Softly mounding plants of cascading gray-green thyme leaves are a handsome accent in every cook’s garden. Intensely aromatic thyme is indispensable in all kinds of savory dishes throughout the classic Mediterranean cuisines of France, Italy and Greece and enhances both Cajun and Creole food. Use the spicy little leaves every day to combine and blend beautifully with the flavors of lemon, garlic, basil and parsley for seasoning vegetables, seafood and poultry. Thyme is easy to freeze or dry.
BEST TO PLANT INDOORS
Sow thyme in early spring in a container of seed starting mix. Cover seeds very lightly and keep evenly moist but not soggy until seedlings emerge in 14 to 21 days. Provide a good light source. When seedlings are 2 inches tall, gradually acclimate to outdoor conditions and transplant clusters of 3-4 seedlings 8-10 inches apart.
Given a sunny location with good drainage, easy-growing thyme plants are reliable productive and long-lived garden perennials. Little lilac flowers bloom in midsummer; cut back foliage halfway when the blossoms fade to keep plants looking fresh. Cut leafy thyme sprigs as needed once plants are well established.