The use of creeping thyme for lawn substitute is not new. In fact it was used in ancient times. However, its popularity increased after the introduction of synthetic pesticides such as DDT. These chemicals were very harmful to humans and animals because they caused cancer, birth defects, organ damage and other diseases. Since then there have been many studies on the health effects of using these products. Many people are now concerned about their children’s future health if they continue to use them in the future!
Crawling thyme plants are grown from seeds. They grow up to three feet tall and produce a small amount of leaves. The plant produces flowers in spring or summer. There are several varieties of creeping thyme, but most come in two colors – white and purple.
Both types have edible leaves which contain a mild sedative effect when eaten raw (or cooked). Other uses include making tea, adding to salads, and even baking with the leaves!
Creeping thyme lawn substitutes are growing popular among homeowners looking to reduce pesticide exposure. You may want to consider planting your own creeping thyme lawn substitutes in order to save money and protect the environment. If you do decide to go this route, here are some tips on how best to do so.
Things You’ll Need
Thyme creeping seeds (or seedlings)
1. Prepare The Soil
Begin by preparing the soil for planting. Creeping thymes grow best in sandy, well-draining soils that do not retain water. If your soil is clay, you may need to add organic matter in order to improve drainage. To do this, mix in sand, peat moss or compost.
Be careful not to add too much though as thyme plants do not like “wet feet.”
2. Mark Off The Area
Mark off the area where you want to plant your new creeping thyme lawn. It’s best to do this before you begin digging, as it’s easier to remove the topsoil than dig a hole and try to backfill.
3. Dig Holes
Once the area is marked, begin digging holes. Each hole should be about a foot deep and 1-2 feet wide. If you intend to plant seedlings, dig the hole a little deeper and wider and line with 1/2″ of sand or potting soil before planting.
4. Add Organic Matter
Add additional organic matter to the top 12 inches of soil in your bed if needed. Organic matter will help create a fertile soil environment and nutrients for your creeping thymes plants. You can purchase bagged organic matter at your local garden center or you can use leaves, grass clippings, manure or other types of organic matter.
5. Create Mound Of Earth
Create a small mound in the center of your bed. This will allow water to flow into the center of the bed and help prevent water from pooling around the thyme plants’ root zone.
6. Add Seeds Or Seedlings
Add your thymes creeping seeds or seedlings (if you haven’t already) and gently cover with topsoil. Firm the soil a bit, but don’t walk on it or step into the beds as you can damage the roots.
Water your new creeping thymes well to remove any air pockets and add additional soil if needed.
After your creeping thymes plants have become established, maintaing them is fairly easy. Simply water every few days unless there has been significant rain. Cut back the plants in the spring to promote new growth and control the spread.
How To Use Creeping Thyme Plants
Creeping thyme plants are great for cooking. The leaves can be used in place of common thyme and provide a delicate flavor. The flowers can be used to season meat and the tiny fruits, while not very palatable themselves, can be used as a colorful garnish.
As an addition to your landscape, creeping thymes provide a unique texture and color to your garden or yard. The tiny flowers provide bursts of purple and pink that contrast greatly with the green foliage.
Creeping thymes also make great companion plants for roses and strawberries, as they help to enhance the health of these plants.
Finally, creeping thymes are a great choice for topiaries, window boxes or other containers. They provide a nice green filler for these types of areas and their low growing nature make them great for maintenance.
Sources & references used in this article:
Towards a lawn without grass: the journey of the imperfect lawn and its analogues by LS Smith, MDE Fellowes – Studies in the History of Gardens & …, 2013 – Taylor & Francis
Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives by E Hadden – 2012 – books.google.com
Lawn Gone!: Low-maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard by P Penick – 2013 – books.google.com