How To Grow Thyme

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There is nothing better than using thyme in soups, stews, and on meats. Thyme and chicken is a classic combination. Thyme is very easy to grow and is essential in any herb garden.

As I just mentioned, thyme can be used in a wide array of cooking. My favorite use of thyme is in a classic chicken stew that includes baby red potatoes, thyme, carrots, green beans, garlic, and onions. Thyme can also be used in marinades and to flavor cheese. There really are unlimited uses for thyme in the kitchen.

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There are several different varieties of thyme available. Most thyme plants labeled French or English are intended for cooking purposes. There are many creeping varieties that are used as ground covers, but can still be used in food. I typically grow ‘Summer Thyme’ or ‘Lemon Thyme’ in my herb containers. Lemon Thyme tends to lose its lemony taste after cooking.

Planting

Plant thyme divisions in spring in well drained, average soil . In the garden, space plants 8-12″ apart, or inter-plant with tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, or peppers. Thyme can also be grown in containers outdoors or indoors.

Water when needed, but do not over-water. Clear weeds by hand so to not damage the plant. Shear off the tiny flowers after plant finishes blooming to keep energy concentrated on the leaves. If you live in an area where thyme is a perennial, plants may lose vigor after a few years.

Harvesting

Strip the thyme leaves from the stems and use fresh to add to your favorite entrees. Harvest handfuls of the stems and tie small bundles together. Hang them upside down in a cool, airy room to dry. When the leaves are completely dry, crumble them off the stems and store in an airtight jar for up to 2 years.

Pests & Diseases

thyme-2There are no significant issues with thyme except root rot may occur if over-watered.

An herb garden would not be complete without growing thyme. It has a very fragrant smell and adds a very interesting element to many dishes. You do not want to pass up this very easy to grow herb!

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