be confused with the closely related and very common white goosefoot ( Chenopodium album ). However, this is characterized by a white coating on the leaves, while the garden For a long time, garden orache was only considered an annoying weed before it was recognized that it was actually a valuable crop. develops green, sometimes red, yellow, or even purple colors.

The white goosefoot has a distinctive white coating on the leaves

The best varieties of garden marmosets

Even if the garden orache has not been grown commercially for a long time, it is still possible to differentiate between different variants. The orache is roughly divided into various readouts, which differ based on their colors: The best known and most common variant is the Green orache, which is characterized by dark green, rather round and smooth-edged leaves. The Yellow orache impresses with its light green, sometimes almost yellow-looking leaves. Red forms of the red orache occur only rarely in nature but are extremely popular in horticulture because of their special appearance. Their color intensity is only increased by the violet garden message.

In addition to this rough classification, which almost exclusively relates to the color intensity of the garden orache, the plant is also divided into different types and varieties. These stand out from one another not only in their appearance and size but also in their properties as useful plants.

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We have summarized the most popular garden alarm varieties and their properties for you here:

  • ˈRed oracheˈ: local variety with bright red leaves; soft, slightly fleshy leaves; purple color is retained when cooking; also suitable as an ornamental plant.
  • ˈYellow Mondseer’: Popular food register with large, light green leaves; a very vigorous variety that likes to sow; particularly suitable for cultivation as a useful plant.
  • ˈOpéraˈ: Pretty, green-violet leaves with a wonderful taste; long harvestable and very productive.
  • “Black Forest”: Traditional variety from the Black Forest; fast growth and rapid maturity with high leaf mass yield.

The red garden orache sign is extremely decorative

Planting garden orache: this is important to note

Low demands and hardly any maintenance requirements: The garden alarm is ideally suited as a border plant or stop-gap in the vegetable patch and is, therefore, an enrichment for every garden. Especially its good suitability as part of a mixed culture ensures that the garden alarm finds a place in almost every bed. Suitable neighbors are, for example, potatoes and cabbage, but the orache also gets along well with legumes such as peas or beans. In terms of cultivation, orache is similar to spinach but is considered a little less complicated.

The right location for the garden alarm

Finding the right location for the garden alarm is not difficult: Generally speaking, the plant has only low demands on its location, and it can be grown in almost any bed. Sunny, humus-rich, and not too dry locations are preferred, but the garden orache can often thrive in partial shade as well. Although the orache can be cultivated in almost any location, one should still pay attention to a diverse crop rotation in the garden. The orache or its close relatives should be grown in the same place for a maximum of three years. A change is then necessary so that the soil remains vital in the long term and is not unilaterally stressed.

The garden orache

This is how you sow the garden orache

The cultivation of garden orache is almost as uncomplicated as the selection of a suitable location: Between March and July the plant can be sown directly in the field, a pre-cultivation in pots is not necessary. So that each plant has enough space for its development, a distance of 25 cm between the plants is ideal. Since the garden alarm is a dark germ, it should also be ensured that the seeds are applied to a depth of 2 cm – this is the only way to ensure reliable germination.

Previous fertilization of the soil is usually not necessary, since the garden orache is a particularly undemanding plant. It is only advisable to upgrade the soil with high-quality plant soil, in very sandy soils that are very poor in humus. In this way, the yield and vitality of the plants can be increased.

Tip: If you want to continually harvest small amounts of garden orache over the entire summer, you should plant a little seed every three to four weeks to grow new plants.

When sowing you should make sure that each plant has enough space

Maintenance of the garden report

All in all, the garden orache is considered to be very easy to care for, but it also needs a little attention now and then to develop optimally. In particular, attention must be paid to the space requirements of the plant: Since the fully grown garden orache reaches a stately size, the bed may have to be thinned out after emergence by removing young plants that are too close together.

In addition, it is important to ensure that there is an adequate supply of nutrients because this is the only way the garden orache can bring a rich harvest. Although the nutrient requirements of the plant are rather low, the introduction of some organic fertilizer is highly recommended in depleted and nutrient-poor soils.

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Caution is advised with mineral fertilizers: the plant often reacts very sensitively to a high supply of nitrogen with sudden susceptibility to diseases and pests. Organic fertilizers with a slow release of nitrogen are therefore more suitable, as this minimizes the risk of over-fertilization.

On hot, dry days, you should also ensure that the plants are supplied with sufficient water to maintain their vitality. In addition, you should loosen up the soil between the garden oraches through regular hoeing and remove weeds – this can further increase the yield of the plant.

Tip: If you want to continually harvest small amounts of garden orache over the entire summer, you should plant a little seed every three to four weeks to grow new plants.

Increase garden reports

If you don’t want to buy new seeds every year, you can simply take advantage of the self-propagation of the garden orache: If you let individual plants grow to seed maturity, the seeds will spread themselves in the bed, where they will germinate again in spring. The disadvantage of this method, however, is that you can neither determine the amount nor the location of the plants in the next year. An alternative that allows more control over the propagation of the garden orache is to collect the ripe seed pods. These can germinate for up to three years if stored in a dry, cool, and dark place. So they can be re-sown at will in the next year.

The seed heads of the garden orache can easily be collected for the next sowing

Removal of the garden report

Due to its rapid growth and its high level of undemanding, the garden alarm can spread quickly in the garden. So it is no wonder that many consider the gardening plant not only to be a tasty beneficial insect but also to be an uninvited guest that competes with their other plants for space, light, and nutrients. If you have a problem with gardening or if you want to prevent uncontrolled propagation, timing is everything: tear out the plants and their roots before they even begin to ripen. Once the seeds are ripe, it is difficult to stop the spread and the next year you have to deal with the removal of the garden oraches again.

Fighting the garden report with herbicides is not recommended, however, since these can negatively affect not only the garden report but also other plants and pollute the environment.

Tip: If you want a garden notification for your bed, but are afraid of uncontrolled spread, you should opt for the red garden notification. This rarely collects and is, therefore, a good option if you do not want it to spread in the garden.

Garden registration: harvest and use

Just two months after sowing, the time has come and the garden orache can finally be harvested. The plants, which at this point are already about 30 to 40 cm high, are cut off about 20 cm above the ground with a sharp knife. But don’t worry: the radical cut does not harm the plants. On the contrary: like the spinach, the garden orache then drives out again and can be cut again a few weeks later.

Often the repeated harvest even promotes the budding and branching of the plant, so that the yield increases even further. Incidentally, the optimal time for harvest is before flowering – this is where the aroma and nutrient content in the leaves is highest. The harvest is possible until the first frost.

Garden orache can be harvested multiple times

The use of the plant parts in the kitchen depends heavily on the age of the plants: in young plants, the entire above-ground green plant part is edible. With older, larger garden orache, however, parts of the stem can already be lignified so that the stem can no longer be used for the preparation of food. In addition, older leaves from the lower part of the plant can also be less tasty.

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Nevertheless, you don’t have to throw them away: They are wonderfully suitable as food for small animals. In contrast, the young leaves from the shoot tips are not only particularly tasty but can also be eaten raw. Above all, they are therefore often used in salads or as a smoothie. Otherwise, orache is prepared like spinach, which it comes closest to in terms of taste. It is particularly popular as a classic steamed vegetable, but also as a quiche or in soups or sauces.


But the orache is not only known as a food: In naturopathy, too, the plant has ascribed a variety of properties as a medicinal plant. The plant is said to have an effect on urinary tract infections, stimulate the metabolism and relieve nervous exhaustion. Applied externally, it is said to reduce gout problems.

However, the orache is considered to be particularly healthy because of its high nutrient content: Thanks to high amounts of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, and iron, the orache is considered to be significantly healthier than its relatives, spinach and Swiss chard. In addition, thanks to its comparatively low oxalic acid content, it is better tolerated by people with kidney problems or rheumatism.

Tip: If you cannot use your harvest immediately, you can freeze the garden orache (similar to spinach) without any problems.

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