Plant to Plate Herbs: Chives

You cannot beat having a supply of fresh herbs right outside your kitchen door and Chives are one herb which not only taste great but smell divine and look fabulous. You don’t even need to have a special space for growing this gorgeous herb: just plant it in your flower border.

Chives have bright green shoots with pink-purple, pom pom flowers. They are generally grown outside in a sunny spot but they will tolerate some shade. They grow to a height of 60cm and spread to a width of 30cm once the clump thickens up. They can also be grown on a windowsill if you don’t have a garden or for a quick mini crop.

Chives have a mild, onion flavour. You simply chop the leaves to add to salads, potatoes, sandwiches or coleslaw. The flowers can also be eaten in salads and give an added decorative touch.

To use, snip a bunch of Chive leaves at the base with scissors. They will regrow. You can also cut off flower stems to encourage new leaves and to keep the flavour in the leaves but the flowers do look lovely.

Cut back the whole clump after they finish flowering to encourage new growth and you might be rewarded with a second crop of leaves. Congested Chive clumps can be dug up and separated into three smaller sections which can be replanted elsewhere. It is a good idea to do this every couple of years to rejuvenate and bring vitality and flavour back to the clump.

Chives are perennial which means that they will die back in Winter and resprout again in Spring.

These are Chives in Springtime, showing signs of new growth.

Chives like most herbs, need little to thrive. They are easy to grow, look pretty and are so useful in so many dishes. For a plant to plate herbs, it really is worth sowing some Chives.

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