Recipes @ Grow Thyme in Your Garden

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Grow Thyme in Your Garden

A member of the mint family, thyme adds a charming look to any herb garden. Its small leaves, wirey stems and creeping growing habit make it a perfect herb to grow either indoors or out.Here are some of varieties of thyme used in cooking:
  • Common thyme, or English thyme, has stems that grow about 1 foot tall. Common thyme has a soft, floral fragrance. It produces tiny lavender or pink flowers in the middle of the summer.
  • Lemon thyme is a low-growing, evergreen perennial herb that has a soft, lemony fragrance.
  • Argenteus, or silver thyme, has tiny silver-and-green variegated leaves with a light, lemony scent.
  • Nutmeg thyme is a low-growing, creeping variety of thyme that has a distinctive nutmeg smell. You can use it in a variety of baked goods, such as cookies or quick breads, to simulate the flavor of ground nutmeg.
One of the great features of thyme is that it can be easily propagated from seed. Look for seeds at your local garden center or plant nursery. You can sow thyme seeds directly into the garden or you can sow them indoors and then transplant the young plants into the garden later in the spring. Thyme is also easily grown from cuttings--just take small 6- to 8-inch cuttings of stems, place them in a planting tray filled with sand or potting soil and water well. Thyme establishes new roots fairly easily and quickly. If you like to use thyme in your recipes, just remember to harvest the herb early in the morning--this is when the thyme leaves have their highest concentration of aromatic oils. You can use the leaves fresh in a pasta dish or in desserts. The leaves can also be dried or frozen for future use.

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