Plant of the Day(POD) – Lemon Thyme
Plant of the Day(POD)- Lemon Thyme
Native to the Mediterranean, Thyme compliments and accentuates the flavors of Italian cuisine. Playing well with Mediterranean staples like olive oil, tomatoes and garlic, Thyme is used extensively and generously in Italian cooking.
Thyme is a very hardy perennial preferring dry and bare soil for optimal flavor and growth. You can easily rot the plant away by watering on the leaves or rotting the roots, keep watering to a minimum. Thyme can be grown from seed or from cuttings. As with most herbs, cuttings tend to be much more productive in growth and maturity. Thyme is a fairly small plant, 6-10″ in height with a fairly wide base. If you choose to plant from seed, keep spacing at a minimum of 6″.
Thyme tends to become woody with age. To prevent this, prune aggressively in early spring after the frost has passed. You will also need to shape and tend to the plant after flowering in the late summer. If part of the plant begins to die off, simply trim it away as close to the base as possible. Other then that, with regular cuttings for consumption, your thyme plant should be maintenance free.
Ants tend to build their nests near thyme plants just check for them regularly and keep the situation under control. Additionally, keep the leaves dry when watering to prevent mold and fungus growth and water deeply as opposed to frequently. Thyme can be very susceptible to root rot.
To harvest Lemon Thyme, simply cut the stems with the leaves to the desired amount you need. Thyme can be used fresh or dry and can be stored dry. Lemon Thyme is a complimentary spice that can be used with sauces, tomatoes, bread, olive oil, meats or even jellies!