Thyme: Aromatic Essence
Thyme was originated from the Mediterranean but is now recognized as one of the most aromatic herbs in the world. It is commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine, adding flavors to meats, vegetables and breads. Thyme also has a lot of nutritional content. It contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
It is a staple in gourmet cooking. When combined with olive oil, garlic and tomato, you can indulge in a sumptuous pasta dish. Thyme also adds flavors to marinate or meat preservation.
Use it to season your sauces, soups, stews, cheeses and stuffing. Whether fresh or dried, the rich flavors of thyme are evident.
In the medieval times, it was used as an ornament on a soldier’s armor to inspire courage. Its medicinal properties was said to be very useful as an antiseptic. It was also said to be used as an antiseptic during World War II, and as an anti-bacterial that promotes blood circulation in the skin. Digestive problems, skin infections and some respiratory tract diseases can be eased by thyme as well.
Its aromatic scent also made its way to fragrances. Thyme is often used as a relaxing scent in aromatherapy.
Growing thyme yourself can be a great addition to your herb garden. Read on below for our full guide on how to grow thyme.
Thyme is generally a hardy perennial plant, but can be grown annually in extremely cold environment. As a perennial, it grows well in dry, warm and sunny conditions. Frost may affect this plant lightly but it is not really a threat. Use mulch to prevent this.
Thyme is easy to grow so it is best for beginners. In fact it can thrive even in pavement or cracks. To start from seeds, lay the seeds in a well-drained, loose and rocky soil. The ideal soil pH is 6.0 to 7.0. If a well-draining soil is unavailable, use well-rotted manure or compost. Sandy soil should be your last resort. Space the seeds 30cm apart. It’s not necessary to cover the seeds with soil.
Thyme does not need regular watering so sprinkle a little water only when necessary. The germination process takes about 7 to 14 days. Once the sprouts are big enough to handle, you can transplant the seeds outdoors.
It is a relatively small plant. It can only grow about 6 to 10 inches in height once it matures. Harvesting Thyme is easy. Its leaves and flowers are edible so just take what you need. The plant can live as long as three to four years. However, be careful of cross pollination or hybridizing.
Prune Thyme plant during spring to keep it healthy, as it will get too woody if left alone. Ants may build their homes around it which can destroy the roots. Also, root rot and mold may ruin Thyme due to the humidity or dampness of the location. Avoid too much water and let the air circulate.
Thyme attracts birds, bees and butterflies. It is advisable to plant Thyme near pollinating plants. These beneficial pollinators will help the nearby plants to develop better.