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When to Sow: 6 to 10 weeks before last frost Harvest: after first year

Germination: 14-28 days Full Sun

Thyme is easy to grow from seed, though the germination takes a while. Start seeds inside before transplanting to a final location.

Thyme prefers a light, well-drained soil with lots of organic matter. (Avoid heavy or easily saturated soils.)

Starting Indoors:

Start plants indoors 6 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost. Sprinkle onto growing medium and then cover lightly with soil (or not at all). Mist lightly.

vOnce they reach a height of 2-3 inches, transplant into a larger container. Transplant outside in June or July, ideally in damp ground or just prior to a rain shower. (When choosing the location keep in mind that thyme is a perennial, and as such will keep producing for a number of years.)

Spacing should be no closer than 9” apart (12” ideally).

Direct Seed: Not recommended.


Keep ahead of weeds as they compete for nutrient with slow-growing, young thyme plants.

Once your plants are established mulch well to regulate water and control weeds. Mulch well in the fall to help protect them against undue thawing and freezing.

As thyme gets older, it can become woody and should be pruned heavily or divided every few years in the spring.


You can harvest thyme at any point after the plant is established, but the flavour is strongest just before the plant starts to flower. Harvest by cutting the stems down to 1.5-2” from the ground. Do not trim the second growth that follows after, as this will be needed for winter hardiness.

Companion Planting

The aromatic thyme plant benefits many different plants, including cabbage, eggplant, potatoes and strawberries. It also goes well with other aromatic perennials like rosemary.