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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 59°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 10 - 12 inches 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.

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Can thyme be grown as a ground cover in the tropics?

- Catherine Doris

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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