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Growing Thyme, also Common thyme

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    S P P              

(Best months for growing Thyme in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Grow in seed trays and plant out 6-8 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 15°C and 25°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 25 - 30 cm apart
  • Harvest in 42-52 weeks. Root divisions ready in 3 months.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dry-environment herbs (oregano,sage), Eggplant, Cabbage
  • Lemon thyme on a gravel slope
    Lemon thyme on a gravel slope

Thyme is slow to grow from seed and is best propagated from root divisions or cuttings.

Seeds need to be started in a warm frost- free place. A greenhouse is ideal. Keep under cover until about 10cm (4in) high, then harden off by putting outside during the day and inside at night for about a week. Transplant the young plants into their final positions, in well-drained soil in full sunlight. Harvest sparingly in the first year.

Root divisions, from 3 or 4 year old plants, can be taken in late Spring and then planted into a sunny spot.

Water sparingly once established and avoid feeding. The plants will have most flavour in Summer months.

Thyme dies down in the winter, if frosty, but a good layer of mulch round the plant will protect the roots and provide enough food to keep it growing.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Thyme

Common, lemon, orange and caraway thyme are used in cooking.
Thyme is mainly used with meat and fish but also tastes good with vegetables such as mushrooms, beans and carrots.

The flavour can be very intense so thyme is best used sparingly.

Your comments and tips

06 Oct 17, Vivienne (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi I have never had any luck with thyme as it always dies on me. Any suggestions welcome.
10 Oct 17, Darren (Australia - temperate climate)
You haven't said how you are growing it; if in full sun, try part shade, or vice versa. Plenty of mulch, and water regularly. I live in a warm temperate climate, and the thyme has taken off, fighting for room with the sage.
22 May 16, Catherine Doris (Australia - tropical climate)
Can thyme be grown as a ground cover in the tropics?
11 Apr 16, Bob Dobbs (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The direct 'burning heat' of the sun is your problem. Give your plants a cover, at head height or a little more (so that you can comfortably work under the shade) with WHITE 50 % shade cloth. It will cost a little bit (not too much) to build or string up a frame and to use the shade cloth as a cover, but you will not regret it. This makes a world of difference. All the best, Bob.
02 Apr 16, Nicoletta (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello! Is it true tha thyme is good to cure reumathoid arthtrites?
04 Sep 16, Norma (Australia - temperate climate)
Nicoletta, I Google, like "Thyme and it's healing benefits" for anything I want to grow, I google for all facts, I live in a unit and have very little garden space, precious little space with sun. Also health needs, and I like the natural way. Norma PS, everyone, I searched everywhere for Horseradish root, or plants. Found 2 at the market, when it is established, I will gladly share pieces of my plant roots, you pay postage. I'm in Toowoomba. Australia only, can't share with WA, sorry.
10 Apr 16, Bob Dobbs (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I don't know about thyme but 'Gotukola' is said to help with arthritis. Botanical name - Centella asiatica. It is very easy to grow. Look it up on the internet for more info. All the best. Bob
20 May 15, Sharon (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
I live in the Klein Karoo and growing herbs is a passion of mine. I have difficulty with thyme as it does not do to good in my garden. My water surply is brakkish. Could that be the problem with my herbs?
26 Jan 14, Chris (Australia - temperate climate)
My Thyme is growing wonderfully, but do I cut the flowers off and can you eat the flower aswell??
18 Oct 14, (Australia - temperate climate)
The flowers are completely edible. Leave them on - they attract bees
Showing 1 - 10 of 22 comments

The direct 'burning heat' of the sun is your problem. Give your plants a cover, at head height or a little more (so that you can comfortably work under the shade) with WHITE 50 % shade cloth. It will cost a little bit (not too much) to build or string up a frame and to use the shade cloth as a cover, but you will not regret it. This makes a world of difference. All the best, Bob.

- Bob Dobbs

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