Thyme: Planting, Growing, Harvesting ~ Varieties
Thyme // is any of several species of culinary and medicinal herbs of the genus Thymus, most commonly Thymus vulgaris.
Important species and cultivars
For a longer list of species, see Thymus (genus).
- Thymus citriodorus — various lemon thymes, orange thymes, lime thyme.
- Thymus herba-barona (caraway thyme) is used both as a culinary herb and a ground cover, and has a very strong caraway scent due to the chemical carvone.
- Thymus praecox (mother of thyme, wild thyme), cultivated as an ornamental
- Thymus pseudolanuginosus (woolly thyme) is not a culinary herb, but is grown as a ground cover.
- Thymus serpyllum (wild thyme, creeping thyme) is an important nectar source plant for honeybees. All thyme species are nectar sources, but wild thyme covers large areas of droughty, rocky soils in southern Europe (Greece is especially famous for wild thyme honey) and North Africa, as well as in similar landscapes in the Berkshire and Catskill Mountains of the northeastern US. The lowest-growing of the widely used thyme, it is good for walkways.
- Thymus vulgaris (common thyme, English thyme, summer thyme, winter thyme, French thyme, or garden thyme) is a commonly used culinary herb. It also has medicinal uses. Common thyme is a Mediterranean perennial which is best suited to well-drained soils and full sun.
Plant type: Herb
Thyme is a small perennial shrub with lots of branches and light purple to pink flowers. It’s aromatic and has a pleasant, pungent, clover flavor. There are over fifty varieties used in cooking and gardening. English thyme is used most often in cooking.
- It’s hard to grow thyme from seeds because of slow, uneven germination. It’s easier to buy the plants or take some cuttings from a friend.
- For a head start, plant the seeds/cuttings indoors 6 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost.
- Plant the seeds/cuttings 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost in well-drained soil about 9 inches apart. For best growth, the soil should be about 70ºF.
- The plants should grow 6 to 12 inches in height.
- In the garden, plant thyme near cabbage.
- Water normally and remember to trim the plants.
- Prune the plants back in the spring and summer to contain the growth. You can take some cuttings and plant them indoors in pots, too.
- If you have cold winters, remember to lightly mulch around the plants after the ground freezes.
- Gray mold
- Root rot
- Throughout the summer, leaves and sprigs can be harvested at any time.
- To dry the sprigs, hang them in a dark, well-ventilated, warm area. You can also just dry the leaves by placing them on a tray. Once dried, store them in an airtight container.
- Freezing is another method of storage.
- Lemon thyme, for a hint of lemon
- Caraway thyme, for a nice fragrance of caraway and thyme
- Ricotta and Lemon Thyme Souffle with Raspberry Sauce
- Carrots with Brown Butter and Thyme
- Lemon Thyme Bread with Lemon Glaze
Wit & Wisdom
Burning thyme gets rid of insects in your house.
See Also …