Grow with Yeo – Thyme

Monday 15th April 2024

This spring, grow your own herbs using Garden Organic seeds available on special packs on Yeo Valley Organic Spreadable. There are three to collect with special packs of Yeo Valley Organic Spreadable packs including basil, thyme and chive. 

How to grow thyme

Perennial and evergreen, thyme is one of the best herbs to grow at home. Once it’s established, you (and the bees) will be able to enjoy fragrant homegrown sprigs all year round and year after year.

Rosie in the garden

When to sow
Sow indoors March to April in your Yeo Valley Organic Spreadable tub using peat-free seed compost at around 13C. Germination takes five to 10 days.

When to transplant
You can grow on in your tub for a few weeks, but they will need planting out once they become too big for the tub. At this stage, transplant individual seedlings into pots to grow on, or transfer into open ground in May and June. Space the plants 25cm apart in a free-draining, sunny site.

Thyme also grows very well in gritty compost in containers, and will produce an abundance of aromatic leaves and flowers to enjoy outside the kitchen door.

When to harvest
Pick leaves to use fresh from 12 weeks, or before flowering for drying – leaving at least 7cm of growth. Leaves and stems add flavour to soups and stews, or rub off the leaves into breads, stuffings and roasted veg. The tiny flowers are edible too.

Tips for success
Thyme is low maintenance and won’t need feeding. It’s also drought tolerant so it’s an excellent choice for a dry, south-facing growing space or container garden.

It can take six to 12 months for a new plant to get bushy enough for harvesting. Water your thyme plant until it’s established, but after this ensure it’s kept in free-draining soil over winter as it dislikes waterlogging.

Thyme in the garden

Cut back shoot tips to encourage more growth and reduce stem length after flowering to avoid your thyme plants becoming woody.

Pest and diseases
Thyme gets very few pests and diseases.

Seed saving
Thyme flowers will produce small dry seed pods containing one or two seeds. You can pop the snipped flower stalks into a paper bag, leave somewhere dry and allow the seed to drop out. The seed will dry well in good ventilation in a week or so. Label and keep stored seed dry and cool – they should be good to sow again for at least a couple of years.

For more organic growing advice, head to Garden Organic’s website at, where you can also become a member of the charity.

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