So I didn't know much about planting seeds a few weeks ago and tried to start my own herbs . The thyme is going off like crazy, but now knowing the RIGHT way to do things I'm a little worried how to proceed. When I planted them I scattered the whole packet, not paying any attention to spacing them out. Now that they are sprouting like crazy, I'm a little worried about seperating them out. Does anyone have advice for me so that I don't ruin what progress I have made?
I'm assuming you've planted them outside? I would imagine that they should be fine, wait until they're big enough to separate...from what I've heard on here, two sets of leaves. But, even if you don't thin them out, they should do fine; some may die off, but you should have quite a few that make it. Also, thyme spreads like crazy(I think most herbs do) so if you do have them outside already and don't want them to take over, you might have to do something. Good luck! I started some herbs inside and managed to kill them all off :( Except for a few I had taken to my mom...hers are doing fine. I think its because she has a really sunny window in her house, and all I get in mine is indirect sun.
Actually I started these indoors. Our last frost date here is May 31st, so I was trying to get a head start. I am planning to move these to my south-facing window box when they get a little bigger. Am I going to have a crowding problem before that? I want to make sure the roots are in good condition for a transplant.
What did you start them in? If you started them in larger containers, I bet they'd be fine(this coming from the person who killed her own, so take this in stride). If they are in smaller containers(like the seed starter flats) they recommended cutting all but the best plant down to the dirt in each cell. You won't need a lot of thyme plants to cover an area since they spread, and I'd imagine you should at least get a few good ones, even if all goes bad. Since you haven't planted them outside, you may want to look into doing something to contain them once they're planted outside, otherwise they can be invasive(unless you want them to take over). Last year I dug up a 12 ' circle to make a wagon wheel herb garden(I get crazy ideas sometimes). I think I have to redo it all because it didn't winter very well...and I have two toddlers who were "helping" me with it last year. But, I've been told there's some sort of netting that you bury under the ground before you plant herbs to keep them from taking over everything. I've also heard that you can plant the whole pot and all in the ground if you want to interplant herbs with flowers or vegetables(mint especially). I had checked out a book called The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Edward C. Smith(I've been preaching about this book in other forums...lol). I found it very informative. It tells you how to start seeds inside. It has everything from when to start seeds, to what exactly what temperature each plant germinates...and what temp. they need after they germinate to grow. It has a breakdown of almost every veggie and herb and how to grow them(starting inside vs. direct sow). He also talks about what veggies and herbs(even flowers nasturtium, marigolds, etc) do well being planted by each other and which ones you should keep away from each other. I found it very interesting. I just wish I had checked it out again before I started my seeds instead of relying on memory! Oh yes, and I think the author of the book lived up in your time zone, so he talks a lot about gardening in your area(I think, I'm bad a geography too!). Here's a link to all of the different thymes I found here at DG. I've never posted a link, so hopefully it will work. If not, and if you haven't already looked it up, try searching for it in the plant files...that may help you out a lot more than I could!
Kristi - Thanks for all the info. I'm going to look that veggie book up at the library. I planted the thyme in a 4inch clay pot and plan to move it outside into a wooden hanging window box, so I shouldn't have to worry about invasiveness. How big is big enough though? I know it would spread if I let it, but I don't want to keep it from producing well if its too small?
Here's a link to a site about growing Thyme. It suggests spacing 12-24", but I don't know if they could be a little closer in a pot. More than likely, you have a good number of pots possible out of it. here's the site:
I have been growing thyme for years, both as an herb for cooking and for a filler between stepping stones. I've also used it to fill in between bulbs and larger plants. I've never thought of it as invasive 'though it does spread. That is one of the things I have liked about it and it's always been one of my favorite plants. I love stepping on it or working around it because of it's wonderful scent.
Even though you said your seeds were very close together, you should be able to take little bits of it with the roots like grass plugs and put them where you want them.
You can contain herbs outside by just using them. I give away quite a bit each year and we use quite a bit. I have an open invitation to all the neighbors to just come get what they need. They are spread among the flowers along the edges of our garden paths--and I really love them.
I just broke out some of the seeds I've bought...and found Thyme! I had forgotten I had bought it...so now, I guess all of this will help me too. Especially since I killed of my mint and chives, hopefully this will do better.
hehehe...well, I just checked them today( I had shoved the seed starting flat out of site since I thought I had killed everything) and they were still growing! They had all shriveled up and/or fallen over when I had assumed they were dead. When I looked, there were more seedlings...they're still very small though...any ideas on how not to kill them for sure this time?