Creeping Thyme Plant Thinning
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Cathy Cole
Posted on: June 2, 2001

I have many beautiful creeping thyme plants between slate walkway which are now overgrowing into the yard. What is the best way to maintain these plants...cutting from the top or pulling out to thin?

If you are trying to contain the thyme from growing into the yard, you can cut a boundary with a spade and lift or pull up the thyme plants outside of the boundary.

Whether you thin or cut your plants depends on the variety. If you are growing one of the taller creeping thymes, such as wild thyme or creeping lemon thyme, they can be cut with a lawnmover or hedge shearer. These varieties will reach as high as 20 cm (8") and they will tolerate the occasional mowing down to 5-10 cm (2-4").

If you have one of the low creeping thymes that stays below 10 cm (4") then you don’t have to anything other than a top dressing with well-rotted manure every couple of years. It is possible that the plants will become so overcrowded that they die out over winter. If you see patchy survival you may want to thin the plants by pulling out some of the plants (making sure to get down to the roots); but in most situations that won’t be necessary.

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