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Thyme - a homegrown herb that will last you all year!
Member Name: karlsm93
Advantages: Easy to grow, can be dried easily to last all year round
Recently I have done a few reviews on some of the herbs that we have growing in our garden, that even I, who am not green fingered at all, have managed to have a part in, both in the upkeep and the cooking. As well as growing chives and mint, another herb that we have every year is thyme, and part of the reason I particulary love this herb is that when the fresh herb itself is finished, you can dry it out and it will keep you with a supply of thyme the rest of the year.
Like other herbs, there are several varieties to choose from including orange thyme, lemon thyme as well as the common or garden thyme, which is what we grow. This is a popular variety to grow mainly because it is used so much in cooking. The leaves are like needles, with a pinky/purpley flowers at the top particularly in the early summer months, however you do not eat the flowers on this particular herbs, although the bees are certainly attracted to them.
Thyme can be planted in both the ground and in pots, and it is the latter in which we grow it. Within the pot, it is important to make sure there is sufficient drainage, and therefore you need to put in some small stones or bits of broken tiles, before filling the pot or tub with potting compost.
Thyme is classified as a 'hardy perennials' meaning it will come again every year, however if there is a chance of a harsh winter, like last year, it is best to store this plant away in a greenhouse or polytunnel. Although this plant will come again each year, it is best to replace a plant every three years, by taking cuttings between the summer months and into early Autumn, as they can get quite woody at the bottom.
This particular herb does not require a lot of watering, except in very dry spells of weather or when it is first being planted, after that it is not necessary to water this herb, nor is it necessary to feed it, although my husband has given it some feed on occasions.
Last year was the first year that we decided to have a go at drying out the herb. Most of the fresh herb was used in cooking, and I particular like it over roasted pototoes and vegetables, but the extra we brought in to dry out, which was a fairly easy process, and worked very well, keeping the fragranct scent. To dry out the thyme, all you need to do is to 'dip' the stem into boiling water for a second and then straight into cold water to preserve. If possible, you should then hang these upside down, however, we had no facility to do so, and simply had to lay the thyme out on baking trays in an airy place, which was away from sunlight. When the herb had completely dried, it was only a matter of stripping off the leaves and then storing them in a jar. We were very impressed at how well this herb dried out, and will certainly be doing it again this year.
Again, like some of the other herbs I have reviewed, it potted up properly with good drainage, then this is a very easy herb to grow. If you are prepared to spend an afternoon drying it out, you will be able, like us, to enjoy your own home grown thyme all year round, with very little hassle.
Summary: Another easy herb that can potentially last you all year
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