Another variety of Thyme we having growing in the herb spiral at Booyong is Pizza thyme (also known as Italian thyme).
Growing – It is a perennial plant with deep green oval shaped leaves and pink flowers emerge in spring /summer. This herb reaches a height of 20cm.
Care – For better growth, grow in full sun in enriched soil with compost and decomposed manure. Feeding is generally not required. Having said that seaweed solution in Spring or after flowering can greatly benefit the plant. Water in very hot and dry weather, as required.
Pruning – Prune in Autumn, after flowering to keep plant healthy.
Companion Planting – Attracts beneficial insects and pollinators to garden, bees especially love the flowers.
Pests and Diseases – Overwatering can lead to fungal problems, otherwise pest free.
Harvest – Dry Thyme to use in cooking and store in an airtight container out of the sun. It tastes allot better fresh so harvest fresh thyme as required, wrapping excess in a plastic, and storing it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Propagation – When pruning in Autumn, cuttings can be propagated by taking a stem, removing half the leaves, adding root hormone to the tip and placing in soil. In addition, branches will spread in the soil and generate roots that can then be replanted or shared.
Health Benefits – Thyme is said to have antiseptic qualities and you can drink it as a tea, especially good when you have a cold. Just steep common or lemon thyme in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, strain and add some honey or lemon juice to taste.
Eating – Pizza thyme has a strong flavour and scent of thyme and oregano. The leaves can be used in any recipe calling for thyme and it has a strong flavour making it suitable for pizza and pasta. We often sprinkle it over our home-made pizzas at home and it is delicious!