Thyme

Quick Reference

Harvest Type:  Continuous harvest

Transplant/Direct Sow:  Transplant

When to Plant:  Indoors 8-10 weeks before the last average frost date.

Transplant when the soil is 70°F.

Days to Germinate:  14-21 days

Days to Maturity:  3-4 years.   You can snip leaves when the plants are 8-12”.

Planting Depth:  ¼” deep

Germination Temp:  65-70°F

Seed Spacing:  Plant 5-8 together.  Thin plants to 1-2' apart.

Light:  Full sun

Soil pH:  6.0-8.0 pH

Water:  ½” of water per week

Soil Temperature:  65-75°F

Fertilizer:  Compost occasionally

Rotation:  Not necessary

PLANTING AND CARE

Harvest Type

Thyme is a continuous crop that may die back in the winter and come again in spring. Most plants last 3-5 years.

Transplant / Direct Sow

You can transplant thyme or direct sow. It is much more challenging to direct sow thyme than to transplant seedlings.

When to Plant:

Transplant thyme in the garden or a container once all chances of a hard frost have passed. If planting seeds, do so once the nighttime soil temperature has reached 55°F at night. Start seeds indoors 6-10 weeks before your average last frost date.

Days to germinate

It takes thyme seeds 14-21 days to germinate.

Days to maturity

It takes about 3-4 years for a thyme plant to fully mature. You can snip leaves from it once the plant is 8-12 inches tall.

Planting Depth

Plant seeds at 1/4" deep.

Germination Temperature Range

Thyme will germinate with soil temperatures in the 65-70°F range.

Spacing Between Plants

Plant thyme seeds 12-24" apart. Thyme will creep into a space that is 12x12" to 24x24". They are perfect for containers as they will dangle.

Growing conditions

Thyme almost loves to struggle. It is a Mediterranean plant that thrives in a long, dry, hot summer and a short, cool, wet season. The soil should be well-drained so that water does not sit around the roots. Water the plants with 1/2" of water - about 8 gallons, one per week or in short amounts if the temperature is over 100°F. Thyme does not require much fertilizer and is pretty happy in poor soil.

Companion Plants

Eggplants, shallots, onions, strawberries, and potatoes are excellent companion plants for thyme.

Rotation

It is not necessary to rotate thyme plants. They live for 3-5 years.

Anticipated yields

Plan your garden yield at 1-3 thyme plants family of four. Thyme is easy to dry, so plan to keep the plants trimmed. Expect about 1-2 cups of fresh leaves in the first year per plant. Thyme is a cut-and-come-again plant.

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