Chives are one of the easiest herbs to grow. They develop quickly from seed, and because they are perennials, you'll see them die off in the autumn, only to reappear with a fresh set of bright green leaves in the spring. And they'll keep coming back year after year.
Time from seed to plate: 12 weeks
Chives are best started off indoors. Our propagator kits with 'Jiffy 7' compost pellets are ideal for sowing. Soak 14 pellets in water till they expand then sprinkle four or five seeds into the top of each one. Stir the compost around with the tip of a pencil so the seeds are just covered with compost. Put them in the propagator, cover, and place on a warm windowsill or in a greenhouse. Keep moist.
Within one or two weeks the seeds should sprout. Remove the propagator lid at this stage.
Growing method: Seed propagating kit
About a month after sowing, when your seedlings are 2-3in tall, they're ready to go outside. Strip away the jiffy netting from around the roots and plant out each clump of seedlings, leaving about 6in between each plant, and 12in between rows.
Water well and sprinkle with some organic slug killer.
You can start snipping off leaves at around eight weeks from sowing. For flowers you'll have to wait until twelve.
Don't hold back when you cut it. Chop the plants right back so there's only 1in remaining. Chives are extremely vigourous and will recover from a severe chopping during the summer with lots of fresh tender leaves. If you harvest the whole lot, a little tomato fertilser will help them grow back that bit faster.
The leaves will disappear during winter, but the plant's still alive. It will surge forth again in February or March the following year so don't bin it!