Using Chamomile has become more and more popular in recent years as a lower maintenance alternative to a grass lawn.
The following are recommendations to aide you with growing and caring for a Chamomile lawn.
Please note that this is advice based on our own trials, and you should always take your individual circumstances, such as climate and growing conditions into account whilst growing any plant variety.
The Chamomile Lawn
If you have areas with light foot traffic or places that are difficult to get to in order to maintain them, the Chamomile lawn could be a suitable alternative for you.
One thing to consider is that Chamomile lawns can only handle light foot traffic when compared to a traditional grass lawn, otherwise they may become patchy.
Chamomile nobile ‘Treneague’
The herb, Chamomile nobile ‘Treneague’ is an excellent scented, evergreen perennial that forms a carpet/mat, and is also known as Chamomile ‘Lawn’.
It reaches a height of less than 10cm, though normally lower as walking on it compresses it. The variety will not need mowing often, and is also attractive to wildlife such as bees and butterflies.
Chamomile grows best in a sunny spot, and can handle some dappled shade. An evenly moist but free draining sandy loam soil is better, with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. A clay soil would need added sharp sand or grit and some organic matter. It will underperform and become patchy in shady areas and does not do well in heavy clay soil, or very dry, stony situations.
The most important factors are that there is enough drainage and aeration in the soil. Too much fertiliser can make the shoots too long, and too little can stunt growth.
Before starting to plant, a thorough cleanse of the soil from weeds is necessary in order to prevent them from becoming problematic in the future after your lawn has already been planted.
It is best to speak to your trusted local garden centre for weed removal recommendations to suit your needs. Bear in mind that some specific lawn weed killers cannot be used on Chamomile lawns. Several applications may be necessary before you can start to plant your Chamomile.
If your Chamomile lawn is planted in less suitable conditions patches may appear where weeds could take root. Speak to your local garden centre who can advise you on how to deal with these.
It is best to pot these into 9cm pots in the spring and grow-on until the foliage reaches the outer rim of the pot, normally about 8-12 weeks from potting.
Final spacing at 10cm (4in) apart or 100 plants/m2 will give a reasonably good covering. Closer spacing gives more rapid cover.
It is important not to walk on the lawn for at least 3 months after planting. Traffic should remain light for at least the first year to give it the best chance of full, even coverage.