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Herb of the Month: Thyme


 Thyme from my herb garden (c) Alice Henneman (flickr.com/photos/alicehenneman/7788318796) CC By 2.0

 

Herb of the Month: Thyme

This delicious, perennial herb is widely used to create a host of culinary treats, and it also has an exciting past. Once associated with bravery, thyme was regularly carried into battle by Roman soldiers and then, later on, by medieval knights. In the medieval period it was also used as a supposed antidote to poison and even to ward off the plague. And there may even be a legitimate reason for this, as a compound derived from thyme is now used as a medicine.  .

The herb itself contains thymol, a chemical with strong antimicrobial effects. Evidence shows that it can act as a fungicide, as an antibacterial and can be used to help treat drug-resistant disease when used along with with antibiotics.

We have a fairly wide range of thymes instore, though availability can vary, that usually includes: common, lemon, lemon varigated, silver and wooly.

 

IMG_537 (c) Lance Fisher (flickr.com/photos/lancefisher/649385074) CC BY-SA 2.0 

 

Other uses

The flowers are great for bees, and the leaves are thought to help reduce the problem of varroa mite (a blood sucking pest that harms honey bees) so thyme is often planted around hives.

There are several creeping varieties that make an excellent groundcover.

Used regularly in French, Cajun and Mediterannean cuisine.

 

Position

Plant in full sun, in free-draining soil rich in organic matter.

Mix in compost and sheep pellets with your topsoil before planting.

Water in before planting.

 

Care

Feed every month or so with Ocean Grow to keep it happy and healthy.

May need watering through the drier part of the year (though in general is very hardy and drought resistant).