Thyme (thyme): planting and care in the open ground, useful properties
The fragrant shrub or thyme shrub (Thymus) is a representative of the largest genus of the family Iasnatkovye. The Russian name “thyme” comes from the Greek word “incense”, meaning “incense substance”. In some cases, thyme and thyme are one and the same plant, but only when it comes to creeping thyme. Such a plant in the people has many other names: Bogorodskaya grass, lemon darling, muhopal, incense, chebarka, and spawning. The birthplace of such a plant is North Africa, the first mention of it can be found in the writings of Dioscorides and Theophrastus. The composition of this genus includes several hundred species, in nature they can be found on the territory of Greenland and Eurasia. Such a culture is in demand in the perfumery and food industries, as well as in medicine.
Short description of growing
- Sowing. Sowing thyme for seedlings is carried out in mid-March. Plantlets are planted in open soil from mid to late May.
- Bloom. Bushes bloom from June to August. In this case, the first time the bushes bloom in the second year of growth.
- Illumination. The site may be sunny or in partial shade.
- Priming. Nutritious light drained alkaline or neutral.
- Watering. Watering should be moderate only if necessary, however, when the bushes bloom, watering should be more frequent. If in summer there is a large amount of rain, then thyme will not have to be watered.
- Fertilizer. Bushes need to be fed only when grown on poor soil, while horn flour should be added to it, and the surface of the bed should be covered with a layer of mulch (rotted compost).
- Pruning. Shortening the stems by 2/3 is carried out at the beginning of the spring period, as well as after the bushes bloom.
- Breeding. Cuttings, seeds and division of the bush.
- Harmful insects. Aphids, sand darts, meadow moths and weevils.
- Diseases. With increased soil moisture, the bush is affected by fungal diseases.
The height of thyme bushes can reach about 0.35 m. Woody trunks can be ascending or lying down, and flowering herbaceous branches can be upright or uplifting. The woody root is pivotal. Depending on the type of leaf plate of this plant may vary in size, shape and venation. Most often they have short petioles, and the plates themselves are stiff and leathery, less often they are solid and sessile, while in the Far Eastern species the leaves are serrated. Elongated or capitate inflorescences are located on the tops of the branches, they consist of pink, white or purple flowers. The fruit is a box, which includes 4 spherical nuts with a bitter taste and pleasant smell, they are used as a seasoning called "black thyme". Flowering of such a plant is observed from June to August. Ripening occurs in August – September. Such a culture is related to the following plants: lavender, oregano, rosemary, hyssop, basil, motherwort, sage, lemon balm and mint. Such a plant in recent years has become very popular among gardeners, today it is grown in the garden almost as often as celery, dill and parsley.
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Thyme planting seedlings
What time to sow seedlings
Sowing thyme seeds for seedlings is carried out in mid-March. Since the seeds are very small, it is recommended to combine them with river sand in a ratio of 1: 3 before sowing. The tank is filled with soil mixture for cacti, while a third of the chernozem must be added to it. After that, seeds are evenly distributed on its surface.For sowing, you can also use a substrate consisting of peat and sand (1: 1), while it must be disinfected. Seed material in the soil mixture does not need to be buried, it is only covered with a thin layer of sand on top. Then the crops are gently watered from a fine spray, and on top of the container is covered with glass and cleaned in a well-lit and warm place.
Rules for growing seedlings
Seedlings should be grown indoors for at least 8 weeks. It is best to plant plants in open soil at the age of 70 days. After the seedlings appear, they are placed in a cooler place, and the glass is removed. Watering is carried out using a sprayer immediately after the top layer of the substrate dries out a little. The room where the seedlings are located should have good ventilation, but they must be protected from draft.
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Window sill cultivation
Thyme can be grown indoors. To do this, you need a pot, in diameter reaching no more than 15 centimeters, at the bottom you need to make a drainage layer, the thickness of which should be from 20 to 30 mm. Drainage from above can be covered with a layer of soil mixture (see composition above). The soil mixture needs to be moistened, and several seeds should be evenly distributed on its surface, a half-inch layer of the substrate should be covered with the top, which is then moistened from the spray gun. The container is covered with a film or glass, then it is removed to the window of the southern orientation, while the crops are protected from direct sunlight. Seeds are characterized by good germination. After the appearance of seedlings, the shelter must be removed. Watering should be moderate, it is carried out after drying of the upper layer of the substrate. After 8 weeks, all weak seedlings must be removed, only the most developed should remain. To get fragrant and fresh greens as long as possible, it should be cut often enough, while try not to let the bushes bloom.
Thyme planting in open ground
What time to plant
Planting thyme seedlings in open soil should be carried out from mid to late May. A suitable landing area should be well lit. It can also be grown on a shaded area, however, such bushes are poorly developed and greatly extended. The soil should be well-drained, nutritious, light, alkaline or neutral. If grown on clay and moist soil, then the bushes may stagnate, in this regard, it may be necessary to organize good drainage.
Landing preparation should be done in the fall. To begin with, it is necessary to remove all plant residues from it, then dig it up, while rotted manure or compost, as well as potassium-phosphorus fertilizer should be added to the soil. In spring, before planting, the site must be loosened, and the soil is shed with a urea solution (20 grams per 1 liter of water). When planting bushes between them, a distance of 20 to 25 centimeters should be observed, while the row spacing should be from 0.4 to 0.5 m.
So that stagnation of water is not observed in the root system of the bushes, and also crusts do not appear on the surface of the soil, it must be loosened regularly. It is necessary to weed the bed in a timely manner, tearing out only the weed that has appeared. To reduce the number of weeding and loosening, the surface of the site should be covered with a layer of mulch (compost). You also need to regularly trim the bushes, this is done in early spring or after the thyme has faded. It is necessary to shorten the stems by 2/3 before their lignification begins. Pruning bushes must be carried out so that they become compact and more dense.
How to water
Such a culture reacts extremely negatively to fluid stagnation in the roots, but is drought tolerant.In this regard, thyme should be watered only when it is really necessary. When the bushes bloom, and young stems begin to grow, they should be watered a little more often. If it rains regularly in the summer, then you do not need to water the bushes at all.
Thyme especially does not need additional fertilizing, especially if all the necessary fertilizers were added to the soil before planting thyme. Only if the soil on the bed is very poor, plants will need fertilizing, for this the surface of the bed should be mulched with rotted compost or horn flour can be added to it.
What can be grown after thyme
Since thyme does not need a large amount of nutrients and after it the soil is not depleted, as, for example, after potatoes, cabbage or celery, then after it you can cultivate any plants on the site, however, they should not be representatives of the Yasnotkovye family.
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Thyme Pests and Diseases
Such a culture is highly resistant to various diseases and harmful insects, since it contains essential oil. However, if you do not follow the agrotechnical rules of this culture, then sand larks, meadow moths, aphids and weevils can settle on the bushes.
The caterpillars of the meadow moth gnaw on the underside of the leaf plates, while they braid them with a web. And they injure flowers and stems. In order to prevent, it is necessary to ensure that there is no weed on the site, and in the autumn they dig it. To get rid of such a pest, the bushes are sprayed with a solution of Decis.
The sand lag is a black beetle, which reaches 0.7–1 cm in length, it affects the aerial parts of the bush. To get rid of such a harmful insect you will need baits that are poisoned by pesticides.
The aphid is a sucking insect, it sucks the juice from young stems and leaf plates, biting them. To destroy them, use drugs such as Antitlin and Biotlin.
Weevils injure flowers, laying larvae in buds. To get rid of them, the bushes are sprayed with a solution of Fitoverm, which does not harm humans.
If such a crop is not properly looked after, or rather, overly abundant watering of bushes, this can cause the development of a fungal disease. In order to cure the affected bush, it is treated with a fungicidal preparation: Ridomil, Horus, Fundazol, Topaz or any other similar action. But it is better to try to make sure that the plants do not get sick than to treat them for a long time. And for this, it is enough to properly water thyme.
Types and varieties of thyme
Thyme has a large number of different species and varieties. The most popular among gardeners is creeping thyme and ordinary thyme.
Common thyme (Thymus vulgaris), or medicinal thyme, or medicinal thyme
The birthplace of this species is the Northwest Mediterranean. This plant with flowering stems in height reaches about 15 centimeters. Sheet plates on the underside have pubescence. The color of the flowers is light purple, almost white. This species has several varieties or subspecies:
- Alba - color of flowers is white;
- Splendens - the flowers are painted in carmine red;
- Elfin - This dwarf bush, reaching a height of no more than 50 mm, it forms a compact dense pillow with a diameter of about 15 centimeters.
A composition made up of subspecies with flowers of various colors looks great on the plot.
Creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum)
Such a plant is also called savory, or thyme, in natural conditions it is found in Siberia, Western Europe, the Far East and the European part of Russia. Such a perennial plant reaches a height of about 15 centimeters. Creeping stems are cylindrical in shape; protruding hairy shoots are located in their lower part. The shape of the petiole leaf plates is lanceolate, and in length they reach 10 mm. The height of the peduncles is about 15 centimeters. The opening of capitate inflorescences is observed in July, the flowers are painted in lilac-pink. This species has been cultivated since the 16th century. Among the varieties of this type there are those whose flowers are painted in white, carmine and pink, and there is also a form with variegated foliage. Take care of this species in the same way as for the ground cover plant.
Thyme early (Thymus praecox)
This species has 2 varieties:
- Minor. Such a bush is characterized by slow growth, it is great for alpine hills. Inflorescences are small, as are pubescent leafy plates.
- Pseudolanuginosus. This groundcover variety forms a floral carpet, with so many flowers that it is impossible to make out foliage because of them.
Lemon thyme (Thymus x citriodorus), or lemon-smelling thyme
This plant is a natural hybrid of flea thyme and common thyme. In nature, it is most often found in the southern part of France. Peduncles height of about 30 centimeters, inflorescences are painted in pinkish color. Variegated sheet plates are round in shape. This hybrid has been cultivated since 1595. Growing such a thyme for its adult bushes, it is necessary to ensure timely pruning, and they must be covered for wintering. The following varieties are most popular:
- Golden Duorf and Bertram Anderson - there are specks of yellow color on the surface of the foliage;
- Silver Queen - a white border runs along the edge of the sheet plates;
- Golden King - the green foliage has a yellow border.
Thyme subarctic (Thymus subarcticus)
In nature, this species is found in the eastern and northern parts of Europe on rocks, in forests and along the shores of various water bodies. The inflorescences of such an undersized shrub are slightly loose, they include bell-shaped flowers of a dark purple color. The edges of small dense leaf plates are bent down. Bushes bloom in July –August. The smell of such a plant is pleasant and strong.
Thyme Japanese (Thymus japonicus)
In nature, this species is found on the territory of Japan, Mongolia, the Far East, Korea and Northern China on the rocks near the river and sea shores. Small leaf blades in such a shrub have an elliptical shape. The composition of the half-whorled inflorescences includes pink flowers, the opening of which occurs in July – August.
Flea Thyme (Thymus pulegioides)
The shape of the leaf blades of such a plant is elliptical. Purple-pink flowers are collected in dense heads. Their disclosure is observed in June.
Siberian thyme (Thymus sibiricus)
The birthplace of such a steppe species is Eastern Siberia and Mongolia. This plant blooms throughout the summer period. The bush is decorated with many flowers of pink color.
Thyme Dorfler (Thymus doerfleri)
The birthplace of this species is the Balkan Peninsula. He is not very popular in culture. This species is quite interesting, but it is not very stable. In May – June, pinkish flowers open.
Thyme Properties: Harm and Benefit
The healing properties of thyme
The aboveground part of thyme has healing properties. Infusions and decoctions with antimicrobial, enveloping and expectorant effect are prepared from it, they are used to treat pertussis, tracheitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis, bronchopneumonia. Such funds contribute to the dilution of sputum and stimulate the activity of bronchial glands.
Thyme-based preparations are recommended for use in cases of neurosis, neuralgia, and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (enterocolitis, dysbiosis, dyskinesia, atony, intestinal cramping and flatulence). Still this culture has shown high efficiency in the fight against pathogenic microflora, which is insensitive to antibiotics. If you use a pillow that is filled with thyme for sleep, then headaches and insomnia will no longer bother. The composition of this herb includes bitterness, gum, essential oil, tannins, organic pigments and minerals. Essential oils “white thyme” (fresh) and “red thyme” (aged) are distinguished by a warming effect on the skin, they are used for cosmetic and healing purposes. But when using such funds, it is necessary to strictly adhere to the instructions and dosages. And it is best to consult with a qualified professional.
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Since the grass contains a large amount of thymol, it can not be used for heart and kidney failure, stomach ulcer and duodenal ulcer, especially in the stage of exacerbation of the disease. During pregnancy, this herb is also contraindicated, because it can cause uterine contractions. With prolonged administration of thyme preparations or with an overdose, the development of hyperthyroidism (a base disease) is highly likely. Such drugs can not be used to treat children under two years of age.