How to grow and harvest common thyme

Common thyme

Common thyme (Thymus vulgaris ) is a medicinal plant that has been used by mankind for thousands of years. If you like thyme, you can grow it in your garden easily. It is a small shrub that reaches a height of up to 30 cm. Thyme is usually grown for medicinal and culinary purposes. Interesting facts: Roman soldiers bathed in herbal infusions of thyme to gain strength, the Greeks used it as a diuretic and thyme was grown and widely used in medieval monasteries too.

Growing thyme

Thyme likes sunny and warm places. It prefers drained (slightly moist) calcium-rich soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Too wet, too dry or acidic soil, will not do. A good advice is to mix soil with organic fertilizer before planting. Thyme is usually sown directly from April to May, but you can also pre-grow it at home to speed up your harvest.

Common thyme

Photo: Pixabay

Growing thyme in your garden

Distance between rows should be 40 cm and the sowing depth should range from 0.5 to 1 cm. As soon as thyme germinates and grows you need to take care of it. Weeding and soil loosening is very important. Do not let the soil to dry out too much and as already mentioned do not overdo watering either. It may be a bit tricky. Do not forget to cover thyme before the winter sets in and if you planted in pots move them to a cool room.


Thyme is used in fresh or dried form. Drying is simple. You can dry it by hanging several stems upside down in a dry but ventilated room and wait few days. After a few days (when leaves crumble to dust when touched), you can seal thyme in an airtight container. You should collect leaves before flowering and you can delay the flowering period by clipping the tops of the plant. You also need to harvest in time – as soon as the temperature drops below zero you cannot harvest. This will make the plant more resistant to cold temperatures in the next year.

Preview photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *