Thyme, with the scientific name Thymus vulgaris , is a perennial aromatic plant native to Europe whose cultivation and use is widely extended due to its multiple culinary, medicinal and ornamental properties. It is a very common condiment in Mediterranean cuisine, and its pleasant, intense and characteristic smell makes it highly appreciated in interiors, gardens and orchards of all kinds, even when it is not intended to be harvested. It is precisely this smell that provides one of its great benefits outdoors: the ability to keep a large number of pests away from the garden or garden.
If you want to learn how to plant thyme at home, join us in this article where you will find a very useful practical guide.
When to plant thyme
The best time to plant thyme is in spring . Depending on the local climate, we will leave at the beginning of spring if we are in warm areas or at the end if the weather is cold. The interesting thing is to make sure that the seeds are in a sufficiently warm soil as soon as possible. If you choose to plant thyme cuttings , the best time is also spring.
How to plant potted thyme
If you are going to plant your thyme in a pot , you have several options at your disposal. You can sow from thyme seeds or use thyme cuttingsOr, you can even get a somewhat grown plant to plant it in a larger pot. If you choose to sow, keep in mind that aromatic plants need stable conditions to germinate and, even then, the process can take more than a month. For this you will need to keep the pot at a temperature above 20 ºC and with a high level of humidity. Taking this into account, it is more practical and faster to use a cutting, but since we cannot always have access to an adult thyme plant, we will consider both options. If you choose to buy a small thyme plant, you will only have to worry about transplanting it at home, so it is not a problem.
Follow these simple steps to plant thyme or sow its seeds:
- Prepare the pot: In any case, use a container that is deep enough, as thyme develops quite deep roots. Do not choose pots with less than 20 cm deep. Regarding the material, the ideal are clay or ceramic pots, since, being a porous material, it favors better circulation of both air and humidity, helping to improve drainage. It is also necessary that the container has drainage holes, as this plant does not tolerate excess moisture in the soil or puddles.
- Prepare the substrate: for the substrate, this plant is not very demanding. A universal mix will be more than enough, although if you enrich it with coconut fiber and humus or compost, you will make it lighter and more nutritious. Coconut fiber is especially important, or some other material that improves the drainage of the substrate, so important for this plant.
- Sow or plant the thyme: Now sow the seeds without burying them too deep and spreading them regularly. Then water abundantly this first time. Then keep the temperature and humidity until they germinate, but always without flooding. If you have prepared a cutting, you can help yourself as a homemade rooting agent to improve its chances. After this, it reduces the risks considerably.
How to plant thyme in soil
If you are going to plant outdoors, whether they are seeds or if, preferably, you transplant from a pot or cuttings prepared indoors, there are two important characteristics to take into account: the pH and the drainage. Take note of these steps to plant thyme in soil :
- Work the soil to loosen it, remove weeds and aerate it before planting because, as we have indicated before, drainage is very important.
- Measure the pH of the soil and regulate it if necessary. Thyme needs alkaline soils, with a pH between 7.0 and 7.5, because if the soil is too acidic, you will not get good results.
- Add just a little fertilizer like worm castings or compost, moisten overnight, and plant in the morning.
- If you sow thyme seeds , respect about 50 cm between different rows, distributing them evenly, as in the pot, and less than 2 cm deep. If you are planting a thyme cutting or a small plant, try to place it in a hole 20 cm or more deep and cover well with soil, making sure that the plant is firm.
- Water a little after sowing, planting or transplanting.
As an extra tip, when the plant is about 15 cm tall, you can prune the weaker and smaller seedlings or stems at ground level so that the strong ones get the nutrients and do not compete with each other.
Thyme care – practical guide
These are the basic care that thyme requires:
- Light: this plant needs a good amount of direct light per day. Place it in a sunny area of your garden or orchard, and if you have it indoors, put it next to a window where it receives at least 6 hours of light per day.
- Irrigation: as we have already said, thyme is very adapted to drought and does not tolerate excess humidity. With a fortnightly watering in the warm months and monthly in the cold, it will be sufficient in most climates.
- Soil and substrate: it does not need to be very rich, but it is important that it is not acidic and light.
- Subscriber: a contribution of organic fertilizer in the growing season will be enough.