Thyme is not a difficult plant to cultivate. It is commonly found in the Mediterranean, growing on rocky surfaces. The soil and conditions there are not the best. Thyme is cold hardy, so it can be grown on Polish terraces, in gardens or pots.
Substrate and sunshine
Thyme is mostly native to the Mediterranean. The climate there is warm and sunny and the soil is poor. When growing thyme in Poland, the plant should be placed in a location that receives strong sunlight. It’s good if it gets sunlight for half of the day. It is worth planting it in sandy soil – it is a herb, which does not like moisture. It feels very well in warm and windless places.
The pots or beds can be located near bigger stones or a wall. When they warm up, they give off heat, which has a positive effect on thyme’s growth. The herb is suitable for planting in flower beds or even making a low hedge out of it. Thyme is difficult to grow indoors and is not worth treating as an ornamental.
When to plant thyme?
The herb can be found in garden stores in the form of ready-made cuttings, but seeds do just as well in our climate. They are very small, and need temperatures higher than 15° C to grow
It is advisable tosow the herb in early or mid-March in small pots and then set them in a warm room or greenhouse. The seedlings germinate in the light, so do not dig them deep into the ground. If you want to cover the seeds, the soil layer must be no thicker than 0.5 cm. Keep the sowing moist
After 10-15 days the first seedlings should appear. After another 5 weeks, the seedlings can be spaded, and after 3-4 weeks they are already strong seedlings that should be transplanted into outdoor beds
Thyme seedlings in their initial growth should be cared for. It is advisable to maintain optimum soil moisture and keep them in a warm place . Once the plant is moved outside, there is not much work to do with it. Pay attention to whether it has rooted well, and if so, the herb will manage itself
Thyme only in the initial phase of growth needs more water, then it does not even like it. In its care, it is necessary to remember to weed, because nothing can block the supply of oxygen to the roots. Occasionally it is recommended to fertilize thyme, compost works best for it
The first pruning of the plant should begin quite early, the treatment will encourage it to bushy growth. Frequent pruning affects more young shoots, which are softer and rich in nutrients, and their taste is more intense
The last cutting of the plant can be done no later than mid-August. After this period, if new shoots grow in autumn, they will be destroyed. Moreover, remember to cut the tip of the plant by ⅓ of its length in early spring to allow thyme to fully bloom. Before winter, it’s a good idea to protect plants in the garden with a layer of bark or straw to keep them from freezing
When to pick thyme?
It is assumed that thyme can be picked all year round, but it is best in summer. The young shoots have an intense flavor that is noticeable in dishes. The herb is recommended to be cut with scissors. The time of harvesting is the same as for all herbaceous plants: they should be cut before noon, but not in the morning. The shoots should not be covered with morning dew, in turn, in the afternoon they are often overheated, and after bringing them home they quickly wither
How to use thyme?
Thyme goes well with most dishes. Herbs of Provence gives a distinctive flavor, enriches the aroma of meats, dishes with mushrooms and various sauces. Thyme can also be used to prepare tea, it is also suitable for flavoring vinegar and oil. It has medicinal properties, it has antibacterial effect, which makes it a great remedy for throat and respiratory tract inflammations.