Thyme is an exceptional herb to grow in the garden and is a fragrant addition to many culinary dishes.You may want to search your local nurseries for thyme, as this plant can be a little difficult to propagate if grown directly from seed.Thyme originates from the Mediterranean and is easy to grow, low maintenance, and drought tolerant.It can be exciting to have direct access to this culinary herb but keep in mind that harvesting thyme at the wrong time or even overharvesting can cause damage and slow its growth.Properly harvesting thyme and the occasional prune can encourage more growth and create a full, bushy, and happy plant!Feel free to take a few small sprigs from the tip of the thyme or a few leaves to flavor your dishes every once in a while.The best time of the day to harvest thyme is on a sunny morning after the leaves are dry from any dew or moisture.Thyme can tolerate a light frost but for successful storage and delicious flavor, try to harvest at the end of the growing season before any cold temperature and moisture changes.When you are harvesting thyme, you are creating an open wound so clean gear will help keep your plants healthy.If you pinch or tear off leaves or stems, the damage to your plant can create a weak point for diseases or infestations (yikes!These woody sections are less fragrant, not ideal for culinary uses, and are an essential component for the plant to regrow.Cut above a leaf node, this will encourage bushier growth and contribute to more opportunities for future harvests!To store in the fridge, you can wrap the stems in a damp paper towel and seal them inside a plastic bag.You can place the stems in a glass jar with an inch of water for longer fridge storage.Another freezer method is to remove the leaves from the stem and place them into ice cube trays filled with water.Tie 6-8 stems together with string and hang upside down in a location that is warm, dry, and out of the direct sun.If you prefer to dry the thyme leaves without the stems, you can place them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.A: Use sterilized garden scissors or shears and cut a sprig that is several inches long above a leaf node or trim a few leaves off.If you live in Zone 4 or a cold region, consider planting thyme in a few potted containers that you can bring indoors.To prep the plant for overwintering outdoors, pile several inches of mulch and soil around the base of the thyme to keep the roots warm. .
Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Thyme
Thyme is a wonderful herb with a pleasant, pungent, clover flavor.There are both fragrant ornamental types as well as culinary thyme varieties which add a savory note to summer soups, grilled meats, and vegetables.Originally from the Mediterranean area, this herb is drought-friendly so it doesn’t have high watering needs. .
Everything You Need to Know About Growing Thyme
If you grow your thyme in a container, feel free to leave it outside and let it enter a dormant state over winter. .
Sow thyme seed in sterilized growing medium either in shallow rows or scatter on top with little or no covering.After they take root, have been transplanted to 2- 1/4" peat pots and reach a height of 2-3 inches, they may be moved outside to cooler weather.After harvesting, lay the cut plants on sheets of newspaper or fine screen and allow them to dry in the warm shade.Every spring cut thyme plants back to half its previous height to retain the tender stems and bushy habit. .
Before planting in-ground, improve your existing soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter.Be sure to choose strong young thyme plants from Bonnie Plants®, the company that has been helping home gardeners succeed for over 100 years.Mulching with limestone gravel or builder’s sand improves drainage and helps prevents root rot.Pinching the tips of the stems keeps plants bushy, but stop clipping about a month before the first frost of fall to make sure that new growth is not too tender going into the cool weather.In the North and cold climates, cover with pine boughs after the soil freezes to help protect from winter damage. .
Thyme Growing and Harvest Information
It adds a nice flavor to clam chowder and is often used along with a bay leaf to give a delicate lift to a white sauce or a cheese soufflé.Plant Thyme from seed anywhere in the United States two to three weeks before your average date of last frost.It likes sandy loam soil and full sun to partial shade.This is generous of you because in adverse soil conditions, thyme, like many herbs, will have better flavor. .
German Thyme – Bonnie Plants
Light requirements: Full sun is ideal, but plants can grow in part shade.Mulch with limestone gravel or builder’s sand to improve drainage and prevent root rot.In coldest zones, cover plants with pine boughs after soil freezes to help protect from winter damage.Harvesting: Pick leaves at any point in the growing season, although flavor is most intense just before plants bloom.To store in your refrigerator, wrap dry, unwashed stems in a damp paper towel, and stash in a tightly closed plastic bag. .
Garden Potatoes are Ready for Harvest and BloominThyme is
Harvesting is a simple matter of gently digging through the dirt, more of a probing, as you don’t want to scratch the papery outer skin, finding the little beauties and then rinsing them well.Commonly referred to as “swimming for potatoes,” kids LOVE this activity.Just be prepared to wash their garden gear as they do tend to get very involved in this process.I might roast them with fresh rosemary and sweet onions, or bake the potatoes with cabbage and carrots. .
Navel Oranges Ready to Harvest
Just when there isn’t much fruit to harvest in the garden, the navel oranges are ripe!Nothing says ‘California’ like a bowl full of bright oranges on your counter!Navel oranges ripen from late fall through winter.Color is usually bright orange, but sometimes green shades will remain.Pick only what you need and let remaining oranges store on the tree where they will continue to sweeten.Store frozen cubes in freezer bags and use in smoothies, sauces, and baking.Grate the peel (just the orange part, not the white) and add to baked goods, sauces and salad dressings.Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with milk.Pour into greased and floured 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. .