Creeping Thyme – Ground Cover

(Question)

Dear Master Gardeners
I live in the St. Clair / Dufferin area of Toronto and have just removed my grass lawn. I have well drained clay-type soil in my back yard.

I would like to buy creeping thyme seeds from the States on ebay to plant as my ground cover because I cannot find these seeds in Canada. Please refer to

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CREEPING-THYME-fragrant-groundcover-hardy-1000-bulk-seeds-sun-or-shade-herb-/161027499448.

Can I seed now? Will this type of plant grow in zone 5-6 in Toronto? I have seen these thyme plants at PlantWorld on Eglinton, but I want to use seeds, because plants are too expensive for ground cover purposes. I would appreciate your advice. Many thanks.

(Answer)

The eBay site that you refer to is no longer active but there are several Canadian seed houses that sell creeping thyme seeds.  Veseys, Stokes, OSC and West Coast Seeds are a few sources. The seeds you purchase should be sown indoors in the early spring (February – early April) and hardened off and transplanted into the garden in May, or they can be directly sown into the garden in late May or early June. Thyme require full sun and excellent drainage. It tends to rot in wet soils.

You should also read Lawn Alternatives guide that the Toronto Master Gardeners has published for additional ideas.