This page talks about thyme herb benefits.
Ancient Egyptians once used thyme in embalming and the Ancient Greeks used it in their baths and as incense, believing it to be a source of courage. Thyme is a member of the mint family. It has tiny green or green with white-edged leaves. Thyme works well in many parts of your garden: in beds, in your herb corner, between stepping-stones or as a ground cover.
Thyme is very easy to grow. Plant your seeds in small pots indoors, where they can be kept at a constant 70 degrees. Make sure they have plenty of sunshine or use a plant light. Germination should take between 14 and 28 days. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t see anything growing after a couple of weeks. When they are 2-3” tall, you can plant your thyme outside.
Place plants roughly 9” apart in an area that gets full sun. Thyme prefers sandy, dryer soil. You can use builder’s sand. Avoid heavy, wet soil. The soil should also be around pH 7 or slightly alkaline. You can add lime to the soil to accomplish this. Thyme should only need a moderate amount of fertilizer. One option is a diluted fish emulsion. Younger thyme plants have difficulty competing with weeds for nutrients, so be sure to weed carefully in the beginning. You can use mulch to help prevent weeds and make your job a little easier.
One of the wonderful benefits of thyme is that it is available for use year round. You can enjoy it fresh or dry it and store it in an airtight container for up to six months. If you enjoy it fresh in small quantities, you can harvest year round.
If you wish to harvest and dry your thyme, cut the plant 1.5-2” from the ground right before the flowers bloom. Thyme leaves have the strongest flavor right before the flowers bloom. (It will regrow. Do not recut until warmer weather returns in spring or summer.) Dry in a cool place, either on newspaper or a thin screen. Once dry, the leaves are easy to remove from the stems.
Whether you use fresh thyme year round or harvest the whole plant from time to time, you should prune back about one third to one half the plant every year in spring to keep the stems from becoming too woody. Never cut into the leafless, woody stems.
For one of my favorite recipes, you mix fresh thyme, rosemary, garlic and salt together, then cover both sides of a chicken. You can either let that set a minimum of four hours for extra flavor, or cook immediately in either the oven or over a grill. Alternatively, you can also add lemon or pepper.
Thyme is also great as a tea when mixed with mint. Thyme is a versatile herb and goes well with a variety of foods, including chicken, potatoes, lamb, tomatoes, soups, beef, carrots, onions, pork, fish, goat cheese and so much more. I’m sure you’ll enjoy your thyme plant for years to come.
More on Thyme:
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