The best method for harvesting thyme is to cut off the top 4 to 5 inches of the stems at the growth nodes just before the plant blooms. This produces the best flavor and allows the remaining stems to grow and produce more leaves. All harvesting should be completed three to four weeks before the first frost to allow the stems time to harden before winter.
Thyme can be dried by tying together clusters of stems at the cut ends and hanging them upside down for about a week. Temperatures should be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit with low humidity for best drying results. Once the plant has dried, the leaves can be removed and placed flat on a clean tray. After a few more days of dry time, the leaves can be stored in an airtight container in a dimly lit area.
Thyme is a common herb used to flavor foods and is valued for its fresh scent. The thick, aromatic plant is easy to grow and provides an abundance of seasoning. It can be grown indoors in pots, or outdoors in most areas if planted well in advance of the first frost. It prefers well-drained soil and sunny to partly shady conditions.