Thyme Ground Cover - Knowledgebase Question

Anaheim, CA
Question by jhouse
May 21, 1998
I am interested in planting creeping thyme as a ground cover instead of a lawn and read that it not only does well in dry ,poor soil ( my is very claylike) but it absolutely requires such a hardship to develop best. In the area where I am going to plant the thyme should I not add compost to the soil? I am also interested in using rosemary in a creeping form as a ground cover. Do you have any information on these ?


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Answer from NGA
May 21, 1998

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Thyme seems to thrive on abuse, but don't let that stop you from providing reasonably good conditions in your garden. All plants appreciate loose, well-draining soil, so amending it with organic matter before planting is a good idea. Rosemary is another rugged plant that will grow in poor soil, but good drainage is a must. Organic matter will lighten the soil and help improve the drainage in your clay-like soil. Both rosemary and thyme will look best if given water on a regular basis. The prostrate dwarf rosemary grows to about 2' feet tall with a 4' - 8' foot spread will probably fit your needs as a ground cover.

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