Thyme Ground Cover - Knowledgebase Question

Anaheim, CA
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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
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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