Native to the Mediterranean region, winter thyme is an extremely cold resistant variety that can tolerate frost and snow. Compared to common thyme, winter thyme is smaller, growing just a few inches in height and is much hardier. Winter thyme is an evergreen perennial that spreads via underground runners, so it can be used as a groundcover or as an addition to a low-growing herb garden. Ideally, seeds should be started four weeks prior to the last frost to establish properly in the garden.
The plants with small grey-green leaves will bear tiny pink to lilac flowers in the summer, beloved by beneficial pollinators. Often cultivated as an ornamental herb, winter thyme is quite versatile in the kitchen as well. Try it with roasted with honey-glazed carrots, meats like chicken, pork chops and fish or make a delicious homemade garlic and thyme butter.
- Latin Name: Thymus vulgaris
- Life Cycle: Perrenial
- Days to Maturity: 80-90
- Canada Hardiness Zone: 5-9
- Planting Depth: 5 mm
- Plant Spacing: 30-45 cm
- Growth Habit: 20-30 cm tall
A prominent herb that can be found in many kitchen gardens and stocked in every cook's spice rack lends its subtle flavour to endless recipes.
Start thyme seeds indoors 4 weeks before the last frost. Plant seeds 5 mm deep under fluorescent lights and maintain moisture and a soil temperature of 21 degrees. Thyme seeds can also be sown directly into the garden as early as the soil can be worked. Patience and faith is required, germination may take up to 30 days.
A site with loose, well-drained soil and full sun will produce the healthiest and most fragrant plants. After the last frost has passed, transplant seedlings 30 cm apart. Water well until they are established. Fully grown plants should be allowed to dry out between waterings.
The aroma of thyme repels many pests and also masks the fragrance of plants that draw in pests. For health and growth benefits, plant thyme with any member of the brassica family, such as cabbage, broccoli or kale. It will also grow well among nightshades like eggplant, potatoes and tomatoes as well as other herbs like chives and rosemary.
Weed around thyme plants regularly. Prune plants heavily once in the spring and again after flowering to prevent thyme from becoming woody. Harvest mature plants as needed. The flavour of the leaves are best right before flowers open.
Take plants in for the winter months, or mulch heavily to protect them from the harsh elements. Thyme can be easily dried and enjoyed throughout the year in all of your favorite recipes!
- Thyme was first grown around 3000 BC in Persia.
- Most culinary herbs are best used fresh but thyme is an exception, it is more concentrated when dried.
- Thyme can be turned into a fragrant essential oil. It is often used in perfumes, soaps and lotions.
- Thyme seeds will remain viable for 3 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!