Elfin thyme dying / growing from seeds?

funlul(SoCal 10b SGV)May 10, 2013

Hello all, new member here :) actually new to gardening as well, apologies in advance for noob questions.

3 weeks ago we planted some elfin thymes from flats for ground cover (ordered from local nursery). The instruction was to water very well when planting, then 2-3 times weekly for a month or two. Don't know what did we do wrong but 1/3 of the little ones are dying... We are not sure if we watered too much or too little each time. Any recommendations on what to do to at least rescue the rest? I talked to the nursery and emailed some pics but no response yet.

Location is southern California zone 8a, full sun, soil is sandy / stony / well drained, I don't know the exact soil type but maybe the photo can help. We tilled well and added a bit garden soil before planting, but did not do any PH test.

I also searched for seeds online (to replace the victims) and was surprised that no elfin thyme seeds can be found. The closest is the red flower 'magic carpet' variety but I am worried it's taller and will compete with these purple flower 'elfin' ones.

I really feel bad for them dying :'( ... Your help is greatly appreciated.

Before

After

This post was edited by jjane45 on Fri, May 10, 13 at 0:34

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gardengal48

At watering 2-3 times a week, I'd have guessed overwatering was the problem but seeing the pics of your plantings and the awful soil conditions I'd change that to not enough water!

Honestly, your soil looks like adobe - hard, dry and with no organic matter to speak of. Before attempting to replant with anything, I'd be inclined to bring in a couple of inches of decent soil or planting mix for the area - that would at least give the thyme or other similar groundcovers something to root into and retain just a bit of moisture.

ps. creeping thyme is not easy to grow from seed....that's why it is so hard to find.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 6:22PM
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funlul(SoCal 10b SGV)

Thank you so much gardengal! Honestly when we tilled it the soil did not look too bad. But at the time the pictures were taken it was really sunny. Will certainly add more garden soil and post back :) :)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 9:23PM
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