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Would I be insane to make a mint lawn?

(42 Posts)
sizeofalentil Fri 27-May-16 10:47:15

We have a tiny patch of garden - about the size of several dining room tables.

DH hates grass, realised creeping thyme will probably not work. Wildflowers would be cool but will take a long time to come up.

Would I be made to plant a lot of mint and use it as ground cover? We have no flower beds it could grown in to, the neighbours all have paved gardens so it wouldn't invade theirs and we don't use the garden heavily (we're ttc so no dc just yet. We have cats but they are very light footed).

The mint would be stood on and we'd sit on it with blankets etc.

Would it release green clothes-staining juice do you think? Is this just a really stupid idea?

bloodymaria Fri 27-May-16 10:49:33

I can't imagine mint would be tough enough to withstand standing/sitting on? And if you cut it wouldn't you be left with just little stubbly stalks? It would smell fantastic mind you!

Greengager Fri 27-May-16 10:49:33

It would be too tall wouldn't it. It also gets very rampant unless you can find some way to contain it.

GreenMarkerPen Fri 27-May-16 10:50:19

mint dies back in winter, so you wouldn't have any coverage then.
and it grows wuite tall, a foot or so.

DoreenLethal Fri 27-May-16 10:51:25

Mint isn't ground cover really, unless you get the right mint.

I have one called Metha Cervina which looks like grass, and can be mown but normal mint I'd say no.

Have you thought of Woolly Thyme?

GreenMarkerPen Fri 27-May-16 10:52:32

having said that my parent's lawn is covered with mint (it really likes to take over) and it smells lovely when kicking a ball about.

icouldabeenacontender Fri 27-May-16 10:53:08

Corsican mint is a slow growing mint and is fairly hardy for foot traffic etc.

shovetheholly Fri 27-May-16 10:57:51

You would be completely mental! It spreads EVERYWHERE. And it goes all crushy and will stain your clothes and then look crap and squashed where you've sat on it. You will also smell like toothpaste!

I would build shade borders and pack them with plants and then have a small paved/aggregate area for seating/a hammock!

Alternatively, if you have sun, you could do something like one of the ground-hugging clovers. They are really beautiful, way nicer than grass IMO.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Fri 27-May-16 10:59:11

isn't it a type of cammomile for lawns?

mint is never going to make a lawn!

shovetheholly Fri 27-May-16 10:59:55

Also, what conditions do you have? This really matters. Mint likes it really damp and a bit shady - it does not like to dry out. Thyme, on the other hand, likes tons of drainage and beating sun.

eddielizzard Fri 27-May-16 10:59:59

i've heard of chamomile lawns but not mint for all the reasons mentioned above.

out of interest, why not a thyme lawn? there are some lovely varieties. i just can't stop thinking of roast chicken when i smell it though...

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Fri 27-May-16 11:01:52

yes, and it's chamomile! <blush>

Info here!

shovetheholly Fri 27-May-16 11:06:17

Chamomile makes a lovely, fragrant lawn BUT it really can't take very much traffic at all - they are very delicate things. If you want to be out there a lot and especially if you envisage children ever playing on it, it's not the best choice. It also requires sun.

And they need really careful weeding - Japanese style, on all fours with tweezers! It's a big investment of energy.

AlwaysNC Fri 27-May-16 11:06:53

Have a moss lawn! Good cover, soft spongy and looks beautiful if you get the right type. Have seen it done well

Cathpot Fri 27-May-16 11:17:09

I've got a very low growing cushion type mint called Corsican mint - but I'm not sure how it would cope walked on. . Looking to the future if you do have a baby you might want a space that you don't need to treat too gently. In a previous tiny garden wth two small children what worked for us was decking half of it- putting in a hidden sandpit- (under lift off section of decking), having a stepping stone / gravel path planted with flowering alpines, thin raised bed with herbs in, an espaliered apple tree, a hammock, a bench made from sleepers and pots wherever I could fit one in. There was a tiny 2mx2m lawn which I cut with shears as a mower would nearly take up as much room as the lawn. You could paved or deck the sitting areas and then cover the walls etc with pots?

DinosaursRoar Fri 27-May-16 11:30:34

why does your DH hate grass? It's rather inoffensive, is it the cutting of it he doesn't like? If you are TTC now, be careful to not remove all play space from your garden, as tempting as it is when you don't have a little one, being able to have somewhere your DC can play outside is lovely.

EBearhug Fri 27-May-16 11:33:14

I find Corsican mint (mental requienii) doesn't overwinter well. Doesn't like to get toout dry, either. I've tried to encourage it to spread, and it does till the weather gets wintery. Pennyroyal (mentha pulegieum, but spelled better) might also be worth trying, but it likes a lot of moisture, too.

Apart from the Corsican mint, I grow all my mints in large pots. Paving will not stop roots travelling underneath and coming up through the cracks, so your neighbours might not be safe from it.

Chamomile does need a lot of weeding.

Thyme - there's a lovely thyme bed at somewhere like Sissinghurst or another big garden like that. There are lots of varieties of creeping thymes.

If you're going to want to walk on it, it probably needs to be grass. Having said that, my lawn doesn't get so much light much of the year (big tree), and I do seem to have a successful moss lawn rather than grass lawn... It's about 2m x 8m and takes all of 10 minutes to cut the moss grass.

You need to consider the soil, how it drains, how much sun it gets - is it hot and dry, mostly shady, lot of damp? Will you want to walk on it? That's all going to affect what will grow well.

sizeofalentil Fri 27-May-16 16:50:17

Hmmm… So in conclusion… I would be insane… blush

I sort of pictured myself trimming it down with scissors and drinking lots of mojitos with the excess…

Wouldn't bother me too much if any future babies smelled minty-fresh as a result of my mint lawn, but the sharp stalks could be a problem. The garden is really so small that sending any future DCs to play in the garden might well seem like a punishment anyway, rather than a treat.

DH hates grass because of the cutting mainly, but also just weirdly hates it. I don't really like decking and things and at the moment we just have a mud patch.

Soil conditions are… A lot of good topsoil (garden has been raised at some point I guess as we're about a foot higher than the neighbours) then clay underneath. Half sunny/ half blackout shade (thanks to back neighbour's giant bush…). Not too damp or dry.

Will look in to camomile/chamomile, clover, and thyme varieties. Moss seems a bit too difficult tbh. Corsican mint might work. Might just do a bit of everything and see what happens.

TeaandCake8 Fri 27-May-16 22:38:14 cutting but you wouldn't get the nice smell of mint

Frrrrrrippery Sat 28-May-16 09:08:56

How about flagstones with gaps around then filled with stones and slow growing low plants

AlwaysNC Sat 28-May-16 10:01:11

Look into moss paths/gardens, honestly

Gatekeeper Sat 28-May-16 13:13:19

I can't overwinter corsican mint at all

how about a clover lawn? I am leaving my top lawn to do what it wants this year- no cutting apart from one in september and have ordered some red clover seeds to plant
looks lovely

eddielizzard Sat 28-May-16 17:17:33

how robust is a clover lawn? can you have kids running on it regularly?

i also wonder about a buttercup lawn. my lawn is so infested and they're so hard to dig up... i guess i would end up with a buttercup garden too.

FlouncyMcFlounceFace Sat 28-May-16 17:31:21

I was planning a creeping thyme lawn due to small garden and not wanting to have to mow.

I purchased £2.25 of seeds from ebay and six months on had two trays of 100 small pots healthy creeping thyme.

Ive used it to edge the drive and its spread. I planted in a three line zigzag one plug every 5cm for an instant effect and it didn't go that far (thats roughly 30 plants per linear meter that i edged). I think you'd probably need about 100 plugs per square meter of lawn for it to resemble lawn within a season.

The thyme is quite soft on top but now two years after planting its still spreading and grows up if it can't spread out so does need attention a couple of times a year - not that arduous as its happy to be hacked at.

I did spend some time reading up before mine didn't happen (practicalities of three DC, dog and small garden) and one option i liked the idea of was a mixed chamomile and thyme lawn. There were various examples on pinterest.

ANewIdentitytoJazzItUpABit Sat 28-May-16 17:31:41

I just was about to suggest clover! I've read its nutritionally great for soil and the bumble bees and honey bees absolutely love love love clover. Wont grow past few inches high if that and provides good ground cover and protection from weeds.

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