Thyme Herb: The Flavor Remains When Added Early

Thyme is a hardy perennial herb with a distinctive aroma. It is widely used to add flavor to vegetables, tomato sauces, roasts, poultry, sausages, seafood dishes, wild game, salads, and teas.

It retains its flavor when added early in dishes that require prolonged cooking. The aromatic herb adds flavor and essence to butter and oils.

You can add this plant to your indoor herb garden collection by starting from seeds or by using transplants from the garden center. The seeds should germinate in 10-14 days and mature in 70 days. The quickest way to get started is to use transplants from garden center.

How to Grow Thyme Indoors

Starting by seeds: You can buy prepackaged herb kits with everything you need to start by seed. Sow seeds shallowly (1/4" deep) in light soil that is rich in organic matter in small pots or starter trays. Keep plants in moist clean soil and place in a warm, well-lit area of the kitchen.

Starting by transplants: You can purchase young potted plants at the garden center or you can buy them through a catalog. Then repot your plants into a larger pot that is at least 6" - preferably terracotta/clay. You must repot them within a week to prevent plants becoming root-bound, resulting stunted growth.

Soil: You must use a well-drained soil mixture that contains equal parts soil, sand, and peat moss. Always use a commercial potting mix that is sterilized and not yard dirt.

Watering: Water by thoroughly drenching plants, let water drain out and empty. Do not leave plants standing in water because this will cause the roots to rot. Let soil dry out between watering.

Lighting: Give the plant good light, a sunny south or west-facing window that gets a minimum of six hours of sun a day, or supplement with 12 hours of artificial light.

Fertilizer: Apply monthly with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer or fish emulsion. keep at a temperature around 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and a little cooler at night.

Containers: Terra-cotta pots are ideal for this annual herb, but you can use any kind of container you like. Containers should be 8 to 10 inches deep and have several holes in the bottom for drainage.

Harvesting: Snip off stems and leaves just before the plant begins to blossom. Dry stems and strip leaves and store in a sealed container or Mix clean chopped leaves with light vegetable, canola or grapeseed oil and fill ice cube trays two-thirds full with mixture and freeze. Store frozen cubes in freezer-safe bags. Frozen thyme will retain its flavor up to one year.

Click on this link to find books with detailed information on herbs concerning the origin, care, use, and storage. Plus mouth-watering recipes that bring the herbs from the garden to the table.

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