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Introduce scenery from the Greek Isles to your garden with lush plantings of thyme. This sun-loving, drought-tolerant herb carpets hillsides in Greece, thriving in well-drained soil. Drought conditions concentrate the aromatic oils in thyme, so the drier your growing conditions, the better. In your garden, tucking plants into raised beds or mulching them with gravel will give thyme the conditions that cause it to thrive and be flavorful.
The flowers beckon honeybees, so add thyme near vegetable gardens to assure an ample supply of pollinators. Shear plants back after bloom, cutting off about a third of stems. With dainty proportions, thyme suits containers or the tight growing quarters between stepping stones.
Thyme introduces a savory flavor to dishes, such as roasted vegetables, soups, and sauces. It is also a key ingredient in bouquet garni, fines herbes, and herbes de Provence. Use thyme to enhance poultry, beef, pork, or seafood. This herb also adds a kick to cheese and egg creations. Thyme's oils take time to be infused into dishes; add thyme early in the cooking process to release the greatest flavor.
how to grow Thyme
Gather fresh thyme leaves as needed throughout the growing season. To dry thyme, cut stems after plants have flowered, waiting until new growth produces stems 3-4 inches long. Snip stems early in the day, after dew has dried, gathering stems into small bundles. Hang stems upside down in a dark, well-ventilated place. Check leaves for dryness; fully dry leaves crumble when pressed between fingers. Strip dried leaves from stems, and store in airtight jars.