Growing Thyme commercially – Thyme Cultivation Practices
Growing thyme commercially for essential oil and/or plant material has raised much attention during the last two decades. Thyme is a plant that can grow well in an average environment and can produce different products that can target different industries. Thyme essential oil has been found to have antibacterial, antispasmodic, diuretic, hypertensive, calming and many other properties. The essential oil of thyme has been recognized as a global respected commodity, as it is used in many industries (Pharmaceutical, Personal Health Care, Detergent, Insecticides etc.). Moreover, thyme dried leaves are used for preparing teas as well as various other products (e.g. skin lotions).
Growing organic thyme is easier than growing organically other herbs, as the plant rarely suffers from diseases and has minimum fertilization requirements. Organic essential oil from thyme plant can be marketed at a higher price than regular.
Growing commercially thyme involves a series of activities. The plant is perennial and can give good yields from the second until the sixth year. After six years, most farmers plow and destroy the plants in order to rotate the crop or plant new seedlings. Although the plant can grow well in the average environment, maximum yields are achieved in certain climate and soil conditions. The plants can be propagated from seeds or cuttings (there are pros and cons in each method). Planting, Irrigation and Weed Control are very important and affect greatly the final output. Timing of harvest has been reported to have great effect on the final yield. Processing, storing and distillation methods are also extremely important for the yield of essential oil.
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3.) Growing Thyme for Profit
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