Thyme Varieties
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Shannon Camardo
Posted on: March 01, 2004

I am interested in some thyme for between patio pavers. I am leaning towards Magic Carpet Lemon thyme, Lemon Carpet thyme and creeping thyme and I have a few questions about them.

What is the difference between the two Lemon thymes. According to your catalog one of them you can start from seeds. Is that very hard to do and how long does it take to get some established plants. I must be honest and tell you I am not real good with plants and need something that will be relatively easy to grow and maintain.

Lemon Carpet thyme is a little lower than Magic Carpet lemon thyme, but it is not available as a seed and hence costs more per plant. From seed it takes 10 to 14 weeks to get a plant ready to plant in its permanent spot. The seed is very small and therefore the seedlings are tiny to start with. I would advise that you use a soil-less mix peat-moss based mix such as Pro-Mix, sterilized by wetting it throughly with boiling water to use as your sowing medium. Enclose the sown pot in a clean plastic bag -the "Zip-Lock" bags are very convenient- and put into a bright spot out of direct sun. To find out how to sow, check our web-site www.richters.com under the "Q&A" heading in the "News & Info" section of the site. Click on "Search Question & Answers" and type in"seeding", to find the topics that sound as if they would answer your question. Seeding rates for selected herbs can be found in the Commercial section under Pro-Growers Info.

How high do these plants grow? I think I saw that the lemon variety are 2"(5 cm) high but I don’t think I saw how high the creeping thyme gets.

Creeping thyme gets at most one centimeter (half inch) high.

I have one patio that is about 144 Sq feet. One that is about 40 sq. ft. and another that is about 10 sq ft. The medium size area has a few hours of morning sun and then is shady the rest of the day. The other two will have sun all day. Will thyme do well in these areas, if not do you have any other suggestions?

Your climate will determine if half a day of sun is enough. In most climates it should be no problem. when you get into a zone where the thyme is marginally hardy, the softer growth resulting from less sun will result in more winter kill.Again consult our web-site under "groundcover" for suggestions.

As for how many plants you need, for quick cover one plant for every foot of crack in the paving stones should fill in during the year. Consult the Pro-Grower section in the commercial part of our web-site on "thyme" for the amount of seed needed for the number of plants required.

To cover the areas pretty quickly how much should I purchase? Or do these plants grow quickly enough to fill in by just planting a few plants?

As for how many plants you need, for quick cover, one plant for every foot of crack in the paving stones should fill in during the year. Consult the Pro-Grower section in the commercial part of our web-site on "thyme" for the amount of seed needed for the number of plants required There it might work to direct seed into the cracks, after preparing the cracks for sowing by loosening the soil and possibly adding some humus.

I am guessing this is the time to make an order for these plants so I appreciate any help you can give in deciding and getting under way with this project.

March is a good time to order to get the plants in time for planting at the optimal time in spring.

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