How to Grow Thyme Step by Step: Complete Guide

Hello to all gardeners! In today’s article the protagonist will be one of the best-known aromatic plants : thyme . We will learn in a simple way how to grow thyme step by step , following the best ones. In this way we will get healthy thyme plants to be used later in oils, soaps or as a condiment.

What is thyme?

Thyme, known in Latin as Thymus , keeps us many curious facts that we will discover throughout the article.

This plant belongs to the Lamiaceae family , specifically to the genus Thymus where we can find more than 300 different species of thyme. Some of the more than 300 species of thyme are considered aromatic plants , with the best known species being Thymus vulgaris .

However, if we have to highlight something about thyme, it is the number of uses and benefits in many areas: medicine, cosmetics or food.

Uses and benefits of thyme

Next, before moving on to cultivation, we are going to see what are the most important uses and benefits of thyme :

  • Thyme, like many other aromatic plants, will be seen in cosmetic stores for use in soaps, conditioners or facial cleansers .
  • In the kitchen world it is used to flavor oils or cheeses but it can also be used as a condiment in many dishes.
  • In medicine it is used to calm digestive and respiratory problems and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects .
  • The association with other plants can be beneficial since thyme drives away some pests such as the cabbage fly, aphids or ants.
  • One of the most recent uses is its use as a biocide since it has antimicrobial properties .
  • In ancient times, thyme had other different uses. For example, the Egyptians used it in embalming and the Greeks as incense.

How to make a thyme infusion?

To complete and finalize this section we will see how to prepare a thyme infusion in 4 very simple steps:

  1. Put water in a saucepan. The amount of water will depend on the amount desired by each one. Heat until boiling.
  2. When the water is boiling we will add our thyme. Let it cook for 10-15min.
  3. Finally, we will filter and infuse it by removing the thyme parts from the water.
  4. In addition, you can add some type of sweetener or honey to our infusion and it will be ready to consume.

Steps to grow thyme

Once we know this plant thoroughly, we are going to learn how to grow thyme in a very simple way :

1. Preparation of the ground or substrate

Thyme is best suited to light, well-drained soils . It prefers sunny places to shady ones so it will not suffer damage if it is exposed to many hours of sun.

Therefore, if you decide to grow thyme in a pot, you should place the pot in a place in the house where it receives sunlight. This way your thyme plant will grow strong and healthy.

One of my favorite thyme plants is known as lemon thyme because it always reminds me of my hometown garden. If you don’t know it, I recommend it 100% for its smell.

If you are interested in knowing more about the types of substrates or which substrate to choose each time, I recommend the following article: What is the best substrate? Types of substrates for garden plants .

2. Sowing

The planting will take place in spring and autumn , spreading the seeds on the surface and covering them lightly with the substrate. Let’s not forget to always apply a light irrigation after sowing.

3. Adequate irrigation for growing thyme

One of the best tips is to avoid puddles or excessively humid surfaces as they can cause the appearance of fungal diseases.

Therefore, it can be said that thyme is a plant that does not need excessively water and withstands drought well.

4. Pruning

Thyme pruning is based on removing withered leaves and flowers to favor the growth of the rest of the plant. That is, it is pruned when it has already flowered.

5. Harvest

Commercial thyme growers usually do not harvest the first year but from the second to the sixth year they achieve good yields. After 6 years they destroy the plants to rotate the crop. The harvest of thyme depends on the use we want to give it.

If we want to grow thyme for oil, the harvest will take place when 50% of the flowers have flowered and it will take place once a year. However, if we are interested in plant material, 2 or 3 harvesting sessions can be carried out starting in spring and ending in autumn.

It is not recommended to cut the plants too much since they will be more exposed to adverse temperatures. For this reason, it is recommended to cut up to a maximum of 15 centimeters from the ground with special and disinfected scissors.

When drying thyme, unlike other sun-dried plants, it is recommended to use hot air dryers.

6. Pests and diseases

The usually thyme it is a plant quite resistant to attack by pests and diseases because of its rustic character. However, on occasion they may appear.

For example, sometimes we can see our thyme leaves with a slight yellowing . This can be caused by nematodes present in the roots. It can be solved by a good disinfection of the floors. Here you have an article where we talk about soil disinfection: Soil solarization, ecological disinfection .

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