Chives are grass like perennial herbs with a hollow centre that have a mild onion flavour. They grow to about 30cm tall by 30cm. They perk up salads, jacket potatoes with sour cream and make a lovely garnish for sprinkling on soups too.
If Chives are left to flower, the pretty purple ball shaped edible flowers can be separated into individual flowers and sprinkled on salads. Once they have flowered cut down to 5cm from ground level but they will be unlikely to produce chives until next year. Perhaps plant some of the chives in your garden bed as they are extremely attractive and the bees love them or leave a couple to flower in your veg patch.
Chives are best used fresh as cooking destroys their full flavour, they do not dry well so if you want to preserve them, chop up a few leaves and freeze them - ice cubes are ideal. A bowl of soup with a floating ice cube of chives looks the business. An organic insecticide can be made - boil chives in water, allow to cool and pour into a spray bottle. Spray on pests.
Chives are a good companion plant and thought to deter carrot fly away from carrots but 4 times more chives need to be sown than carrots to be effective. Plant them near roses to help against black spot. It is also thought to have antiseptic properties for humans.
Chives Herb Seed Information
||Approx 300 seeds per pack.
Full sun, open position in well-drained fertile soil.
|When to Sow:
|How to Sow:
||Direct sow seeds in pre-watered drills 12mm deep, in rows 30cm apart, lightly cover with fine soil. Germination takes 10-15 days. When large enough thin seedlings to every 15cm. Alternatively sow under glass & keep at a temperature of about 20C.Pot on & then plant out in late spring. Plant at 15cm intervals.
Keep watered. After a couple of years chives like to be divided in March or October, as it stops the bulbs becoming congested and less productive. Just divide up a clump into smaller clumps and pot up straight away - new plants for free. Although it is a perennial evergreen in very cold winters it may die back, but will regrow in spring, a thick layer of mulch around the plant in autumn may help.
||8-10 weeks from spring sowings onwards. As a perennial they will be ready to pick from year to year from March to September and if a plant is potted up in September - it can be picked for a further 6 weeks. Just cut the chives with sharp scissors leaving 5cm of chive leaf, cut the outside leaves first and work inwards as more chives required and they will regrow.
When to Sow Chives Herb Seeds
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