Thyme - fragrant, healthy and decorative
Thyme or thyme? Or maybe thyme or Bogorodskaya grass? How right? And it’s correct in every way, because under these names the same plant “passes”, more precisely, one genus of plants (Thymus) from the family Iasnatkovye. There are many other popular names associated with the amazing property of this low shrub to secrete a large amount of aromatic substances. Thyme is considered one of the most important essential oil crops. Thyme cultivation and its use in landscape design, cooking and medicine will be discussed in this article.
What happens thyme, or Thyme
The genus Thyme has several hundred species distributed in the temperate zone of Europe, Asia and North Africa.
This is a short, from 10 to 40 cm, perennial evergreen shrub. A characteristic feature of thyme is its lying on the ground and only slightly rising grassy, soft stems. It grows in breadth, and not up, and often quite actively conquers the space around it.
As they grow, the stems are lignified. Due to the fact that there are too many types of thyme, it is not easy to describe it. Say, leaves can be round, and oval, and elongated, oblong, sometimes with serrations. But they are always hard and small (up to 1 cm).
Thyme blooms in summer with small white, pink or purple flowers. The beauty of thyme is that from a small divide it quickly grows into a whole curtain, forming a dense pillow. And the slightest touch to it causes an explosion of smell. Despite the fact that he will not require any departure from you, but will bring many benefits.
Thyme conditions and care in the garden
“Nothing” - this, of course, is strongly said. It’s hard to kill him, but it’s possible, so it’s worth knowing something about him.
First, thyme should be planted in open, well-lit and warm places. Only there it will grow well, look attractive and maximize the accumulation of essential oils.
He will survive in the shade and in partial shade, but the stems will stretch out and there will be no flowering, and there will be less smell.
Do not plant it on greasy, manicured, too fertile soils. Indeed, if you recall his natural needs, then he settles and grows on rocky slopes, in the steppes and even deserts, where, frankly, manure does not smell. So, if you have soil on your site that you are proud of and which will give birth to cucumbers, tomatoes and potatoes, you will have to artificially deplete it for growing thyme.
How? Just when planting, add a large amount of sand to and around the hole. On the one hand, this will reduce fertility, and on the other, it will make the soil drained. After all, another disaster for thyme is the stagnation of water. The plant is drought tolerant and, by and large, does not need watering - water should quickly leave the root zone.
It is believed that acidic soils are not suitable for thyme; he is a lover of neutral or slightly alkaline soil. But very often thyme is found on the edges of a pine forest, where the soil is just slightly acidic. So, most likely, there are differences depending on the specific species.
Perhaps it’s worth adding that to give the bushes a more pleasant look, they should either be actively pinched, removed the ends of the twigs, or trimmed. But I love to use thyme as a seasoning so much that I don’t have to cut it.
How does thyme winter?
Well, and, for sure, many people are worried by the question: “Will thyme survive our severe winters?” We are used to seeing thyme in the composition of the seasoning “Mediterranean herbs” and we think that the plant is “from there”. There is nothing like this, there are ours, and very frost and winter hardy. Most species withstand frost up to -25 ... -28 degrees, and even more so with snow (the plant is low and it covers well with snow).
The use of thyme
Thyme in landscape design
Evergreen low and fragrant thyme pillows can serve to create borders along the paths in the garden. It can be planted in the foreground of the flowerbed, because, in addition to green foliage, it is also beautiful, plentiful and long-lasting (all summer) blooms.
God himself ordered the thyme to be included in the composition of aromatic beds, and in pharmacies it will do. It can be grown in pots and planters, or it can be grown as a groundcover. Many thyme varieties “creep” quickly and form a fairly dense coating, from which it is difficult to break through the weeds.
Remembering, again, its natural habitat, thyme can be a plant for rocky hills, rockeries, rock gardens ... As you like, call it, but thyme goes well with stone.
It looks very interesting roses, under which a solid carpet of thyme. If you are fond of growing bulbous primroses, then safely plant thyme on top of them. They will break through the thyme mat and look spectacular against its background, despite the fact that their foliage disappears quickly after flowering.
Thyme in cooking
The next use of thyme is for our table. Thyme leaves and twigs are a great seasoning for meat dishes (for me, in second place after rosemary), mushrooms, cottage cheese, fish and even cheeses and sweet dishes.
From thyme, you can make drinks, add to salads and mixes for pickling cucumbers, bake bread, make fragrant vinegar or just add to tea. Moreover, the leaves can be taken fresh or dried.
Although why dry them? After all, thyme is an excellent plant for growing in a pot on the kitchen windowsill - all year round, in any climate, reach out and pick the tip of a twig with several leaves.
Bogorodskaya grass in folk medicine
What about the health benefits? She is also available. Thyme, or rather the substances contained in its shoots and leaves, is used as a disinfectant, anesthetic, anthelmintic and expectorant. Remember Pertussin? He is from thyme. Moreover, you can use both fresh raw materials and harvested (dried).
Thyme can be insisted on alcohol and used for rheumatism, or you can take baths with thyme decoction with radiculitis. Yes, and just sit in the evening near the thyme bush, touching it lightly and inhaling its aroma ... It calms me.
Well, where to get it and how to settle on your site? There are several breeding options.
They are simply sown in the spring, right in the open ground. You can certainly build a greenhouse, but usually thyme seeds sprout and so on. Moreover, often in the first year of life they bloom. Often, however, it takes a long time to germinate, and weeds can be quicker.
Dividing the bush
If there is a familiar donor bush, then in spring or autumn it can be dug up and divided into parts. It is advisable that each division has at least some roots. When providing care (watering), new bushes take root well.
Any branch of thyme is pressed to the ground with a pebble, wire, slingshot and soon gives roots. It remains only to carefully dig and separate from the mother bush. In this way, it is good to expand the existing thyme bush over a large area.
You can just cut the twigs and drop them lightly into the ground, leaving a part with leaves on the surface. It is only necessary to regularly moisten the soil in such a "school".
You can take thyme in the wild
There is nothing to add, thyme grows in many regions and is not a protected plant, it remains only to carefully dig and plant it on your site.
And this unpretentious and wonderful plant will grow in the garden to the delight of you and the bees, because thyme is considered among connoisseurs and connoisseurs as a source of delicious honey.