The right harvest time
Harvest the leaves either in the late morning or at noon after the dew has evaporated from the leaves. The leaves have the most flavor just before flowering and also contain the highest concentrations of the valuable essential oils at this time. When harvesting flowers, pick them at noon in dry weather when the flower is starting to open fully.
- Do you prefer to dry or freeze thyme?
- In the air or in the oven? Drying thyme properly
- Preserving thyme and storing it properly
Collect the seeds on a warm and dry day when they are hard and ripe. You can dry them out and keep them in a paper bag over the winter until you can eventually sow them in early spring. This way you can grow your thyme plants yourself and avoid having to constantly buy new seeds or young plants. In addition, thyme can be propagated very well via cuttings, cuttings and also by division.
Thyme is a perennial plant and lignifies as such over time. For this reason, the regular harvesting of the plant is also a form of care that counteracts lignification and thus fading. Therefore, make sure to prune thyme evenly - after all, it should keep its beautiful, bushy shape - and above all to remove older shoots. Do not cut into the lignified parts, as new branches usually do not grow from them. Harvest regularly, as this keeps the plants compact and bushy and also encourages new, fresh and flavorful shoots. The actual shape cut finally takes place in spring.
The best place for a herb garden
If possible, do not lay your herb garden too far from the kitchen. It is much more pleasant to simply open the window or just step in front of the kitchen door and harvest a handful of fresh thyme or other aromatic herbs than to walk to the far end of the garden in the pouring rain. Thyme also does very well in pots, because the Mediterranean plant likes the well-drained conditions in such planters. It is quite possible to create a useful and appealing herb garden in small plant containers that will produce easily accessible herbs on a windowsill in the sun all year round.
Store harvested thyme properly
You should either use thyme that has just been harvested immediately or, if you do not need it immediately after picking, preserve it as quickly as possible. Otherwise the valuable essential oils will evaporate and the herb will lose both its aromatic and medicinal properties. Therefore, make sure that your harvested herbs are stored loosely and that sufficient air can circulate around them so that they are not crushed, crushed or otherwise damaged before use or further processing. Traditional wicker baskets are ideal for this purpose.
Tips & Tricks
The active substances that naturopaths use for medicinal purposes are usually highest in perennial herbs such as thyme in the second and third year, after which the concentration decreases again. Therefore, a thyme plant should not be cultivated for longer than three to four years if possible.