Thyme is a perennial herb that is native to the southern Mediterranean region. It is a low-growing plant that has evergreen leaves. This plant is usually grown as an ornamental, with the thyme crawling along paving cracks and stone walls. It can also be grown as a culinary herb in pots or the herb garden.
The leaves of this herb are young and aromatic, growing on tender stems. As the herb ages, the leaves develop woodiness. The leaves are small, about 5 to 10mm in size, and shaped like ovals or lines. The leaves are either mid-green, grey-green, or green with white or golden patterns. The height of thyme ranges from 4 inches to 1 foot, while the width ranges from 8 to 16 inches, depending on the variety.
Flowers are not only edible, but also come in a variety of colors including pink, purple, and white. They are especially plentiful during the summer months. The flowers are a type of attractant for bees and the nectar from the flowers produces honey that is of high quality.
There are three main types of thyme plants used in cooking: Thymus vulgaris (garden, German, or common thyme), Thymus citriodorus (lemon thyme), and Thymus herba-barona (caraway thyme).
Common thyme is a herb that can be easily found in supermarkets and garden centers. It is also the type of thyme that gives off the most familiar scent. This is a small plant that has fluffy grey-green leaves and purple or white flowers. A popular variety of common thyme is ‘Silver Posie’, which is characterized by having white margins on its leaves.
This herb, Thymus citriodorus, gets its name from the delicious lemon-scented leaves. Add to salads for a zesty flavor that goes great with chicken, fish, and potatoes. Lemon thyme plants have mid-green to golden leaves, as seen in the varieties ‘Archer’s Gold’ and ‘Golden Queen.’ They are a must-have in the herb garden.
Thymus herba-barona is a type of thyme that is native to Corsica and Sardinia. It is also known as caraway thyme. It is semicarping and can grow up to 30cm in height This thyme creeps and prefers loose, rocky soils that drain well, which is reflective of the windy island landscapes it is from. It is semi-carping and can grow up to 30 cm in height.
To grow thyme, you can plant seeds, take cuttings from existing plants, or buy plants from a garden center. The best time to sow seeds is in early spring, and to plant them out from April onwards. To create more plants from your existing ones, cuttings can be taken from the stems of your plants in mid to late spring. These cuttings should be planted in soil when they have developed a healthy root system. Thyme from the garden center can be planted in your garden anytime from the last frost in spring to at least a month before the first frost in autumn/winter.
Plant thyme in a location with well-drained soil, in an area that gets full sun, and with space around each plant that is approximately 12 inches. Thyme can be grown in pots filled with a good gritty compost mix, which is especially useful for gardeners with heavy soil. You can grow thyme by itself or with other herbs that have similar growing conditions, such as rosemary.
Sun and Temperature
The plant prefers light, well-drained soils and will not tolerate extremely wet conditions Thyme needs at least six hours of full sun and average temperatures of 68-86 degrees Fahrenheit in spring and summer. It prefers light, well-drained soils, and cannot tolerate wet conditions.
This plant is able to withstand freezing temperatures and survive through most winters without being harmed. Mulching helps protect plant roots from freezing in the winter and provides some extra nutrients for the plant as it starts to grow again in the spring. If you want your plant to survive the winter in zone 4, you should provide some protection from the cold.
Water and Humidity
Planting thyme in the ground means you won’t have to water it as often, except during droughts. In particularly hot climates, you can water your plants using soaker hoses occasionally. However, their roots will grow deep to find water.
Water your thyme plant when the soil is dry to the touch. Pots should not be placed on the ground or in saucers so that water can drain away.
Humidity and thyme do not mix at all! In Zone 10, thyme is not planted as a perennial because the humidity levels are not ideal.
The ideal soil type for growing thyme is sandy loam, with a pH level ranging from 6.0 to 8.0. In order to grow thyme, it is important to have well-drained soil. The more grit and rubble the soil has, the better.
The best way to grow thyme is in a pot with a mixture of 30% horticultural grit (such as large-particle sand or perlite) and 70% general-purpose compost. This provides the best drainage conditions for the plant.
If a plant receives too many nutrients, it will have weak, leggy growth and be in poor health. If you’re regularly harvesting, you can apply a liquid seaweed feed every few weeks.
A layer of compost or leaf mold will provide the plants with nutrients they need throughout the year. Additional fertilizer isn’t necessary.
Regular harvesting of thyme is necessary to prevent it from becoming woody and producing less aromatic leaves. The more you harvest, the more you promote fresh growth.
Pruning later in the year, after the plant has flowered, produces new stems that protect the plant during the winter.
Once a seed is planted, it can take up to 28 days for it to germinate. Once it has germinated, it can take up to 6-12 months for it to reach maturity. Plant your seeds in small pots filled with general-purpose compost in March or April. Cover the pots lightly and water them. Place the plant in a warm, sunny location such as a greenhouse or windowsill.
When they germinate, thin to the 2-3 strongest seedlings. When the seedlings grow to around 10cm tall (about four inches), slowly acclimatize them to outside conditions and bring them indoors at night. Continue doing this until there is no more risk of frost and the plants can be moved to their final location.
Grow thyme from cuttings in mid to late spring. Cut 3-4 inch long stems and remove the lower 2 inches of leaves. Use a small pot with a mix of general-purpose compost and perlite. Make a few holes around the edge of the pot using a pencil or dibber. push the cuttings into the compost until the leaves are covered. Place the water in a warm and shaded area until the roots have formed.
You can easily divide thyme in spring to get free plants almost immediately! Pick a plant that is healthy and has lots of stems protruding from the bottom. Lift the plant carefully from the ground and shake off as much soil as you can. To replant, loosen the soil in the pot, then insert the roots of the thyme so they are buried about one-third of their length. To replant thyme, loosen the soil in the pot, then insert the roots of the thyme so they are buried about one-third of their length. Plant each division into new growing positions 30 centimeters apart and water.
Air layering is easier than it sounds. Choose a healthy stem, remove the leaves and bend the stem so it is horizontal to the ground. cut a small portion of stem below a leaf node, and cover it with soil. Make sure to water it thoroughly. A wire peg can be used to help keep the stem in place. Cut the layered stem from the main plant when the roots have formed.
More Culinary Herbs For A Chef’s Herb Garden
Culinary herbs are edible parts of certain plants that are used to add aromatics and flavor to recipes. Many herbs can be used fresh from the garden during the growing season or dried for use during cooler months. Add these culinary herbs to your chef’s herb garden for excellent results.
Basil is a very popular culinary herb, and is one of the most popular herbs to grow in a kitchen garden. freshly picked basil is the best, and it is grown in home gardens, market gardens, and chef’s gardens. Some of the most eagerly awaited garden-to-table meals of the summer season are salads made with fresh basil and heirloom tomatoes. The herb is an important component in dried herb mixtures such as Italian seasoning.
Here are some excellent types of culinary basil to grow:
- Organic Sweet Basil from West Coast Seeds
- Large Italian Basil from Hoss Garden Seeds
- Organic Heirloom Genovese Basil from Botanical Interests
- Viva la Dolce Vita Organic Basil Seed Mix from Botanical Interests
Basil thrives in warm, sunny conditions. To continuous harvest, plant seeds or propagate shoots every few weeks. Basil can be grown indoors in the winter months.
Oregano is a herb that grows back every year and is very important in European cooking. You can enjoy it both fresh from the garden or dried for later use. Being a key ingredient in the classic Herbes de Provence blend of French herbs, oregano plays an important role in the taste of the final dish. Oregano is a key ingredient in Italian seasoning mixes and dishes like spaghetti. Here are some types of oregano you can grow in a culinary herb garden:
- True Greek Oregano (Heirloom) Seeds from Botanical Interests
- Certified Organic Greek Oregano Seeds from West Coast Seeds
- Common Oregano Seeds from Botanical Interests
Instead of growing oregano from seed, many gardeners prefer to buy potted starter plants. This is because there are so many different kinds of oregano. If you want to grow oregano for your kitchen, you should look for seeds or starter plants that are labeled “Greek Oregano.”
Rosemary has a distinctive, fresh, pine-like woodsy flavor. Tarragon is a vital part of the classic Herbes de Provence blend of French herbs, which also includes savory, marjoram, thyme, and oregano. Rosemary is important in Italian seasoning mixes, which is a similar blend but usually with basil rather than savory. Rosemary is a common culinary herb for roasted meats and root vegetables, and can be purchased as a plant or grown from seeds:
- Live Rosemary Plants from Bonnie Plants at Home Depot
- Chef’s Rosemary Plant in Metal Urn Planter from Terrain
- Heirloom Rosemary Seeds from Botanical Interests
Rosemary is a type of shrub that is often used in cooking. It can survive for a long time if it is grown in a warm climate, but it can also be grown in a pot in cooler areas. Rosemary grows best in warm, sunny weather. A healthy rosemary plant requires good airflow and some humidity in the air.
Parsley is one of the most essential herbs in the culinary herb garden. Parsley is a fresh, leafy green that can be used as a garnish or as a key ingredient in fresh dishes like tabbouleh. Parsley is one of the classic French fines herbes blends (along with tarragon, chives, and chervil) used to flavor delicate dishes. Many cooks prefer to use flat-leaved Italian parsley for cooking, as opposed to the curly garnish type.
- Dark Green Italian Parsley from West Coast Seeds
- Flat Italian Parsley Plants from Bonnie Plants at Home Depot
- Heirloom Curled Parsley Seeds from Botanical Interests
- Forest Green Curly Parsley Seeds from West Coast Seeds
Parsley is not easy to grow from seed, but it is worth it because of the payoff. Although it was not mentioned, it is implied that starter potted parsley plants are easy to find in garden centers and supermarkets. Parsley is an herb that takes two years to complete its life cycle. The second year is devoted to producing seeds. Parsley that is well-established may produce seeds that will result in a new parsley crop each year.
Chives are the culinary herb version of an onion. Chives are a classic French ingredient used to flavor delicate dishes, along with parsley, tarragon, and chervil. There are many varieties of chives, some with milder flavor and others with a garlic-like taste. Chives can be used in many dishes, such as salads, soups, and sauces.
- Common Chives from Botanical Interests
- Organic Chives from West Coast Seeds
- Garlic Chives from Hoss Garden Seeds
These plants look like ornamental grass, but with hollow stems that taste like green onions. The chives can be left to flower in the late spring for an extra treat, and the petals can be enjoyed as a garnish!
French sorrel is a leafy green herb that grows back every year and gives summer dishes a sour taste. Its sour flavor is reminiscent of tangy, lemony spinach. Sorrel is most commonly used to add flavor to soups, salads, and protein main dishes like fish.
- Heirloom Common Sorrel Seeds from Botanical Interests
- Large Leaf Organic Sorrel from West Coast Seeds
Sorrel is easy to grow from seed. You can plant it outdoors before the last frost of the season. It prefers the cooler days of spring and early fall, similar to cilantro.
The dill plant is a tall-growing annual that produces distinctive, fresh culinary herbs. Fresh dill is a summertime treat that can also be dried for use throughout the year. Dill can be used in sauces, dips, and to flavor pickles. It is also often used as a garnish for fish.
- Bouquet Dill from Hoss Garden Seeds
- Bouquet Dill Seeds from West Coast Seeds
- Ella Organic Dwarf Dill Seeds from West Coast Seeds
- Certified Organic Dill Seeds from Seeds of Change
Dill is best grown from seed. Dill is an annual culinary herb that tends to propagate itself by seed. It produces too many seeds in the summertime and drops them on the soil in the fall. If you plant these seeds, they will sprout quickly in early spring.
Peppermint is a type of mint plant that is used to flavor candy and drinks. True peppermint can’t be grown from seed, it can only be propagated from a piece of the mother plant. The coloring of peppermint’s stems tends to be purple, as opposed to the green of other common types of mint.
- Peppermint Plants from Bonnie Plants at Home Depot
- Peppermint Plants from Richter’s Herbs (Canada)
This herb loves the sun and does best when the soil is rich and moist. Peppermint, like its mint relatives, is a very vigorous plant that should be kept in a pot whenever possible. If you don’t harvest your peppermint plant often, it will eventually escape its pot.
Chervil is an annual herb with flavorful leaves that taste like anise. The leaves of this plant are often used to give a mild flavor to chicken, fish, and eggs. One of the classic French fines herbes blend ingredients is Chervil. The blend is used for flavouring delicate dishes and includes Parsley, Tarragon, and Chives. Bearnaise sauce.
- Heirloom Chervil from Botanical Interests
- Chervil Seeds from West Coast Seeds
Chervil is a herb that is only used when it is fresh from the garden. It is not often sold in stores. Chervil can be planted directly in the garden from seed. This herb thrives in partial shade and moist soil.