Growing Thyme From Seed Indoors + Outdoors

Growing Thyme - Facts

Close up of thyme herb
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  • Plant
  • Harvest
  • Temperature to plant
  • Planting depth
  • Spacing
  • Sunlight
  • Direction
  • Drainage
  • pH level
  • Companion plants
  • Health benefits

March – April

Summer months

70 F

1/4 inch deep

12 – 24 inches apart

8 + hours

South, south-west

Needs good drainage

6.0 – 8.0

Cabbage – Eggplant – Potatoes – Strawberries 

Diarrhea – Arthritis –  Sore Throat – Lowers blood pressure – Boosts immunity

Seven Steps to Growing Thyme

Growing thyme in pots, indoors and outdoors from seed is easy, just follow these steps.

About Thyme

Thyme is a fragrant herb that adds a wonderful twist to both meat and vegetable dishes, as well as soups. There are tens of varieties of this plant, but English thyme is the most popular for cooking.

This herb comes from a hot climate of Mediterranean, therefore it does not need a lot of moisture to survive. Following these simple 7 steps, you will be able to grow thyme in your own garden or even indoors.

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one

Soil type

soil type

Sandy and stony soil in dry climates with good drainage is perfect for growing thyme. This herb will thrive in an environment with neutral pH levels ranging from 6.0 to 8.0.

You can also remove native soil from where you want to plant thyme and replace it with a suitable mix.

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two

Seeding

seeding

Growing thyme from seeds is difficult, which is why most people grow it from divisions. If you want to start with seeds, carefully scatter them across the soil of a container. Then, scatter some more soil on top and water well, covering the patch with a plastic sheet afterward.

Potting

Make sure that the container is in a warm environment and leave the seeds to germinate for up to 12 weeks. When the seedlings reach 4 inches in height, you are ready to plant them in the garden or in bigger containers.

Cuttings

Another way is taking divisions, or cuttings, taken from a mature herb with root intact or simply buying one from the shop that is ready to be planted. To root cuttings before planting them in the garden, place them 12 inches apart in moist sand for 4 weeks.

three

Planting

planting

After the seedlings are ready to be transplanted, transfer them to the garden or a bigger container (minimum 6-inch deep).

Spacing

Space the plants 12 to 24 inches apart in the ground that has reached 70 degrees in temperature. It is advised to plant this herb near tomatoes, cabbage, and strawberries, which will benefit from that companionship, and even flowers, due to its attractiveness to bees.

Benefits of Growing

Thyme repels worms that damage those plants, as well. You can also plant thyme near rosemary because these herbs grow well in the same environment. Make sure the patch gets a full day worth of sun, either in the garden or on the windowsill indoors.

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four

Watering

watering

Thyme is a plant that requires the bare minimum attention. You only have to water it during hot months when the ground is absolutely dry. If you live in a rainy area, it is best to plant thyme indoors, because this herb will perish from constant moisture.

Indoor Planting

Indoor plants can be given liquid seaweed weekly in the period from March to May. For extra care, you can lightly spray the leaves with compost tea a couple of times during the growing season.

five

Care

care

Thyme is self-sufficient, but you can help it stay healthy by adding compost to the soil during warm months and pines during colder months as insulation. Mulch can be used instead of pines.

Dry Soil

Make sure the soil stays dry, but don’t add any wooden chips to soak it up – this will do more damage than good. Every year during spring and summer prune thyme to keep it growing.

However, after three-four years it will begin to grow slower no matter what you do, which is why you should take new cuttings and replant the patch to have a new, robust supply of this herb.

Bugs and Diseases

Thyme is not a target of frequent pest attacks or diseases, but sometimes it can be visited by a greenfly, an insect who sucks the sap out of plants. Simply wash these creatures away with water or plant daisies around that will act as bait for them.

Like most herbs native to hot, dry climates, thyme can suffer from fungal diseases starting at the roots if too much moisture is present in the soil.

six

Harvesting

harvest

Thyme is best harvested before it blooms and in the morning hours of early summer months. This is the time when the herb is at the peak of its flavor. To harvest it, cut 5-6 top inches which are the most tender and fresh.

Cutting

If you are cutting from a freshly planted herb, do not snip more than a third of it away, but after a year of growing it, you can cut however much you want. In fact, the more you cut off, the more grows back!

Oils

Don’t wash the gathered leaves, because they contain healthy essential oils that can be stripped away with water.

seven

Storing

storing

Fresh thyme should be placed in a plastic bag and refrigerated up to two weeks. Most of the time, though, it is dried by hanging it in a dark, warm place with good air ventilation, or simply by leaving the plant on a tray.

Drying Thyme

Dried thyme should be kept in an airtight container in a dark cupboard and crushed right before using to release the flavor. This herb can be stored up to two years in this form.

Cooking

Thyme is best used as a seasoning for grilled meat, vegetable meals, and soups. It can also be used to brew tea that cures sore throat and boosts your immunity. However, the art of culinary is not the only area where this herb has a purpose – it has been used as medicine for centuries.

Health

Extracts and tinctures made from thyme help fight acne and diarrhea and lower blood pressure. Moreover, it is a disinfectant that can get rid of mold and pests in the garden and in your home.

 

No matter how you look at it, thyme is a versatile herb that is very easy to grow both indoors and outdoors. After following the simple steps above you will have a year-round supply of this magnificent herb and no doubt find a use for it in everyday life.

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Close up of thyme herb
Thyme with flowers
7 steps to growing thyme
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