Thyme is found extensively in many home organic vegetable gardens, it is both a decorative and a functional plant, and is used widely as a culinary herb. Thyme, belonging to the mint family, originated in Southern Europe, and today it is cultivated in most countries with moderate climates.
Thyme is a perennial shrub. It has numerous, round woody stems 10 – 20 centimeters (4 – 8 inches) high, which are covered with small, gray-green to green leaves. It has small pale pink to purple flowers and bears quadruplet fruits. Thyme has a pleasant aroma and a sharp, spicy taste.
Cultivation and Harvesting:
Thyme should be sown mid March or early April, when the weather is dry and mild. For optimal germination these organic herb seeds should be sown indoors and then transplanted to a permanent location.
The seeds should be planted about 0.6 centimeters (1/4 inch) deep in rows 40 to 60 centimeters (16 to 24 inches) apart. When the seedlings reach 5 to 8 centimeters (2 to 3 inches) they can be transplanted.
Thyme can be picked when needed at any time of the growing season. You don’t need to worry about picking too much at once because Thyme keeps growing back. If you would like to dry your Thyme, it should be harvested when the plant begins to flower.
The Thyme herb is used, both fresh and dried, in cooking and the essential oil is used for medicinal purposes.
Thyme has Antiseptic, antispasmodic, tonic and carminative properties. It has been used to treat sinus inflammation, asthma, indigestion, headaches, colds, flu, bronchitis, infections, sore throat, fevers, loss of appetite, to lower cholesterol, and as a liver tonic and digestive.