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Growing Thyme in The Northern Territory

Introducing Thyme

A great herb to plant in the warm, dry Top End season. Thyme is a drought-tolerant, hardy perennial herb. It has a strong flavour and thrives in hot weather.

Classic Mistakes

Thyme doesn’t like rich or soaked soil. Don’t over-feed or over-water it.

Sunlight

Grow in: Full Sun - Partial Shade

Thyme will tolerate some shade, but it does best in full sun.

Soil Preparation

Thyme, like other Mediterranean herbs, prefers a poor soil. Don’t work in compost or manure. Thyme grows naturally in gravelly soil, so if you’re planting it into pots, be sure to add some stones for improved drainage.

Sowing Seed

Sow seed: All of June
Sowing depth: Twice the height of the seed.

Thyme can be grown from seed, but the plants take a long time to become established, so they are usually grown from seedlings, small plants or cuttings.

Planting

Plant seedlings: All of August

Thyme is best planted from seedlings or semi hardwood cuttings. Simply place your seedlings into prepared holes and water them in. Considering that thyme is easily killed by over-watering, you might want to plant your thyme in pots, which can be moved indoors during the wet season.

Care

Pick from your plants often. It’ll encourage them to grow more vigorously and to fill out.

Watering

Don’t over-water. Water only when the soil is dry.

Feeding

Thyme does not usually need to be fertilized. Over feeding the plants will cause them to produce an abundance of leaves, but the flavour will be less intense. Feed lightly once a year when the plant flowers.

Mulching

Thyme does not need to be mulched. It prefers the soil to dry out between watering. If you want to mulch to keep the weeds out, then some small stones, pebbles, or gravel would make a good mulch.

Harvesting

Harvest: to Weeks After Planting

As soon as your plant is established, harvest as needed. Simply pick stalks or use scissors to cut what you need. The leaves can be used fresh or dried.

What to do about Alternaria Blight?

Remove and destroy the affected areas of the plant. Use wide spacing to increase airflow if this is a common problem in your garden.
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