Plant a thyme lawn

Thyme lawn from Rose NotesA fragrant thyme lawn is a fine substitute for grass, particularly in an area that’s hot and dry. Thyme is drought-tolerant, and produces masses of purple, pink or white flowers in spring or summer. You can plant a single variety en masse or a selection of different varieties to produce a patchwork effect.

The creeping thymes (Thymus serpyllum and all its varieties) are ideal for lawns. You can buy Thymus serpyllum from Kings Seeds, or look for varieties such as ‘Lemon Curd’, ‘Fulney Red’ and ‘Albus’ from specialist growers, such as Herbs NZ ( Woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus) also makes a great groundcover, as does the superb Bressingham thyme (Thymus doerfleri ‘Bressingham’), which is one of the first to flower (with brilliant pink blooms) in spring.

Growing thyme
Thyme likes a sunny spot in free-draining soil. It won’t tolerate wet feet, so add pumice or horticultural grit to improve drainage if necessary. Remove grass and weeds and dig over your site. It may not be necessary to add compost (unless you need it to improve drainage), as thyme grows best in average, not rich, soil.

As the seed is very fine, sow them on the surface of trays filled with seed-raising mix and leave uncovered. Water sparingly, as thyme seedlings are prone to damping off disease, causing rot and eventual death. When big enough, plant in the garden, spacing 20-30cm apart, depending on the variety (the plant label or seed packet should indicate the eventual spread). Water your plants while establishing.

Your thyme lawn will need trimming after flowering to prevent plants from becoming woody.


This gorgeous photo comes from the gorgeous blog Rose Notes.

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