Delicate Chives - SeedAllium schoenoprasum 'Fijne'
Grow your own chives, it’s really easy!
An essential kitchen herb. Chives are easy to grow and add that little extra flavouring to your recipes without being overpowering! The delicate and tender leaves of chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are really tasty in salads, stews, sauces and dressings and great for garnishing. Chives are ideal for freezing too. For convenience make sure they are close to the kitchen door or window so they are always to hand when needed, ‘bon appetite’!Show more
Show moreChives seed requires no prior treatment and they are ready to use.
How to SowSow under glass in March.
Sow in the garden, April-May.
There are 3 ways of sowing:
- In the garden, preferably in full sun, from April up to May. Fork the soil loose to at least 30 cm. Draw a straight furrow 1 cm deep and label the row. Mix the seed with some dry sharp sand and sow lightly along the row. Cover with 0.5 cm soil, press lightly down and sprinkle with water. Extra rows at 20 cm apart. The seeds will germinate in 14-21 days.
- Under glass, can be done from March using a cold frame. Fill your trays with good, fine soil. Mix the seed with dry sand and sow evenly over the top of the soil. Cover with a layer of soil to 0.5 cm. Press lightly down and sprinkle with water. Cover with a sheet of glass and place in the cold frame. Once germinated, the glass can be removed. The seeds will germinate within a week.
- You could also simply plant some seeds in pots on the windowsill. Using a 9 cm diameter pot, plant up to three seeds per pot at nice regular intervals. Cover with a layer of soil to 0.5 cm. Press lightly down and sprinkle with water. Seeds in a pot on the windowsill will germinate within the week.
Show moreWater extra in periods of drought, keep the bed free of weeds and your chives should thrive. Chives are hardy. The tubular leaves appear every year around March and the flowers from May to June. Enjoy the plant for longer by snipping out the flower stems because once the flowers appear, there will be very few new leaves form.
HarvestingPick your chives from April to October.
Chives can be snipped off from early spring – if the winter has been mild, it’s possible to harvest all year round. Severe winters will show the leaves drop off but as this is a hardy plant, it will reappear the following year. When the leaves are about 12” just snip the leaves as and when required. Don’t mess with the roots, leave them intact so that later, or the following spring they return again.
Show moreChives originated in Northern Asia and spread throughout Europe. A member of the garlic family (Alliaceae), chives are one of the most popular herbs used in European kitchens.
How to useThe tubular, hollow leaves of chives look very decorative used in salads, both to the eye and the taste buds. For a very long time now Chives have been used to season food, especially salads and sauces.
Chive stems don’t last long after snipping them off the plant but as they grow practically all year round, this needn’t be a problem. They can be frozen too. All onion varieties (and chives is one of them) are very healthy and contain lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.