A herb everyone should have in their garden is Common Thyme (Thyme vulgaris) and we are so glad it grows well at Booyong.
Growing – This hardy evergreen perennial herb will grow all year round, to 25cm high and will generally spread just a little. Thyme is frost and drought tolerant and can be grown in pots or in the garden and make a great border plant. Plant in free draining soil in all climates.
Small white flowers as shown in this picture will emerge in Spring and early summer.
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 and to contain spread.
Companion Planting – Attracts beneficial insects and pollinators to garden.
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. 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 – Thyme is commonly used in a variety of cuisines, including French, Mediterranean and Italian. It also goes well with meat, beans and lentils, eggs, potatoes and cheese.
You can add fresh Thyme using the leaves or by adding the whole stem (just be sure to remove it before serving and it can withstand long cooking times. Also, if you use dried thyme, use a little less as the flavour is strong.
Zaatar Recipe – We love cooking with Zaatar and I will ensure we make some when we next dry Thyme. It’s great over roast cauliflower and chickpeas and delicious on a simple pizza base with added cheese.
¼ cup Sumac
3 tablespoons Dried Thyme
2 tablespoons Sesame Seeds
2 tablespoons Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Marjoram
You can also add some lemon zest, prior to cooking.