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Growing Herbs – Thyme


I have found Thyme to be one of the easiest herbs to grow. It is also one of my favourite herbs to add to cooking. It is so easy to grow that I managed to do so at our last house where the earth was as hard as concrete and the massive eucalyptus trees sucked any goodness from the soil. Thyme will grow equally well in the garden or a pot. If in a pot I would fertilise at double the frequency of plants in the garden.  
There are numerous varieties available – I plant common Thyme and Lemon Thyme. I use Thyme in a wide variety of dishes. It is an evergreen plant and is available to use from the garden all year round.

Plant It:

Plant with space to spread. Once established thyme spreads, but it is not invasive. Some varieties will cascade so it is nice to plant near an edge of a garden bed so that it can flow over the edge. It makes a good ground cover.
Thyme prefers a free draining soil and full sun. It does not grow well in very wet soils.
It prefers a free draining soil and full sun. 

Grow It:

Growing height is approximately 30cm
Trim back hard after flowering to encourage new growth. This means, cut off the plant just below the flowers.
Thyme can be easily divided and re planted – the recommended timing is late Spring.
The plant requires very little special care, other than basic fertilising a couple of times a year. I like to use a seaweed based solution in water a few times a year, or the liquid from my worm farm. Once a year I also add some of the compost from my compost bin to my herb patch.
Growing Herb - Thyme

Eat it:

Thyme is one of my favourite culinary herbs. It is one of three herbs that I use constantly, all year round. The others are Rosemary and Parsley.  The flavor works with all meats – white and red. I like to use the lemon variety with white meats and fish and vegetables and the common variety for red meat dishes or those with a sauce.
Thyme can be easily dried. Simply pick it and dry it on a wire cooling tray or hang it to dry in a protected shady location.  It is ready to store once the leaves are dry and crumbly.  Store in a air tight container or jar away from light.
Due to it being always readily available from my garden, thyme features in some of my favourite recipes:
Mushroom and Leek Tarte Tatin
References: The Australian Gardening Encyclopedia – Murdoch Books, Millers Point 2004
Do you grow thyme?
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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Miss Piggy October 29, 2012, 11:31 am

    Excellent post…I’m growing thyme but I don’t really know what to do with it (which is pretty much the case for most things I’m growing)!

    • Kyrstie October 30, 2012, 9:25 pm

      You need to give yourself more credit Missy Piggy! Your balcony garden looks like it is growing really well. I am looking forward to comparing notes with you this weekend.

  • Christie @ Fig & Cherry October 29, 2012, 1:27 pm

    I’m with you Kyrstie, thyme is amazing to grow and cook with! I’m also growing lemon thyme which is subtly lemony and works so well with fish.

    • Kyrstie October 30, 2012, 9:25 pm

      I think I am a little addicted to lemon thyme Christie, I totally love it, especially when teamed with lemon zest.

  • Lizzy (Good Things) November 4, 2012, 7:36 am

    Hi there! How is It I have missed your latest posts… clearly I have been busy busy busy! Thyme is a favourite in my little patch too, though I’ve had better success with it in pots. Thank you for your lovely post.

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