Growing Thyme

Thyme- A versatile herb for pots, border planting and great in the kitchen. Tips on how to grow.

Thyme Lawn, Pots, Border
04th July, 2024

Thymes are one of the most versatile herbs, pretty to look at, good for borders or containers, and great in the kitchen.

We sell a wide range from plain-leaved to variegated, those that make small bushes and others that spread across the ground. All varieties are edible.

Thyme is a Mediterranean herb and so thrives in a sunny, well-drained spot though it doesn’t like to get bone dry. Some of the variegated varieties are also best put in part-shade as they can bleach with too much sun.

One of the questions we’ve been asked most recently is why thyme has died over winter. It’s probably down to two reasons. Firstly, like us, it hasn’t enjoyed the unbelievably wet weather. This is particularly a problem if you garden on heavy soil.

The second mistake many gardeners make is cutting back thyme too hard. It’s a woody perennial and is always going to have that woody appearance. To keep it looking neat, trim it lightly after flowering, taking care not to cut back into the woody stems.

If your plants get past their best, thyme is easy to propagate as stems will root when they spread and touch earth. This makes cuttings simple, just ensure you use compost with a lot of added grit.

You can use thyme in dedicated herb gardens, in borders – it makes a great edging plant – or in containers. 

If you’re growing in a container, use a gritty compost mix and do raise the container off the ground with pot feet to ensure good drainage. Also take care when watering. It should be done onto the soil from the side of the plant rather than onto the leaves, as watering in the same spot on top of the leaves can cause the plant to rot.

Thyme is also lovely grown in the gaps between paving slabs – make sure you choose a creeping variety such as ‘Woolly’, ‘Caborn Wine and Roses’ or ‘Snowdrift’.

Alternatively, what about a thyme lawn? It’ll give you a wonderful fragrant surface and the pollinators love it.

When it comes to cooking, we have a few favourites. ‘Tabor’ is really easy to pick as it has large leaves. ‘Lemon’ Thyme is great with chicken and adds a wonderful citrus note.

And for year-round interest, we love ‘Sparkling Bright’ whose variegated leaves will brighten any winter day.

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