New World Little Gardens

thyme pattern
thyme

Thyme

Thymus vulgaris

With lots of sun and good drainage, this 'English Winter' thyme will flourish in your herb garden. Its little leaves are a flavoursome and versatile addition to meats, soups, stews and vegetables.

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Getting started

  • Put the soil tablet on a saucer and pour 50ml of water over it.
  • Put on gloves and mix the water into the soil with your hands to make a wet mixture. Watch the soil expand.
  • Use most of your soil to fill up the pot to around 2cm below the top.
  • Now place your seed mat on top of the soil (take care not to press down too hard).
  • Now use the rest of your soil mixture to cover the seed mat.
  • Remember to wash your hands when you’re done!

How to keep your Little Garden healthy

  • Place the pot on a clean saucer in a place with enough light, but not directly in the sun.
  • Check the soil in the morning, and before bed. If the soil feels dry and crumbly, pour a small amount of clean water over the surface.
  • Within 2-3 weeks you should see a little plant appear from the soil. That means the seeds have germinated and will be ready soon to move into a bigger pot or garden.
  • If more than one little plant grows, you can thin your thyme seedling by choosing the strongest-looking one and removing the others.

When your seedling is ready to go in the garden

  • When your thyme is about as tall as your hand (in approx. 1 month), it’s ready to shift into the garden or pot.
  • Get your thyme used to life outside: you can harden off your thyme seedling by putting it in a warm and sheltered spot for 1-2 hours a day and return inside for the night. Do this for 4-5 days, leaving it outside for a little longer each day before you shift it out into the garden forever.

Planting best practice

  • Thyme hails from the sunny Mediterranean where it grows on dry, rocky hillsides, so it needs full sun with good drainage
  • If your soil is heavy clay, grow thyme in a pot.

Look after your plant while it’s growing

  • Water your thyme seedling when it’s young, but when the plants are well-established they should only need watering when the weather is particularly dry.

Harvest time

  • 2-3 months after planting, your thyme should be ready to harvest. For best flavour, harvest just before the plant flowers. Cut or pinch-off individual sprigs halfway down the stem.
  • Regular harvesting will encourage new growth.
  • Thyme contains a natural ingredient which is good for sore throats and coughs, so if you start to get the sniffles, add a couple of sprigs of thyme to a lemon and honey drink.

Pro tip:

  • Keep established plants on the dry side.

Watch out

  • Thyme is relatively untroubled by pests in the garden.
  • In heavy, water-logged soils it can be prone fungal infections which cause it to rot, so make sure the soil has good drainage.

Thyme in your gardens