There are different versions of where the name Thyme comes from. Some say it is derived from a Greek word, meaning ‘to fumigate’. Others derive the name from the Greek word ‘thumus’ signifying ‘courage’. In ancient Greece the fine flavor of the honey at Mount Hymettus near Athens was said to be due to the Thyme that grew there. Pliny tells us that ‘when burnt it puts to flight all venomous creatures’.
Thyme may also interact with agar, Alzheimer’s herbs and supplements, analgesics (pain relievers), antibacterials, anticancer herbs and supplements, antifungals, anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements, antioxidants, antiparasitics, antispasmodics, antivirals, anxiolytics, basil, caffeine, cardioactive herbs and supplements, carrageenan, cholesterol-lowering herbs and supplements, dental herbs and supplements, fatty acids, fenugreek, grape juice, herbs and supplements that affect GABA, herbs and supplements that affect the thyroid, herbs and supplements used for osteoporosis, herbs and supplements used for cough, hormonal herbs and supplements, hydrophilic herbs and supplements, immune suppressants, iron, ivy, muscle relaxants, oregano, potato, probiotics, rice, rosemary, sage, salicylate-containing herbs and supplements, shrimp, soy sauce, sunflower oil, vasorelaxants (herbs and supplements that increase dilation of blood vessels), vitamin E, and xanthum gum.
Spacing: 12″ – 18″
Height: 24″ – 36”
Optimum Soil Ph: 6.5 to 8.5
Days To Maturity: 90
Sowing Method: Start Indoors
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. For small gardens, space plants about 9 inches apart, for field production space plants 12-18 inches apart in rows 3 feet apart.
Thyme prefers a sandy, dry soil. Avoid planting in heavy, wet soils. Nutrient requirements for Thyme are not heavy, so soil should only receive a moderate amount of fertilizer. Diluted fish emulsion may be used in the early summertime.
Important to control weeds as they compete for nutrients with the slow-developing young thyme plants. Once established the plants would benefit from mulch to help discourage weeds. This also keeps the lower branches clean, whereas open cultivation exposes the lower branches to rain’s action on bare soil.
Harvest thyme just before the flowers begin to open, by cutting the plant one and a half to 2 inches from the ground. A second growth will develop but this should not be cut at all. This would reduce the plant’s winter hardiness. Although a hardy perennial, thyme plants need care over the winter months to survive the cold.
After harvesting, lay the cut plants on sheets of newspaper or fine screen and allow them to dry in the warm shade. When dry, the leaves will separate from the woody stems easily if rubbed lightly. Every spring cut thyme plants back to half its previous height to retain the tender stems and bushy habit. After 3-4 years plants will become woody and you will want to start over again from seed.