Growing thyme is a great way to start your herb garden and add some wonderful flavor to your dishes! They also look pretty in your garden with their pink or lavender flowers.
The Creeping variety provides nectar for honeybees. If you have honeybees or you are trying to attract them, this is a great variety for you to plant. This variety also attracts butterflies and birds.
The Winter and Summer varieties are used in cooking. These are great for flavoring vegetable dishes.
Start growing thyme indoors in seed starters under a growing light. The seeds will take between eight and 20 days to germinate.
Plant outdoors in early spring about 18 inches apart covering with one half inch of soil. Plant it in a hot place, in a well-drained garden bed in full sun. Raised beds work best. Thyme handles drought well so it is a great plant to have in the Texas heat. Let the plants go completely dry before watering and then give them a good soaking.
Some gardeners plant thyme around the edges of their flower beds as a border because of the attractive flowers it produces after you harvest the leaves in mid-summer.
The plants will be 12 to 18 inches tall. Harvest in mid-summer before the flowers grow. Cut the stems with leaves. Use fresh or dry the leaves. You an scrape the leaves off of the stem or use a whole sprig, depending on what each recipe calls for. Usually, you use just the leaves, scraping them off the stem with a fork. Then allow the plants to continue to grow and do not harvest again for the rest of the season so the plant will survive the winter.
Thyme is an antiseptic and you will find it in mouthwashes, such as Listerine. This herb is also effective against toenail fungi. It is good for bronchitis and coughs when made into a tea. There is also a study showing it may help in clearing up acne. Thyme is the cleansing ingredient in some hand sanitizers that do not contain alcohol.
To help clear your lungs and to prevent bronchitis, boil a cup of hot water with a sprig of thyme. Add lemon and honey to taste and drink up when you feel congested.
Thyme is also good for household cleaning. Boil some fresh leaves in water. Cool and remove the leaves. Mix it with some vegetable-based soap and clean. The thyme will disinfect. You can make vegetable-based soap. There are many books online with recipes. I have not done this but found many books that you can buy with these recipes by doing a Google search.
Creeping Thyme (this is the one that attracts birds, butterflies, and honeybees)
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