Herbal Guide To Thyme

The complete guide to harvesting, pruning and growing thyme in your kitchen garden.

Some plants just bring the essence of summer to us. The pleasant strong clover flavour is ideal for feasting your eyes and enjoying the culinary treats like seasoning soup, curries, and vegetables. Here is everything you want to know about growing thyme in your vegetable garden.

The hardy perennial plant is a small fragrant herb that has studded leaves and woody stems. There are over 50 varieties of thymes with distinct scent and flavours. The most common thyme for flavouring dishes is English or Fresh thyme.

The Mediterranean origin herb is drought friendly and does not need to be pampered with water every now. It is also pollination friendly and needs to be out for the vicinity of bees and insects. The ideal season to harvest them would be summer, but lucky ones have thriving thyme even during the fall harvest.

Planting Thymes-

  • Thymes grow well in containers and in soil. All it needs is a full sunny view near the window.
  • For watering the plant, do not get it wet feet. Keep the soil well-drained along with other drought-resistant plants.
  • Fertilizing the plant with organic compost early spring ensures better growth of the plant.
  • Thyme grows better out of plant cuttings than seeds due to the slow and uneven germination. You can propagate your own plants from the cuttings later.
  • The stem cuttings start with placing the stems indoors for about 6 to 10 weeks between springs to frost. Once the ground temperature reaches 70 degrees F, you can plant it in the soil 12-24 inches apart.
  • The plant grows 6 to 12 inches in height after which you can trim it down.
  • Thyme grows best under shrubs of tomatoes and cabbages.
  • Growing thyme shrubs in contains stay best placed beside rosemary shrubs.

Care-

  • Water the shrub only when the soil is parched.
  • Prune the thyme shrub in spring and summer to maintain the bushiness.
  • If winters freeze the grown near thyme, little mulching around the plant ensures the plant’s growth.
  • The older plants need to be set aside from the new shrubs as they are woody and less flavorful.
  • Harvest the thyme before the plant starts flowering by chopping the stem. Apply hormone on the exposed end and plant it on sterile sand or vermiculite. The roots will emerge in about six weeks from the transfer.

The goodness of having thyme in your house is plenty. You can burn thyme leaves to get rid of insects in your home. The earthly smell is something you would love to garnish your food with.

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