Thyme Companion Plants And Guide For Growing Thyme - Krostrade

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Thyme Companion Plants And Guide For Growing Thyme

Thyme companion plants are salad burnet, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, shallots, strawberries, blueberries, and roses. The cultivation of this herb is also gaining popularity because of its high demand and easy maintenance.  Let us take a look at how to grow thyme along with its companion plants successfully. 

What Are Thyme Companion Plants

What Are Thyme Companion Plants

Salad burnet, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, shallots, strawberries, blueberries, and roses are the best companion plants for thyme. Thyme itself is one of the best companion plants for a majority of crops because it can repel pests. 

In particular, thyme effectively repels crop pests such as flea beetles, tomato hornworms, cabbage worms, and corn earworms. This way, the plants we’ve mentioned can thrive and disease-free. But what is in thyme that makes it a pest repellant?

Thyme has a compound called thymol that offers insecticidal effects. Thymol is present in pesticides sold in the market. Thyme is also a useful neighbor for plants because it can attract beneficial insects that can feed on pests and help pollinate. 

The aromatic qualities of thyme will attract honeybees to help with pollination. And the combination of pest repelling and predator attracting attributes of thyme will ensure a healthy garden. If you’re thinking of cultivating this multi-purpose herb, read below what plants will love to be its neighbor. 

Salad burnet

Salad burnet is a perennial plant that offers medicinal uses and aesthetic purposes. It enhances the look of the garden, but it also has astringent properties. It adds perfume to the garden, and in addition to thyme, creates a delightful scent in your yard or greenhouse. 

Cabbage

The thymol found in thyme is beneficial for cabbage. It can deter cabbage worms, loopers, moths, flea beetles, and aphids from keeping your leafy greens hole-free. Thyme can also attract ladybugs that will consume aphids and pollinate your vegetables. 

Potatoes

Create a diverse garden by planting potatoes with thyme. Thyme can attract parasitic wasps that will prey on Colorado potato beetles. At the same time, thyme improves the potatoes’ taste for a guaranteed quality harvest of these tubers. 

Tomatoes

Another crop that thyme enhances the flavour of is the tomato. You will also get disease-free fruits because pests like hornworms and whiteflies don’t like thyme. Therefore, you will get flavorful tomatoes free of pests that can affect their quality and growth. 

Shallots

Similar to potatoes and tomatoes, thyme enhances the flavour of shallots. 

Eggplants

To keep garden moths away from eggplants, plant thyme as a companion for these crops. You can stay away from chemical pesticides by taking advantage of this natural pest repellent. 

Strawberries

Berries such as strawberries are excellent companion plants for thyme because the latter deters worms. More so, thyme helps keep the soil moist because it provides ground cover. And because you’re planting thyme in between rows, you can prevent weeds more manageable. 

Blueberries

The hardy characteristic of thyme makes it an ideal companion for crops that are picky about soil conditions. At the same time, you can help in pollinating them for effective yield since thyme attracts pollinators. 

Roses

Keep your garden or greenhouse more beautiful and disease-free by planting roses with thyme. Thyme acts as a pesticide for blackflies and aphids that can affect the quality of your rose bushes. 

What Is Thyme?

Now that you are interested in growing thyme with companion plants, the next step is to know more about this multi-purpose herb. Thyme or Thymus vulgaris is a woody perennial plant from the Lamiaceae family. It is an easy crop to cultivate because it thrives well in harsh environments, including dry and sandy conditions. 

Therefore, if you live in a hot region and you want something very low maintenance to cultivate, thyme is the best choice. Thyme boosts the flavor of other crops, deters pests, and attracts pollinators and pest predators. One can assume that thyme is a multi-purpose crop that will benefit those who are cultivating multiple crops. 

More than as a flavorful herb with antiseptic properties, thyme itself is an eye-pleaser. You can grow them in a greenhouse, and people will buy them for borders and walkways to enhance the look of those areas. This low-growing herb is aromatic and beautiful, with tiny flowers that are well-liked by bees and humans during spring. 

Types Of Thyme

Successful cultivation of thyme requires knowledge in the types of thyme and varieties that will suit you. They have distinct qualities and include the golden lemon, creeping, woolly, caraway, Golden King, Annie Hall, Cilician, Silver Posie, and Bertram Anderson as the popular ones. 

Golden lemon thyme

Golden lemon thyme, from the name itself, smells like lemon. It also has a minty taste that goes well in dishes that need both citrusy and refreshing kick. You can distinguish the golden lemon thyme by its multicolored golden leaves. 

Creeping thyme

Thyme is a low-growing plant, but the creeping thyme is at the lowest height. It only reaches up to 3 inches tall, which makes it great as a ground cover to keep weeds at bay. It is also beautiful to look at with the varying colored flowers ranging from white, pink, magenta, and lavender. 

Woolly thyme

Another low and very flat type of thyme is the woolly thyme. It is called woolly because it feels soft to touch, similar to wool carpets. Because it has no flavor and smell profile, this thyme is used as ornamental plants for patio cracks instead. 

Caraway thyme

Named after the fragrant spice, caraway, caraway thyme offers the same scent of the herb. It grows with pale flowers and is used both ornamentally and spice in different dishes. 

 

Thyme Varieties

Golden King

The Golden King thyme variety is Golden lemon thyme with pink flowers. 

Annie Hall

Annie Hall is a favorite thyme variety because of its green leaves and pale pink flowers. 

Cilician thyme

Cilician thyme is a variety with lively green leaves and pink flowers. 

Silver Posie

Silver Posie is low-maintenance thyme with frosted-looking leaves and light pink flowers. 

Bertram Anderson

Similar to the Golden King, Bertram Anderson thyme has golden leaves and pink flowers. 

How To Grow Thyme?

Thyme is a hardy crop, but you still need to educate yourself with the factors for growing it successfully. The soil, spacing, temperature, maintenance, and harvesting are the significant factors to consider to guarantee effective cultivation. Afterward, one can apply the knowledge into growing thyme in the greenhouse for easier farming alongside thyme’s companion plants. 

Soil

Thyme grows well in a fertilized and well-drained soil. Ensure that it has a pH between 6.0 and 8.0. Remember that thyme tolerates drought, so the soil must drain well. 

At the same time, the ground temperature should be at 70°F if you are planting thyme cuttings. 

Spacing

Thyme is low-growing, but this herb still needs space as it grows well and easily. The spacing between each plant can range from 12 to 24 inches. If you aim to use thyme as a cover, you can use 6-inch spacing for the new plants. 

Temperature

Compared to other herbs, thyme thrives well in hot and sunny weather. Therefore, growing it in a region with warm, dry, and sunny climates is optimal for a successful harvest. In particular, they aim to grow thyme between 68 to 86°F.

These temperatures are usually during spring to early summer. But if you’re growing your thyme indoors, choose a sunny spot. Doing so will help the herb achieve better flavor because the heat will affect the essential oils on the leaves. 

Maintenance

One of the reasons why many people are looking into growing thyme is because it is low maintenance. In fact, you don’t need to do much in watering and feeding. And after you have harvested, you only have to remove the areas that died. 

This is also one reason you need to ensure that you planted thyme in free-draining soil. It is not picky in nutrient requirements, and it can even thrive with minimal soil nutrients. However, you also have to consider the needs of the companion plants you’ve chosen with thyme. 

If you’re growing thyme for aesthetic purposes, you can reshape it after flowering. You can also trim it to have a higher leaf harvest through autumn. Otherwise, thyme can turn woody and tough. 

Harvesting

When should you harvest thyme? You can harvest up to ⅓ of the leaves right before thyme starts flowering. Ensuring regular harvesting will give you continuous yield, and the number of harvesting sessions will only depend on your region’s condition.

For example, you can harvest once a year when half of the flowers have bloomed in the summer. On the other hand, you can also have up to 3 harvesting sessions from late spring to early autumn. Overall, it will take the personal experience to know how many harvesting sessions you can have with your crops. 

It is worth noting that experienced farmers recommend starting harvesting on the plant’s second year onwards instead of the first year. However, studies have shown that the weather conditions before harvest are influential as well. Therefore, you can also harvest thyme during the first year or 160 days after you sowed the seeds. 

The main takeaway here is that the more you harvest and trim thyme, the more it flourishes. Remember to leave the woody portions or 5 inches of the plant to encourage growth. This will also create a neater look of the herbs. 

 

How To Grow Thyme In A Greenhouse?

Thyme is an herb that is frustration-free when it comes to growing it. In the greenhouse, the steps are as straightforward as planting, maintenance, and harvesting. But why should one consider the greenhouse for the cultivation of an easy crop?

Using a greenhouse will allow farmers with limitations in agricultural limitations to harvest thyme and companions plants as effectively. Thyme is a hardy plant, but studies have shown diminishing quality if you let them dry outside after harvesting. You can avoid this by cultivating them in a greenhouse and refer to Krostrade.com about effective greenhouse farming. 

Planting

You can opt to grow thyme in the soil bed of the greenhouse. You’ll only need a small amount of fertilizer or organic matter in the soil for the conditions. It will take the seeds up to 28 days to fully germinate, and the ideal temperature should be at 70°F.

The seeds can grow in shallow rows without covering. Afterward, you can transplant them when they reach a height of 3 inches. Depending on how big your greenhouse is, you can plant thyme plants 9 inches apart or 18 inches apart. 

Maintenance

Another reason why thyme grows excellently in the greenhouse is that the latter offers protection against harsh winds and rains. In fact, thyme can grow well in gravel gardens or grit-filled containers with free-draining soil. As for the maintenance, thyme tolerates drought and only requires a 10-10-10 ratio fertilizer every spring. 

Harvesting

You can start harvesting during the first year before the flowering for better flavor. Cut the thyme plants 2 inches above the ground and avoid cutting the stems at their base. Another good indication that it’s good to harvest is when the plants’ softwood is still green. 

 

Once you harvested the plants, dry them in a warm shade over sheets of newspaper. It can take up to 4 years for the plants to become woody. Once that happens, you can plant new thyme seeds. 

How To Use Thyme?

Cooking

Both fresh and dried thyme is useful for cooking. You can also preserve this herb in oil or vinegar as flavorful and more concentrated additions to different dishes. Thyme goes well with butter, mayonnaise, cabbage, beans, green vegetables, potatoes, meat, fish, and eggs. 

 

If you’re using fresh thyme, you have the option to add it with the stem or just the leaves. Some recipes require intact thyme, while the leaves also work as a garnish. The leaves are tiny, which means you don’t have to chop them.

 

Dried thyme is an excellent substitute for fresh thyme because of its shelf life. But if you’re using it as a substitute, remember that its flavor is stronger. It’s best to add dried herbs at the beginning of the recipe for a much more incorporated harmony of flavors. 

Medicinal uses and benefits

Thyme also has a wide range of medicinal uses. The compound found in thyme, thymol, has shown its potential in treating respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous disorders. You can also use it as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antimicrobial. 

 

Some medicinal uses of thyme include dental varnish, germ-killing mouthwash, and soothing the skin and scalp. Thyme works as treatment of bronchitis, sore throat, diarrhea, flatulence, diuretic, appetite stimulant, and anti-parasitic as well. The plant can be applied directly to the skin, but thyme oil and extract are also popular remedies. 

Conclusion

Thyme is an herb that is loved by a lot of crops because it enhances their flavors, deters parasites, and attracts predators that feed on pests. Salad burnet, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, shallots, strawberries, blueberries, and roses are excellent thyme companion plants. Thyme is also alluring for honeybees that help with pollination, and the way this herb grows can keep weeds at bay. 

 

Growing thyme is stress-free because it is a hardy plant. It thrives well in drought, and it has minimal soil requirements in terms of fertilization. If you live in an area where agricultural resources are limited, you can still harvest this multi-purpose herb without any greenhouse problems.

 

Overall, thyme is not just a useful flavor enhancer in different dishes. It also offers natural pesticidal benefits to other crops, enhances the look of an area, and acts as an herbal medicine for various medical conditions. Take advantage of companion plant cultivation with thyme and reap these multiple benefits without high levels of effort. 

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How Long Do Azalea Bushes Bloom?

How Long Do Azalea Bushes Bloom?

If you’re trying to grow azaleas, you’re probably asking this question: How long do azalea bushes bloom? Before we get into that, you need to know more about this evergreen shrub.

 

Azaleas: The Basics

Countless gardening enthusiasts love azaleas because their presence can bring any garden to life. With their healthy and glossy green foliage and their brightly colored blooms that come in a variety of petal shapes, this type of rhododendron serves as one of the heralds of spring.

Although this favored garden guests come in many kinds, not all varieties can grow in the same region. However, as long as you choose the right tup of azalea variety, soil, as well as weather, and watering conditions, you can be sure that your azaleas will have what they need to thrive well and produce lots of flowers for months.

Among their distinguishing characteristics are their glossy, deep green-colored leaves that have small hairs on their surface. Furthermore, azaleas also feature single flowers instead of clusters.

 

Factors to Consider When You’re Growing Azaleas

Azaleas might be pretty, but if you’re not so sure about the factors you have to consider when you’re growing them, you won’t be able to make the most out of these plants.

 

Factor #1: They need a little love to get the best color

Azaleas may be one of the most reliable plants in your garden, but if you want them to show off their best colors and keep on producing the flowers you love, you need to give them some TLC. You can have the most blooms if you make sure that they get enough sun and get watered properly and on a regular basis.

 

Factor #2: The weather can influence their growth

Did you know that the weather conditions play a critical role in the bloom of your azalea? In case you’re not aware, the number of flowers they produce and the length of time they produce them are greatly affected when the temperatures dip. Expect their actual bloom dates to vary about a week or two.

The warmer the weather, the earlier their blooms erupt. What’s more, azaleas planted in these warmer areas bloom again in the fall.

 

Factor #3: There are over 900 species of them

You might be surprised to know that while azaleas have more than 900 species out there, you can find over 20,000 hybrids of Rhododendron spp., as well as azaleas. These all come in various shapes and sizes.

You can find azaleas that are both tall and spiky or bushy and small. They could look like they hug the ground or they could produce waves of gorgeous flowers dotting its canopy of deep green foliage.

 

How Long Do Azalea Bushes Bloom?

Generally, an azalea plant produces spectacular blooms for a period of three weeks during springtime. However, other types of azaleas also show off their gorgeous flowers during the summer depending on the region where they grow, as well as the weather.

In maritime and mild climates, the flowering season for azalea plants can be extended up to a period of seven months. On the other hand, azaleas that are planted in colder climates tend to have a shorter blooming time which could only range between three weeks to three months.

It’s best to select a type of azalea that blooms well during the milder months of the area where you plant them. To make this happen, make sure that you feed your azaleas with a balanced 15-15-15 fertilizer. In case you’re wondering, azalea plants will do well if they get more nitrogen.

 

 

Grow Your Precious Plants in a Mini Greenhouse!

If you don’t have enough space in your backyard, you might want to grow your plants in a mini greenhouse. Greenhouse gardening offers you loads of benefits that can help you take your gardening experience to the next level! Here are some of them:

 

Protection against bad weather conditions

Since a mini greenhouse is an enclosed space, you won’t have to worry about your plants when Mother Nature unleashes her fury. While other traditional outdoor gardeners get caught up making emergency preparations to ensure their plants’ safety, you can just sit back and wait for the storm to pass.

 

It keeps the pests and vermin away

Having a mini greenhouse can be a huge plus when it comes to protecting your plants from different types of destructive insects and animals. Your mini greenhouse serves as a barrier between your indoor garden and the pests.

 

You can control your plants’ growing environment

Creating an optimal growing environment for your plants will be much easier for you if you keep them in a mini greenhouse. Controlling the temperature, heat, and humidity levels inside the enclosed space won’t be difficult for you. What’s more, you can also choose to introduce beneficial insects to your garden to help your plant babies thrive well.

 

Extended growing seasons

With a mini greenhouse, you can effortlessly extend your plants’ growing seasons. It allows you to grow certain types of plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

Now that you finally know the answer to “How long do azalea bushes bloom?”, you might want to experience the wonderful benefits of greenhouse gardening today!

 

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