Scientific Name: Thymus serpyllum
Common Names: Wild Thyme, Creeping Thyme, Breckland Thyme
Wild Thyme is native to most of Europe and parts of Northern Africa. This is an open-pollinated variety meaning you can save the seeds and they'll grow the same as the parent plant.
Wild Thyme is milder in flavour than regular thyme and has a subtle, dry aroma and herbal flavour. Wild Thyme pairs well with beef, lamb, cabbage and salads. Wild Thyme can be dried for longer term storage and will retain most of its flavour. Wild Thyme can also be steeped in boiling water with honey added as a home remedy for alleviating sore throats and colds.
Wild Thyme is a low-growing, compact ground-cover and can be planted as a productive alternative to lawn in areas of your yard that receive limited foot traffic, as an added bonus it'll release a wonderful scent when stepped on. Wild Thyme also produces masses of small pink flower clusters that attract bees and other beneficial insect pollinators to your garden. If you keep beehives you should plant a few Wild Thyme plants nearby as the pollen collected from flowers will impart a flavour onto their honey. Wild Thyme can be planted as a companion plant for cabbages and other brassicas, its scent will help to repel cabbage moths and butterflies.
Wild Thyme grows best in full sun but it will also tolerate light shade. Ensure your soil is free draining prior to sowing Wild Thyme, dig lots of organic matter including compost, worm castings and well-rotted animal manures through your garden beds to improve your soil structure and provide your plants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth. Consider growing Wild Thyme in raised garden beds or pots if your soil is too swamp, compacted or heavy with clay. Wild Thyme shouldn't need any additional fertiliser once established however you can use an organic liquid fertiliser as needed if the leaves show signs of a nutrient deficiency. Wild Thyme is tolerant of frosts once established, however seedlings and young plants are susceptible. Don't overwater Wild Thyme plants, allow the soil to become dry to the touch between waterings or the roots may rot. Mulch around plants well to keep their root system cool, retain moisture and suppress weed growth. Wild Thyme prefers growing with a soil pH range between 6.8 and 7.5.
When To Sow
In temperate and cooler regions of Australia sow Wild Thyme seeds after any chance of frost has past from September to December. In subtropical regions of Australia sow Wild Thyme seeds from August to November. In tropical regions of Australia sow Wild Thyme during the dry season from April to June.
How To Sow
Wild Thyme seeds need light to germinate, so sprinkle them only lightly with soil and firm it down around them to reduce water loss through surface evaporation. Keep well watered until plants have established. After a month of growth thin to the strongest seedlings spacing them about 25cm apart to give them plenty of room to spread outwards.
Time To Germination
Wild Thyme seeds can have slow and erratic germination, taking between 7 and 28 days after sowing for the seedlings to emerge.
Time To Harvest
Wild Thyme can be slow to grow, taking between 38 and 42 weeks from sowing to produce good quantities of leaves.