Thyme Ground Cover Lawn  

Tired of maintaining your lawn? Ready for something pretty to replace the weeds? Then a ground cover thyme might just be your answer.

In the photo above five thymes are growing in a mosaic. Pink Lemonade Thyme is the bright green thyme that has the shadow of the tree on it. It flows into the silvery Woolly Thyme near the boundary board which separates this garden from the lawn. The tall flowering, early blooming Caraway Thyme is in the foreground to the right of the Woolly Thyme. In the back Heretus Thyme is also in full bloom. If you look closely you can see a bluer thyme in between the two flowering ones. This is the tiny Elfin Thyme.  It is being threatened by the fast growing Pink Lemonade Thyme which will probably take over both the Elfin and the Woolly in a year.

5 Tips for a Successful and Beautiful Thyme Lawn

1. Pick a sunny location. Thymes need about five hours of sun a day to stay healthy.

2. Clear all weeds and shape the soil. Water, let weeds sprout and weed again. Newly planted Thymes cannot compete with weeds but will keep weed seeds from getting light once they are established and completely cover the ground.

4. Water plants and soil before and after planting and check often for moisture. When plants first go into the ground, the ground around them can actually wick water away from the plant. So, it is necessary to keep the root balls moist until the roots become symbiotic with the soil around them.

5. Mulch empty spaces between plants. Mulching when first planted helps to retain moisture and get the plants off to a successful start. It also helps to smother weed seeds. Be sure to leave a three inch air space around each plant. Mulch should be thick enough so no ground shows through.

6. Keep watered and weeded and enjoy.

Once you have your site ready the big question is which thyme to plant.

It is important to know the difference between a creeping thyme that is appropriate for a two-inch space and one that is appropriate for a two foot space.  Large Thymes stuffed into a small space will cover up stepping stones or climb into nearby shrubs or planters.


How they grow

Just like all plants, Thyme spreads by growing from one set of leaves to the next. In between the leaves is a stem segment. The length of the stem segment is what determines how fast a thyme will grow and ultimately how wide the spread is. It takes more energy and time to produce a set of leaves than to project a stem segment. So faster growing thymes like the Creeping Pink Thyme pictured on the right,  have leaves that are further apart on their stems.


Creeping Pink Thyme Stem Segment  

Faster growing, wider spreading thymes include Pink Lemonade Thyme, Creeping Pink, Goldstream Thyme, Caraway Thyme, Lemon Frost Thyme, Reiter's Thyme, Hall's Woolly Thyme and Coconut Thyme. These can be planted 12 to 18 inches apart with complete cover usually occurring in two years. Caraway Thyme can be planted 24 inches apart and will cover in a year.

While there are other thymes that could be used as ground covers, these are the most suitable when a flat, more walkable  surface is wanted.

Goldstream Thyme


Goldstream Thyme

Slower growing thymes are more suitable for in between stepping stones and include Elfin Thyme (pictured on the right), Pink Chintz Thyme, Mint Thyme, Woolly Thyme, White Moss Thyme and Highland Cream Thyme.

Elfin Thyme growing between stepping stones.

We are pleased to announce a new site to make ordering plug trays of your favorite thymes and other plants easier than ever.

What are plug trays???

Plug Trays are the economical way to plant when you need a lot of something. Each plug tray has 128  plants that are ideal for planting between stepping stones or filling large spaces. Each plant is only .60. Each cell is about an inch long and 3/4 of an inch wide. 

Click here for more information on plug trays.

Heretus Thyme Plug Tray
  Pre-order Vegetable Plants We are shipping tomatoes and some other veggies now to warmer areas with more available every week.

If gardening is still a ways off for you be sure to pre-order now for spring.

Just click here to order your favorite plants!



For more inspiration be sure to join us on Pinterest. We are constantly adding new and exciting recipes, crafts and growing tips for the plants we sell. We just updated our Lemon Verbena board which will have you anxiously waiting for your plant to grow!

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