Creeping Thyme is a popular and adaptive dwarf groundcover that is popular for landscape designs. Used often as borders on flower beds and in between pavers on walkways, this is a groundcover that can handle moderate foot traffic. Creeping Thyme is a perennial herb which will survive over-winter well in zones 4-9.
Direct Sow seeds outdoors between May and August when temperatures are consistently in the high 60s or above. Division of established plantings can be done in March and April. Fall plantings should be avoided to protect against freeze damage.
Average germination time should be approximately 21-28 days and seeds should be kept consistently moist until germination is strong.
When planting, seeds should not be covered with soil, but rather pressed into the soil. Good seed to soil contact is necessary for ideal germination rates.
Creeping Thyme prefers well drained soil with a neutral pH (between 6.5 and 7.5) in an area where it receives good sun, but can also tolerate partial shade.
Creeping thyme is a slow grower and will take more than one season to reach its full potential. Once seeds are germinating well, water to a depth of 6 inches when the top few inches of soil dries out.
A light mulching may be helpful to retain moisture in warmer and drier climates, but if seeds are planted in between pavers or in shadier areas mulching is usually not necessary.
A light dose of delayed release fertilizer can be useful if you are planting in poorer soil, but good soil preparation (mixing in a 2-3 inch layer of manure, compost or other organic material prior to planting) should negate the need for fertilizer.
Creeping Thyme will not thrive in excessively clay or sandy soils. Creeping Thyme will grow between 4-6 inches high and each established plant can spread to approximately 2 feet wide.
After several years the center of plants will become woody and start to die back. Dead parts can be carefully cut back and healthy outer parts of the plant can be replanted.
Creeping Thyme is not generally susceptible to disease or insects but can provide a barrier for veggies and ornamental plantings.