Growing Chives in the Garden
With cylindrical grass like leaves, chives are a widely grown herb related to garlic and onions. Chive plants can be easily grown from seedlings available for sale from most nurseries, or from seeds purchased online. A perennial clump forming plant chives will dry right back in the cooler months, however try growing them in a container in a warm position inside for a longer lasting supply. In the warmer areas of Australia chive may last nearly all year.
Chives can be regularly cut, and flowers need to be removed to ensure an ongoing supply of the green foliage which in the part used in salds and cooking.
Easy to grow and a useful plant for the kitchen garden chives used widely in a range of dishes from salads to omelettes and other savoury dishes. And we are talking about both Chives (allium schoenosparum) and Garlic Chives ( allium tuberosum)
Chives grow equally well in containers and the vegetable garden, we find them most useful in a pot close to the kitchen where it is easy to ‘cut what you need’ as you need them.
A humus rich moist soil is best, and full sun to a little afternoon shade will suit chives beautifully. In deeper shade chives will still grow well although will not be as vigorous, they will not flower but are still great for cutting.
Grow from seeds
One of the beauties of these herbs is that they grow well from seed, and like many members of the allium family will in fact self seed.
We have found that by planting in a largish container and keeping moist in summer that we have an endless supply. We do tend to let some of the clump flower and ‘go to seed’ each year. We do not collect the seed, we just let it fall into the pot.
These are a perennial and will die right back in winter to re shoot in spring, it is in winter that you can divide older and larger clumps to improve vigour and create larger clumps is required.
Growing in Pots
Chives can easily be grown in pots, they do require a moist open potting mix and actually seem to resent strong fertilizer. You will find that after a year or so you will need to divide them as the bulbs multiply in the pots and become over crowded.
We use a liquid organic seaweed fertilizer in spring and again in early summer. Remmeber that you are eating these plants, so if snails are a problem (doubtful) surround the plants with grit, certainly stay away from any snail bait or chemicals.
Simply use kitchen scissors to cut the fresh green shoots as needed. Wash well before using and you will find that your home grown chives will reward you with a fresh flavour in a range of dishes.
Chives are available for sale online from the following suppliers
FOUR SEASONS HERBS – or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Huge range of rare & unusual herbs, edible perennial plants, wasabi, saffron corms & organic garlic. Specialised Mail order nursery.