I’m not a massive fan of grassy lawns. They are tricky in cities where you’re considered lucky to have a patch larger than a few square meters. Too tiny to invest in a mower, after a few hacking attempts with shears, said lawn inevitably falls into a weedy tangle.
For a fuss-free, blossoming alternative try sowing a chamomile lawn. That packet of chamomile tea bags, hidden at the back of a kitchen cupboard, is the source of thousands of seeds that can remain perfectly sound for years past their sell-by date, providing pretty, bee-friendly flowers throughout spring and summer.
Follow my tips for growing a chamomile lawn from an old tea bag and you’ll soon be lying back in the softness of a “lawn” laced with tiny daisy-like flowers, breathing in the aroma redolent of sweet apples. 🌼🍎🌸🐝
Sow chamomile seeds in the spring, after all danger of frost has passed and when no heavy rains are expected.
To get started, find a patch of bare, well-drained soil in a sunny location.
Preparing the area for seeding a chamomile lawn really is the same as for a grass lawn. Dig the area, remove all weeds and as many stones as you can. A long-handled cultivator removes most weeds, but some may require hand-pulling.
Dig in well-rotted organic compost into of the weeded area, and work it into the top 15cm of soil using a spade. Rake the area smooth.
Rip open bags of (unused) chamomile tea and scatter over the surface of the raked soil. I bag gives me around 30-50 shoots.
Lightly tamp the seed into the ground with the back of the rake. This helps to hold the seed in place until it germinates and starts to take root.
Water the seeded lawn lightly immediately after planting. Keep the area evenly moist until seedlings appear. Germination will start within about two weeks.
Thin chamomile seedlings to 15cm apart when they are about 10cm tall. This allows each plant to develop a healthy root system as it spreads to fill in the area.
Enjoy the bees, the beauty of the flowers and endless cups of tea all summer long.