If you’re looking for a hardy and versatile herb to kickstart your herb garden, thyme is an excellent choice.
Not only is it easy to grow, but it also comes with a huge range of benefits that will help your whole garden thrive.
To learn more about thyme, and its best companion plants, take a look at the in-depth guide below. We cover everything you need to know so that you can really make the most out of your garden this season.
Thyme Care Guide
Thyme is a great plant to start a herb garden with. It is fairly easy to care for, you just need to be aware of a few essentials. First, thyme needs to be planted in well-drained soil. It should also be placed somewhere in the garden that gets plenty of sunshine.
Thyme also needs to be protected from cold and wet weather. As such, it might be a good idea to pot your thyme in a container that you can easily move inside during the cooler months.
Once your thyme plant has flowered, you can trim it back to ensure that new growth occurs. Additionally, once your thyme plant has established itself, it likely won’t need watering very much at all. We recommend giving it a feed weekly, but only if the soil has dried out first.
Benefits Of Growing Thyme
There are actually a number of benefits associated with growing thyme in your herb garden. Check out the most impressive ones below.
Whether you’re a total newbie to the world of gardening, or you have well-established green fingers, you will likely know the pain of having your plants ravaged by pesky insects. Planting thyme in your garden can help prevent pests from taking hold!
This is because it acts as a deterrent for some of the most frustrating pests.
Whilst there isn’t a huge amount of scientific research to back this up, many professional gardeners believe that thyme can deter cabbage worms, whiteflies, tomato hornworms, and many more!
Tolerant To Droughts
As previously mentioned, thyme loves dry environments. In fact, it is even drought-tolerant. As such, even if you don’t remember to water it on time, it is likely that your thyme plant will survive. It’s a great option for those of you who often accidentally neglect your plants.
Comes Back Yearly
We know the pain associated with feeling as though you have to start afresh with your garden every year. But, with thyme, you don’t need to do that, because you can count on it growing back every year!
It is thought that using thyme as a companion crop will better the flavor of the crops around it. Again, there is little scientific research to confirm this, however, anecdotal evidence from experienced gardeners suggests that this can happen occasionally.
Great Smell And Taste
Planting thyme will make your garden smell even better! Also, thyme is a very versatile herb that can be used in a huge array of different dishes. As such, it’s an excellent herb to plant for any keen cook!
What Is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is a method used by many gardeners. It not only works to protect crops that are vulnerable, but when done right, it also ensures that your crops are the best they can be.
Companion planting is a term that refers to the process of planting certain crops close to each other. The aim is to ensure that pests are deterred, growth is encouraged, and useful insects, such as pollinators, are attracted to the area.
Best Thyme Companion Plants
There are many different plants that work well with thyme. To find the best thyme companion plant for your garden, check out the information below.
Potatoes and thyme are excellent companions in many ways. They taste great when paired together on a plate, and they work together wonderfully when they are planted close to each other in the garden. Specifically, thyme aids in protecting potatoes from parasitic wasps.
If you’ve been struggling to grow your shallots due to worms, we recommend planting them close to your thyme next season. Thyme not only works to deter worms but it may in fact better the taste of the shallots too!
Growing tomatoes can be a frustrating experience. Even if you nail all of their care requirements, there is always a high risk that some pests may take over. If you’ve struggled with hornworms ruining your tomato crop before, thyme may be able to help!
Thyme is known to deter hornworms and other pests that may be a problem for tomato plants. Additionally, it is thought that planting thyme close to tomatoes will enhance their flavor and boost their defences.
Generally speaking, strawberries are usually gardeners’ first choice when it comes to companion plants for herbs, and they work very well with thyme in particular. Thyme works to deter pests from feeding on strawberries thanks to its aroma.
Additionally, planting these two crops together can work to smother weeds and provide ground cover. Consequently, the soil will be better protected from the sun and the crops themselves will be less susceptible to pests and disease.
When it comes to growing a garden casually, growing eggplants may not be on your to-do list. However, they are a really great addition to any garden, especially when they are planted next to thyme.
When grown next to eggplants, thyme works as a deterrent for moths, which are usually a big problem when growing eggplants. In fact, thyme works as an excellent moth deterrent for most of the nightshade family.
Roses are a wonderful addition to any garden. They provide a romantic pop of color and really bring the whole garden to life. And, roses happen to be a convenient companion plant for thyme.
Roses attract some nasty pests, including blackflies and aphids. However, thyme can protect roses from these pests. Due to the scent of thyme, when planted close to roses, aphids and blackflies are less likely to approach the roses.
This is a type of perennial plant. It is often grown because it is thought to have medicinal uses. It is thought that planting thyme near this perennial will help it to thrive. Also, the two plants have strong scents that work beautifully together.
If you’ve never tried to grow blueberries in your garden, this is your sign to do so! When combined with thyme, your garden will attract many pollinators, including honey bees! The two plants require slightly different pH levels, but thyme is very hardy so it should be fine.
Cabbage is a great companion plant for thyme. In fact, all members of the cabbage family are excellent companions for thyme. Generally, cabbage attracts a huge amount of pests, but thyme repels many of them, including moths, aphids, cabbage loopers, and flea beetles.
Finally, we had to mention lavender. Lavender is actually considered to be a great companion plant to most herbs from the Mediterranean – especially time. The two crops have incredibly similar growing requirements and will both thrive when potted together.
Other Thyme Companions
There are many great companions for thyme out there. We’ve just listed ten of the best ones above, but if you don’t fancy any of those, check out the super varied list below. There should be something to suit everyone and every garden.
- Brussels Sprouts
- Lemon Verbena
Worst Thyme Companion Plants
Unfortunately, not all plants work well with thyme. There are a few crops that you should keep as far away from your thyme plants as possible. Check them out below to ensure that you’re not making any gardening blunders!
Chives prefer soil that is particularly moist. They don’t get on well with the well-drained soil necessary for growing thyme. As such, it would be very difficult to maintain both plants if they are planted close to each other.
For similar reasons to those discussed above, basil doesn’t make a very good companion to thyme. They simply have vastly different growing requirements. In fact, basil is one of the very few herbs that tend to prefer being planted closer to veggies rather than other herbs.
Cilantro attracts a lot of insects that may be beneficial for plants. However, it just doesn’t play well with thyme. Cilantro is a bit picky about its soil, and it prefers it to be on the moist side. As such, it would be hard to maintain both cilantro and thyme in the same soil.
How To Choose Companion Plants For Thyme
You have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to picking appropriate companions for your thyme. So many that it might be a little overwhelming. But, don’t worry, we have some tips and tricks up our sleeve to ensure that you pick the right companion.
First things first, you need to create a list of the plants you have in your garden. Then, cross-reference your own list with our list of good thyme companions that we have provided above.
If you notice that you already have some awesome thyme companions planted, then your work is done! Simply plant your thyme plants as close to the companions as possible.
If, on the other hand, you have already planted your thyme, you will need to think a little more.
Take a look at the plants that surround your thyme plants. Your companion plants will need to work for all of the plants in the area, at least in terms of their general care requirements (e.g., soil pH, water preferences, and sunlight needs).
There is nothing more rewarding than growing a thriving garden. We hope that this list has helped you figure out how to make the most of your herb garden!