Thyme – Planting Tips

Q: I’m moving from Florida to Athens and I’m interested in putting in a thyme lawn. Do you have any tips to help it be more successful?

A: I don’t see why thyme wouldn’t work if you have full sunshine. I have a patch of creeping thyme, Thymus serpyllum, between patio stones that has thrived despite searing heat in summer. My feeling is that thyme suffers when water sits around its roots, as might happen in heavy clay soil. Make sure your planting area is perfectly level or a bit higher in the middle. Consider covering the area with an inch of soil amendment and an inch of gritty river sand or granite sand and working it six inches deep before planting. Site the plants 12″ apart. Thyme won’t endure much walking traffic so use stepping stones where folks commonly traverse the area. One gardener warns that bees love thyme when it blooms so it’s not a good idea to walk on it barefoot.