How to Grow Creeping Thyme Ground Cover Seeds

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Thyme can be started indoors.
Thyme can be started indoors. (Image: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Creeping thyme is a low-growing, spreading, perennial herb that has been utilized for centuries not just for its epicurean qualities but for its medicinal properties as well. This herb can be grown in pots, in hanging baskets or in herb gardens. Most varieties of thyme are fragrant and release their scent when crushed or stepped on. These ground-hugging plants grow quickly and their pleasant little flowers come in shades of red, pink, lavender and white. You can start creeping thyme from seed indoors about 4 to 6 weeks before spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil-less seed starting mix
  • Bowl
  • Wire basket or colander
  • 4-inch biodegradable pots
  • Spoon
  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic wrap
  • Shovel
  • Trowel
  • Soil amendment

Growing Creeping Thyme Seeds

Cut open a bag of soil-less seed starting mix. Pour out the contents into a metal or plastic bowl.

Spread out the seed starting mix into a colander or fine-wire basket. Sift the material through the colander or wire basket to remove any small debris or particles, which can interfere with the germination of the thyme seeds.

Scoop the sifted seed starting mix into 4-inch biodegradable pots. Pack the mix down gently in each of the pots using your fingers or the back of a metal or plastic spoon.

Mist the seed starting mix with water until it is visibly well moistened.

Sprinkle approximately 2 to 3 creeping thyme seeds on the surface of the seed starting mix. Gently press the seeds into the soil no deeper than about 1/8 inch using the metal spoon.

Spread a layer of clear plastic wrap over each of the biodegradable pots. Secure with rubber bands if needed. To ensure the best rates of germination, keep the temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Poke two or three holes in the plastic wrap to allow for ventilation and to prevent the seeds from dying due to any fungal diseases caused by excess moisture. Remove the plastic wrap after germination begins in eight to 10 days.

Transplanting Creeping Thyme Seedlings

Dig up an area in full sun for planting the creeping thyme seedlings.

Spread out a 1- to 2-inch layer of aged cow manure, rotted leaves or other organic material on the surface of the soil. Mix the amendment into the soil using a fork or shovel.

Dig holes in the planting area spaced about 9 inches apart, as recommended by the National Gardening Association. Each hole should be approximately the depth of the biodegradable pots.

Cut off the top section from each of the biodegradable pots, to prevent moisture loss after planting.

Plant one creeping thyme seedling into each of the holes. Scoop soil around the seedling until the hole is well filled. Provide each creeping thyme seedling with approximately 1 quart of water. Then water only when the seedlings feel dry to the touch, to a depth of about 1 1/2 inches.

Tips & Warnings

  • Fertilize creeping thyme once in late spring. Use a 5-10-10 liquid fertilizer. Follow the instructions provided on the label so you will know how much fertilizer to use for every quart or gallon of water.

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