How do you know when thyme is ready to pick. You can tell when thyme is ready to pick because the top leaves will be dried out, starting to yellow and crumble. The best time to pick your Thyme is in the morning when it is cool outside.
When thyme is ready to pick, it will be dark and fragrant.
Thyme is a very versatile herb that can be used in almost any meal. However, before you can successfully grow the plant and use it in your cooking, you need to know how to identify when thyme is ready for picking so it’s not wasted.
Thyme is usually harvested between early summer and mid-autumn. You can tell it’s ready to pick when its stems are dry, brittle and tough.
Thyme is easy to recognize, but it may be hard to tell if it’s ready to harvest. Easy tell-tale signs you should look for include colour, aroma, and size. Thyme typically has a rich green colour and a savoury aroma. The flavour of thyme also varies based on the variety of thyme that is being picked.
It is best when the plant is 4 to 8 inches tall, before it flowers. Gather the leaves by pinching or cutting at the base of the stem or leaf.
Thyme is ready to pick when it shoots out of the ground – some leaves are pale green, others have opened up and have white down on their lower surfaces.
Thyme is the most common herb used in recipes today, and it’s easy to grow. When your thyme plant is ready to be harvested, look for growth that is dense and green, with a fine texture not longer than one inch. When you pick the stems of the thyme plant and place them into your hand, the leaves should fall off easily without any resistance.
As it grows, check the size and colour of the leaves.
The younger and smaller the plant, the stronger-tasting the thyme will be. If you are buying fresh thyme from a supermarket or farmers’ market, choose bunches with dark green leaves that look perky.
If the plant has begun to flower, it’s time to pick. The leaves should also be plump and tender.
Thymus vulgaris, commonly known as ‘Common Thyme’, is a small shrubby plant with lavender-pink flowers called ‘buds’ and needle-like leaves. The bright green leaves are best picked just before the herb flowers in its second growing season.
The colour of the leaves will be a deep green and the stems will have become very tough. The plant also has a strong scent, but it’s not overpowering and will dissipate quickly once picked.
Thyme grows in clumps, so when you slide your hand between the stems and leaves, you will feel how dry they are. If they are still damp, they are not ready to be picked.
We refer to this as the fragrance test.
Place your nose close to the thyme, and inhale deeply. If you can’t smell it, then it isn’t ready. Wait a little longer before harvesting
Thyme is a perennial herb, which means it lives for more than two years. When you’re growing thyme in your garden (or on your windowsill) you should prune it regularly and encourage new growth. Thyme plants grow best during the cooler months of spring and fall, so they’ll likely be dormant during the heat of summer. If you see new growth developing at this time, then you know that it’s ready to pick.
The best time to harvest thyme is before it flowers.
If you wait too long to harvest, the plant will become woody and be less flavorful. Watch for small, yellow flower buds to appear on the tips of the branches. Harvest when most of these petals have just opened, but before you see any new buds forming.
Thyme is ready when it has flowered and grown a little woody.
The best time to pick thyme is in early morning or late afternoon. When picking, take care not to pick from the bottom part of the plant where the roots are located.