Maybe you live in an arid region, or you are looking to eliminate the hassle of mowing your grass. For those interested in learning more about grass lawn alternatives, thyme is a great replacement for grass because it is very drought tolerant and comes in many varieties for those looking for the perfect ground cover. Creeping thyme, caraway thyme, and lavender thyme are some of the options that make good ground covers. Learn more about why thyme is the perfect grass alternative.
1. Low maintenance
One of the main reasons you may opt for a grass alternative is to reduce the maintenance needed for keeping your lawn aesthetically pleasing. Grass lawns require trimming and mowing every couple of weeks and this thyme alternative is perfect for those wanting to avoid mowing altogether. Thyme grows close to the soil, between two to four inches high, and all it needs is plenty of sun and dry soil to thrive. Thyme needs a balanced soil without too much clay and sand to properly grow and cover the ground. It is recommended to do a soil analysis before planting, to determine the PH level of your soil. If you expect lots of foot traffic through your lawn, it may be a good idea to opt for creeping thyme as it does best out of the thyme varieties with retaining its robustness after direct contact.
Most people know thyme only as a culinary herb, but it has many more benefits outside the kitchen. It may be no surprise that the scent of thyme would also give a nice touch to a lawn. As you walk along the thyme-covered ground, you will release that beautiful and unique fragrance that does not come with other grass alternatives. Although thyme lawns can generally handle light foot traffic, it is recommended that you create a pathway to walk along. This will also stop the scent from becoming overpowering whenever there is more traffic through the garden. Stone-lined pathways are a great complement to thyme lawns, and if you enjoy a scented alternative to grass then thyme is a great choice!
Apart from being easy to care for, thyme is also a perennial herb. You only need to plant thyme once and you will have your thyme lawn year-round, even during the winter season. Thyme is one of the best adapted cold hardy herbs, alongside herbs like mint and oregano. It may take some time for the entire ground to become covered when you first plant the thyme, but once you transition to a thyme lawn it will be easy to maintain throughout any temperature and season. Some thyme varieties flower as well, which brightens up the aspect of the lawn for those that enjoy a colorful lawn. The flowers can range in color from white to purple to red depending on the variety of thyme.
4. Water Reduction
Thyme lawns require much less water than grass lawns, in fact, thyme will grow in desert regions like the desert of Arizona. Having a thyme lawn significantly reduces the need for watering your lawn, especially during summertime. If you constantly forget to water your grass, with this grass alternative you probably won’t need to anyway. In addition to reducing your water utility bills, you can also benefit from not having to worry about summertime water restrictions impacting your ability to maintain a lush lawn.
5. Keeps Weeds Out
Creeping thyme spreads its roots underground which in the process kills weeds. Say goodbye to dandelions and other weeds that are a nuisance with grass lawns, because thyme will provide a neat and clean area to grow your flowers and plants in. Thyme even attracts the pollination of bees which will give your other plants the benefit of extra pollination. Even if you only have some empty spaces in your garden, you should consider covering it up with thyme because of the benefits it will have for keeping weeds from spreading.
So, if you’ve been considering replacing your grass lawn with something other than artificial turf, planting thyme might be your best option. The benefits of opting for a natural herb like thyme as a grass alternative are that it is low maintenance, water reducing, scented, resistant year-round, and destroys weeds. Make sure to also check out the different varieties of thyme, since you are bound to find the ideal color and texture you are looking for among the many varieties of thyme ground cover.