One thing about thyme is that it reminds me of my favorite food, pizza. Just the smell of fresh thyme is enough to get me thinking about making a pizza or even for cooking up some spaghetti. And it is so useful for so many things besides pizza and spaghetti. It is an herb that can be used in so many things from sweet to sour to hot. This is one of the popular herbs used during Thanksgiving to rub on the turkey and put in the dressing. I am seriously getting hungry just thinking about all this food. But is it easy to grow? Yes, and actually many people say it grows like a weed.
Thyme Grows Like A Weed
There are more than 50 different varieties of thyme and they each have their own flavor and fragrance. There is even wild thyme, which some people actually complain about it being in their garden. It is actually called Thymus serpyllum, which is also known as lemon thyme or creeping thyme. It is a perennial and a carpet grower that spreads like a blanket so I can see it being an issue if you are trying to grow your prized lilies or something. But maybe you should just move the flowers and let the thyme grow wild. Share it with others and let everyone have some thyme. You know those Chia Pets? That is kind of what growing thyme is like. You can literally toss some seeds in a cup of dirt and add water and you will have some growth in just a week or so. But that is not the best way to grow it, of course.
The Best Types of Thyme
With so many different kinds, you have a lot to choose from and it pretty much depends on your taste buds and what you want to use it for. However, the most common and popular five types of thyme to grow include:
- Creeping thyme is a low grower that is only about three inches tall. The flowers are typically white, lavender, or magenta and is very pretty and savory.
- Caraway thyme has light pink flowers and smells like caraway seeds.
- Orange thyme is a favorite because it smells more like oranges than lemons and can be used in dessert dishes.
- Golden lemon thyme really smells like lemon but also smells a bit minty. The leaves are golden in color and they grow well.
- Wooly thyme is not really for cooking but is used for ground cover and medicinal purposes.
Thyme as an Herbal Medicine
All types of thyme can be used for herbal remedies like treating the flu or a cold. It is the main ingredient in old fashioned chicken soup that people typically give to people with colds. Not only are they actually good for you but the scent can actually help you feel better. Just like with any other supplemental oil, thyme can relax you or even boost your serotonin levels to make you feel happier. Also, a professor at Cornell University found that certain spices like thyme were able to stop the growth of at least 25% of food poisoning bacteria. In fact, some were even able to kill up to 75% of the bacteria that they were exposed to. Although garlic, onion, and oregano were the only ones found to kill 100% of the bacteria, Thyme was found to kill between 75% and 90% of certain bacteria that are known to cause foodborne illnesses like food poisoning.
Growing Thyme Indoors
You can even grow your thyme indoors so you can have them fresh all year long if you do not want to dry it and put it in a container. Although, dried thyme seems more flavorful if you ask me. That is just my opinion and others will argue that there is nothing like fresh thyme. I am just used to dried herbs rather than fresh, I suppose. Since these plants are easy to grow and need very little maintenance, go ahead and plant some seeds in potting soil in a nice draining pot and place it by the window. Give it a bit of water once or twice a week as needed and it will grow just fine.
Sharing Your Herbs
No matter what you choose to do with all that thyme you have on your hands, don’t forget to share it. Whether you have too much or not. Because sharing your goodies with others means they will share their goodies with you too. You can dry them and grind them up, and then put them in a nice jar, or add fresh thyme to some olive oil with a ribbon to use as a gift for a friend or relative. Or just bunch them into a little bundle and add the bundle to a nice card or package. You do not even have to do all that. Just give them one of the plants you have growing, so they can continue to grow their own. They will thank you for it and maybe they will make some pizza and share it with you.