- Chives are possibly my favourite herb. Chives are actually a member of the onion (allium) family.
- As a result of their size they are almost always grown in clumps rather than a singular plant.
- Chives do have the distinct allium taste without the overwhelming power of a raw onion. Add to a salad for a little kick or use to marinade your food.
Sowing & Growing
- By far the easiest way to grow chives is in a pot and harvest using the cut and come again method.
- Sprinkle seeds in a medium size pot or growing tray at the start of spring. Cover with a light layer of soil and water well.
- Chives will appreciate fertile soil and full sun. However they are more resilient than other members of the onion family. We have harvested chives right into winter but they will need protection from a greenhouse or cloche.
- Chives will bulk out every 2 to 3 years, so take out of the pot and separate the original clump into 3 or 4 other pots to prevent overcrowding.
- I would advise against growing chives in open ground as they often easily self-seed. As with a lot of herbs such as mint and borage I recommend growing in containers to prevent chives taking over your garden.
- If you would like to attract more pollinators into your garden, leave chives to flower. Their beautiful purple flowers are a magnet for pollinators such as bees. However, if you do not want your chives to self-seed make sure to remove all the flower heads.
- Without a doubt the best way to harvest chives is to cut off a clump at a time near the base and leave for new growth to appear. This method is known as cut and come again and is used for a variety of herb and leafy green crops.
- You can also pick the flower heads soon after they have opened. The flower heads are lovely added to a salad.