Thyme is an herb often used in meats, stews, and soups. It is a strong and flavorful herb that is not only easy to use, but easy to grow too! If you have ever considered growing thyme, now is the perfect “time!” See what I did there? But enough of the jokes, here is how you can grow thyme in your own garden so you have plenty on hand for your own cooking needs.
How to Grow Thyme
How to plant thyme seedlings:
Thyme is difficult to grow from seeds since it germinates at different times and it is hard to get an even growing crop. Instead, opt for thyme seedlings found at your local gardening center. When planting thyme, you want to choose a space that provides thorough drainage. Using a space that doesn’t offer great drainage is a quick way to kill the plant. Choose a space that offers full to moderate sun, and slightly alkaline soil.
Plant your thyme seedlings about 8-10 inches apart. When planting, go ahead and add fertilizer to the soil. A slow releasing fertilizer is ideal. This will give it the boost it needs to really get growing.
How to plant thyme seedlings in pots:
Like most herbs, thyme is easy to grow in pots. This is ideal if your outdoor soil isn’t ideal for thyme, or if you wish to grow your thyme indoors. When planting thyme in pots, you want to use nutrient rich, well draining soil. Use a well draining pot that is 8-10 inches in width, and be sure to place only one plant per pot. A sunny spot such as a window sill is ideal to the plant can get a solid 6 hours or more of sun per day.
How to care for thyme seedlings:
Your thyme plants will enjoy about an inch of water per week. Be careful not to saturate plants or their roots as it can attract pests or invite rot. Dry climates may see spider mites on their thyme, so use a food safe repellant to keep them at bay.
As your thyme grows, you will want to pinch the new growth at the tips of the plant to help encourage the plant to grow bushier instead of spindly. Trimming your plant back in the fall months can also help it come back strong in the spring. Since it is a perennial, as long as you take care of it, it can preform for years.
How to harvest your thyme:
The flavor of the thyme is best if you can catch it right before the plant blooms. When you see buds or signs of blooms, go ahead and snip. You can remove stems about an inch before the base as needed. You can use thyme fresh in soups and stews, or even meat marinades. Or, freeze and dry it for later use.
Thyme can be a wonderful addition to your flower beds and even added boarders. Or, enjoy a pot or two right in your own kitchen. However or wherever you decide to grow your thyme, you will find that by following these tips you can enjoy a quicker and more bountiful harvest.