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What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

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What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  cpl100 on 7/30/2012, 2:04 pm

Hello folks! I need to cut some thyme from my plant but I don't want to do it the wrong way. Last year I cut incorrectly from my rosemary plant and it stopped growing!

I know they proper way to do it for parsley and basil but not for thyme and can't seem to find it spelled out so I can totally understand it on the web via search.

Thank you!
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  gwennifer on 7/30/2012, 2:22 pm

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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  cpl100 on 7/30/2012, 3:00 pm

Thanks for that. But will it continue to grow if I just cut it willy nilly from anyplace on the plant? That's the crux of my question....

(The reason I am hesitant is that last year I did some research which said one could clip the rosemary plant like that. Well, you can, but it turns out that if you cut it down too far, it will not continue growing--although the plant does not die.)
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  gwennifer on 7/30/2012, 3:36 pm

I understood your question, and the reason I picked that video for a response is that she specifically answers that question:

And it doesn't matter how far back you trim it, it will always grow back, unless it's outside in the middle of winter and then it will just wait till the spring to grow.

If you're worried about it, just be sure not to cut off all the green. Only shear it back part way. Other herb harvesting techniques have you do a rotating thing where you cut back a quarter of the plant at a time, allowing each section time to recover before coming at it again.
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  cpl100 on 7/30/2012, 4:33 pm

Thank you, again! I must have spaced out at the end where she said that. I'm sorry I asked again.
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  sanderson on 3/28/2016, 5:04 pm

I'm trying to harvest and dry thyme. The leaves are itty bitty and it's taking me forever to strip the leaves without getting little stems in the gleanings. If I leave the stems and leaves to dry, will the leaves easily crumble off without the stems breaking off? I microwaved and am letting it dry for a while. Thanks in advance.

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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/28/2016, 10:16 pm

Sorry, I can't help you, Sanderson, I have a ton of thyme, but use it fresh, year round. It does have tiny leaves, maybe try drying some and running your fingers backwards down the stalk?
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  sanderson on 3/29/2016, 1:13 am

Thanks. Since I posted, I microwaved a piece and let it air dry.  The leaves came off a lot easier.  Will dry and try the rest.

I'm trying to dry different herbs for off season use and for my organic daughter. Very Happy

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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  trolleydriver on 3/29/2016, 9:26 am

Last Fall I collected various herbs from my SFG, put them in paper bags which have holes in them, then hung them up to dry in my furnace room. I was supposed to do something with them after a few weeks but never got around to doing it.

So here we are several months later and they are still hanging there. I was almost afraid to open them up to see what had happened. Maybe I would find some horrible experiment in growing mold.

This morning I took down one of the bags containing thyme. I took out the thyme "branches" and rubbed my hands over them. All the little leaves fell off into a bowl I placed below. The aroma really is amazing. The question might be, "Is there anything else growing on them after all this time?". To the eye they seem to be ok.


Maybe I'll get brave now and check out what is in the other bags!


happy turtle
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  trolleydriver on 3/29/2016, 10:11 am

Continuing from my previous post ...

Turns out I had 7 bags of Thyme hanging in the basement furnace room. Six shown below.




Here is the haul ...
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/29/2016, 12:00 pm

My thyme never grows that tall!  However, I do have several sprawling plants.  It's quite invasive, as well as hardy. 

Must check the dill I hung in the garage last fall....
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  sanderson on 3/29/2016, 1:36 pm

TD, Amazing amount of thyme! I wouldn't worry about anything growing on them.

Donna, the thyme I have also sprawls, but thank goodness it is in a corner square and grew over the sides.

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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  camprn on 3/29/2016, 7:19 pm

I just grab a handful and cut it off with scissors. But I try to leave the blooms for the bees. They lovee the thyme. A lot.

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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  sanderson on 3/29/2016, 9:01 pm

My Syrphid flies and one bumble are enjoying it along with the perennial sage purple flowers.

Yes, for fresh cooking I just grab the scissors. I'm also trying to put up dried herbs. I bought little plastic herb jars off eBay.

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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 3/30/2016, 11:05 pm

Grab scissors and massacre it, lol!  It's basically impossible to kill once it's got a stronghold  Very Happy

I grab a stem and strip the leaves upward.  All but the last little soft part of the branch comes off clean.
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  herblover on 3/31/2016, 10:07 am

I try to de-stem them when they are fresh; it isn't quite as easy but that way the leaves don't get bruised and release the essential oils.  I crush them when getting ready to use them.
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  cpl100 on 3/31/2016, 10:57 am

I dry them fully.  Then I put them in a plastic bag.  When I need some, I shake the bag and leaves fall to the bottom.

That being said, once I underestimated the drying time needed and I did end up with a moldy mess in that bag!  That was a sad day!
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  sanderson on 4/1/2016, 3:19 am

My final solution was partially drying in the microwave, then air drying. The leaves kind of crumbled off. I have a nice harvest to share with my daughter, IF I can find the little seasoning jars I bought. Embarassed Thank for the responses.

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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/1/2016, 7:52 am

Sorry. I've been out a couple of days...

I dehydrate them, then strip.
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 4/1/2016, 4:28 pm

If you want to have fresh thyme all year round you can do this:

1.  Get snack sized bags.  Write: Thyme with a sharpie pen.  Put 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil or other oil in the bag.
2.  Pick your herbs early in the morning, wash, pat dry.
3.  One stem at a time, carefully strip from the bottom upward.  You can leave the last little leaves on the stem (they invariably break off) or put those aside to pull the leaves off later.  I just leave them whole since the stem isn't woody on them.
4.  Place however much would be a standard serving for you to use fresh in the bag.  I generally have 1 to 2 TBSP.  Coat the leaves well.  
5.  Flatten the bags neatly and then stack on a shelf in your freezer to freeze.  After they're frozen you can rubber band them together (I do this with several spices like basil so I can find what I need easily).  If you have a shelf inside your freezer door, they'll stand up nicely in there and be readily accessible!

There really is nothing like fresh herbs and this method easily keeps them fresh until the next year's crop is in.  I have some Basil that's on it's second year and still good.  I'm not sure just how long they will keep but so far I've never had one go bad.
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/1/2016, 9:41 pm

Genius! Love it! Thanks, AJR!
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  Windmere on 4/2/2016, 8:35 am

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:If you want to have fresh thyme all year round you can do this:

1.  Get snack sized bags.  Write: Thyme with a sharpie pen.  Put 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil or other oil in the bag.
2.  Pick your herbs early in the morning, wash, pat dry.
3.  One stem at a time, carefully strip from the bottom upward.  You can leave the last little leaves on the stem (they invariably break off) or put those aside to pull the leaves off later.  I just leave them whole since the stem isn't woody on them.
4.  Place however much would be a standard serving for you to use fresh in the bag.  I generally have 1 to 2 TBSP.  Coat the leaves well.  
5.  Flatten the bags neatly and then stack on a shelf in your freezer to freeze.  After they're frozen you can rubber band them together (I do this with several spices like basil so I can find what I need easily).  If you have a shelf inside your freezer door, they'll stand up nicely in there and be readily accessible!

There really is nothing like fresh herbs and this method easily keeps them fresh until the next year's crop is in.  I have some Basil that's on it's second year and still good.  I'm not sure just how long they will keep but so far I've never had one go bad.
I love this idea Audrey.  I think will try this!
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  ralitaco on 4/29/2016, 12:58 am

1. These techniques will be the same for Lemon Thyme too, correct?
2. Sanderson: How long do you microwave them? At what power? Then how long do you air dry?
3. How long to air dry w/o nuking?

Thanks...This is why I am asking:
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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  sanderson on 4/29/2016, 2:27 am

If I remember correctly, in smallish lacy batches sandwiched between paper towels, about 30 seconds, maybe another 15 seconds? Spread to finish drying. 24 hours in the house? Then the leaves kind of crumble off. You can do this with other herbs, just microwave small batches with short bursts until you get to know the herb's needs. What do you use the lemon thyme in?

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Re: What is proper way to clip from thyme plant?

Post  ralitaco on 4/29/2016, 4:54 pm

Thanks Sanderson, I will be trying to dry some this weekend. I have to get that plant under control

@sanderson wrote: What do you use the lemon thyme in?
I don't use it in anything, but I always run my hand through it when I walk by because it smells sooo good.
Now my DW said she uses it with chicken and fish dishes. She likes the combination of the thyme flavor and the lemon.
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