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Laying down a thyme lawn

I'M growing a thyme lawn but I find the plants keep dying off in large patches, and go brown underneath. Could it be too wet? I put down some gravel before we planted the lawn but perhaps I didn't put down enough.


THYME grows best in very free-draining soil, exposed to all-day sun and lots of fresh air. If the foliage is wet for long, brown patches often appear and can quickly spread. The gravel you put in will help the drainage but it's simply Auckland's humidity and wet winter climate that's the problem. Sometimes the bare patches will fill in again with new growth but the overall effect is often rather patchy.

Unfortunately there's no easy answer. You could try spraying regularly with a fungicide such as Bravo, or you may find chamomile does better, though it can be rather patchy also. Other alternatives you could try are Mercury Bay weed (Dichondra), pratia, isotoma or Scleranthus biflorus, but none provide the beautiful fragrance of a thyme lawn, and all are much more work to maintain than conventional grass.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 133, 2003, Page 28

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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