I don’t know, but I don’t think you can officially describe yourself an herb gardener unless you’ve got some thyme growing somewhere.’ It is one of the most necessary and helpful plants around.’ It doesn’t hurt that there are more than 100 special varieties with tempting tastes and aromas.
All of the varieties of thyme have similar attributes such as leaves shaped like ovals and a twig-like woody stem. Your herb will have small lavender, pink or pale white blooms that appear in early summer or late spring depending on the climate.
Among the many varieties, here are three you’ll probably want to be familiar with:
- Common Thyme: When you purchase thyme at the store, this is the type that you will generally be getting. It’s a taller variety that also has a strong flavor and smell, which makes it superb for your entrees. You can examine the leaves of common thyme to determine which of the following three varieties it is. While the English type has variegated leaves, the leaves on the German type are broad and the French are narrow.
- Lemon Thyme: The smell of lemon thyme is obvious in its name. If you thought it was scented with maple syrup, you should better go back to flower gardening. Yes, lemon thyme has a heavy lemon aroma that you cannot miss. You can even find some kinds of lemon thyme that have little yellow flowers.
- Wild Thyme: This kind of thyme is not usually planted for use in the kitchen, so do not believe that every thyme plant is exactly the same. It’s rather pretty and sculptural, and folks generally use it as a ground cover.
Cooking with thyme is as simple as snipping off some leaves and tossing them to your recipe. In order to help your herb grow well; make sure to trim it often which will give you lots of opportunities to cook with the leaves in making delicious meals. If your abilities aren’t found in cooking, you can still use your thyme to make health and beauty products. This herb can be used in anything from soaps and shampoos to potpourri or you can simply put some in your bathwater.
Those same folks will tell you to use thyme to cure several different ailments including sleeplessness, gas, asthmatic breathing, headaches, poor digestion, and coughing. It pretty much can do anything except bring in the mail.
Cultivating thyme is a cinch. This plant loves full-sun and well-drained, rich soil and can be grown indoors too. Because it takes forver to germinate your herb (a long thyme), I would suggest that you head on down to the nursery and purchase a few herbs for your herb garden. For your outdoor thyme, use it in your rock garden or along a wall or over a rustic driveway.
If you don’t want to bother with bringing your plant inside for the cold months, you can dry it by cutting off each branch at the stem and hanging it upside down.
Don’t forget to harvest the seeds on your thyme plant. These seeds will still germinate for up to 3 years.
Good luck with your herb gardening. Be sure to let me know how your herb garden grows.