Chives are a perennial member of the onion family and have a mild onion flavour which goes well with cheese, eggs and in creamy sauces. They have beautiful pink-mauve pom pom like flowers (which are also edible) that attract bees and other pollinating insects.
Chives are ideal for edging paths and borders, and growing in pots. They also make an excellent companion plant, deterring pests such as carrot root fly. Chives are an essential addition to the herb garden, are easy to grow and regular harvesting helps to stimulate further new young growth, which has the best flavour.
|When to Sow||Sow indoors March to May, sow directly outdoors from May to August.|
|Where to Sow||Sow seeds indoors 0.5cm (¼ in) deep, in pots or trays of compost and lightly cover the seeds with a sprinkling of compost , and place at a temperature of 15-20°C.|
|Sow outdoors where they are to crop, 0.5cm (¼in) deep, directly into finely-prepared soil.|
|Keep soil moist at all times.|
|What to do Next||Seeds sown direct outside should be thinned out to 15cm (6in) apart once the seedlings are large enough to handle.|
|If transplanting outside gradually harden off for 7 to 10 days before planting out 15cm (6in) apart once all risk of frost has passed.|
|Chives are the ideal herbs to plant in a container, which can be in your garden or on a windowsill.|
|Water in dry spells otherwise the leaves will turn yellow and die|
|Harvest||Start to harvest after 90 days from sowing, then harvest May to October.|
|Handy Tips||Chives are a perennial herb, and will keep their leaves in most winters. In colder winters, the leaves may die back completely, but their roots are still alive and new growth should appear in spring.|
|When harvesting cut near the base of the greenery, not the chive tips, to encourage new tender shoots to emerge.|
|Companion Planting||Grow with carrots, peppers, potatoes, brassicas and tomatoes.|
|Nutritional Information||Chives are a good source of vitamins A and C, and are also said to stimulate the appetite and strengthen the stomach.|
|Serving Suggestion||Chives goes well with cheese, eggs and are a great addition to salads and sauces.|
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