How do I grow chives?

This tough perennial is related to garlic and onions and the bright green colour of the foliage makes it an attractive as well as tangy and attractive garnish for soups and salads. Like its close relatives the plant grows from a bulb, with hollow grass-like leaves that can be cut at ground level to provide a harvest for the kitchen. The plant grows right through the warmer months of the year and new bulblets will sprout immediately from those that are cut, ensuring a fresh supply for the future, a little like Norman Lindsay’€™s wonderful magic pudding! It should be said, however that the plants take a rest to go dormant in winter so do not expect a harvest at that time.

Chives can be easily grown either in the garden or in pots in a position that gets sun for at least half the day. The plant is very adaptable to different soil types but will grow faster if given a well-drained growing medium. A good quality potting mix provides the best possible growing situation. The easiest way to get started is to buy a small pot of chives or take a division of a large clump from a friend’€™s garden. In this case simply lift the clump from the ground with a garden fork and gently tease away a small group of shoots away from the main clump and plant it. You can also plant seeds.