Harvesting Thyme – Best time & Harvesting Methods

harvesting thyme

Thyme is a low-growing species of herb that belongs to a family named Lamiaceae. Most of the species of this family are native to the Mediterranean region, and only a few grow outside these areas. If you live in an area where thyme grows naturally, you don’t need to do much to keep it going. The plant grows mainly on its own. It generally isn’t damaged by pests or disease. Even in areas with mild winters, thyme rarely freezes.

Thyme is an easily grown herb that can be used for cooking. Its aroma is stronger than its taste.

When to harvest thyme

Thyme can be harvested at any time of year, but the plant is at its peak during late summer and early fall. The plant grows quickly during this time, so it is important not to harvest the plant before it is fully mature.

  • Leaves can be harvested as needed.
  • Leaves and stems can be dried or frozen.
  • Dried and frozen leaves will keep well for years.

How to harvest thyme herbs?

Thyme must be harvested frequently, as the stem becomes woody and tough. To harvest thyme, pinch off a few leaves from the plant, leaving a few leaves on the plant. Then, cut the plant back to a few inches. If thyme is not harvested on a regular basis, it will eventually stop growing.

There are four easy ways to harvest thyme:

  • By picking individual stems
  • Cut off and discard the stems as needed, or when they become woody and tough.
  • By pinching the top leaves off
  • By sheering entire branches

Use scissors to snip thyme stalks close to the ground, using a harvester or kitchen scissors.

Harvest thyme with scissors

You can harvest thyme with scissors if you have long, sturdy scissors that can cut the stems easily.

  • Cut off the flowering stems about 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the leaves.
  • Snip each stem just above the leaf, cutting at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) from each stem.

Harvesting thyme with a harvester

You can harvest thyme with a harvester, but be careful not to cut any leaves with this tool.

  • Cut off the flowering stem and fan the leaves apart, then trim off the leaves, leaving about 1 inch

Uses of Thyme in Daily life:

Medicinal uses

Thyme is used to treat many disorders.

  • The leaves are used to calm the stomach and intestines.
  • The roots are used to treat bronchitis.
  • The flowers are used to treat indigestion, cramps, and sore throats.
  • The leaves can be added in teas or taken as capsules to treat colds and flu symptoms.

Culinary uses

Thyme is a flavoring in many foods.

  • In Italian cuisine, thyme is added to tomato sauces and meats
  • The essential oil of thyme, thymol, is used in perfumes and as a disinfectant

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