Thyme is a common herb in the herb garden, and for good reason. Here are six reasons why you should add thyme to your garden.
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Thyme is a mediterranean plant in the mint family. Whether you like creeping thyme, common (English) thyme, lemon thyme or French thyme, you will find a variety to suit your needs. It is cold-hardy, and drought- and wet- weather tolerant.
6 Reasons to Grow Thyme
1: Thyme is easy to grow
Thyme doesn’t take a lot of care. I gravitate toward plants that don’t need much attention, how about you?
Harvest often to keep it naturally pruned, otherwise cut woody stems back by half each fall.
2: Thyme is Good medicine
Thyme is often used in natural remedies, and is especially helpful with common cold symptoms, coughs, and bronchial infections. Check out my sage and thyme elixir, which is easy to make at home.
Thyme is a strong antiseptic for cuts, scrapes, acne or sore muscles. While you can buy thyme essential oil or natural products with the active ingredient thymol in it, try making your own thyme infused oil, which can be used as a culinary oil in the kitchen, directly on the skin as a moisturizer or disinfecting ointment, or in a salve.
3: Thyme’s Culinary deliciousness
Thyme can be used both fresh and dried in the kitchen. As a culinary herb it is popularly used in a dried poultry herb blend along with rosemary and sage. Or try roasting thyme with potatoes. Mmmm.
4: Thyme is a Host plant for beneficial insects and pollinators
Thyme is especially favored by lacewings as habitat for laying eggs. Lacewing adults feed only on flower nectar, but lacewing larvae are voracious predators of aphids, whiteflies, cabbage moth caterpillars, and many others. For this reason, I enjoy planting thyme all around the edges of the vegetable garden. Since it’s low-growing, I can easily reach over it.
5. Thyme is a Pest repellent
The strong scent of thyme will confuse pests sniffing out delicious crops, so plant it around the perimeter of the vegetable garden or under fruit trees.
6. Thyme Mitigates erosion
Recently I discovered the erosion mitigation benefits of thyme quite by accident. I decided to transplant a one-year-old thyme plant to a different part of the garden. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the 2-feet deep roots!
Thyme has a clumping habit with taproot tendencies, and because of this I would recommend growing it on a slope or in other erosion-prone areas. Just be sure the site has good drainage, as thyme cannot tolerate waterlogged areas.
Thyme is a perennial, so starting from seed will be a slow practice of patience. But if you’re short on cash and don’t want to buy thyme seedlings, growing from seed is easy. Plus, you can be sure your plants were grown without chemicals.
Enjoy this multi-functional, beautiful plant in your garden!
Need more ideas for growing and using herbs?
Are you looking for strategies for your permaculture garden? You’ll find loads of information just like this in my book, The Suburban Micro-Farm.
I’m curious to know how you use thyme?