Newest Review: ... with carrots and so far my carrots have not succumbed to carrot fly. Chives will happily grow up to about 60cms. Once the Chives... more
To flower or not to flower
Member Name: Ninski1
Date: 23/07/12, updated on 23/07/12 (40 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to grow and use
Disadvantages: None really
Chives like to reside in well drained soil which has a moderate amount of sand, they are hardy and enjoy basking in full sun, they will flower in summer and should be planted from seed in around mid April, early May. Chives grow like long thin pieces of grass and produce a round, somewhat fluffy light purple flower, which can also be eaten. The flower of the Chive attracts bees and therefore will help in the pollination of the rest of your vegetables and flowers. They taste of onions, as they are the smallest of the onion family and as they smell quite pungent they act as a little attractive plant protector as pests do not like the smell of them, so they are a good companion plant, particularly with carrots and so far my carrots have not succumbed to carrot fly. Chives will happily grow up to about 60cms.
Once the Chives flower the flavour of the herb seems to be reduced a lot, so I would say that its worth having some to chop for eating, which is easy, I just chop off a few centimetres from the top and they carrying on growing and having some you just let flower and look attractive. I have never tried to freeze chives or dry it out but you can buy bother versions in the supermarket.
Chives, like most of the herbs I have reviewed, have many uses, they can simply be snipped into salads, to perk them up a bit, they can be added to a jacket potato with a bit of butter or cream cheese, or used in casseroles. My current favourite way to use them is pretty simple. Boil up some baby new potatoes, in a separate pan fry 1 small red onion in rapeseed oil and then add in a dollop of mustard, I find most grainy mustard works, I have currently made up my own spicy tomato mustard that works very well. Once the potatoes and onions are cooked mix them together with a little bit more oil, stir through some rocket leaves and sprinkle with a generous amount of chopped Chives, this recipe can also include Bacon, for the meat eaters our there. The dish can be served hot or cold.
Overall Chives are very versatile, they also look good when in flower, are easy to grow and taste great.
This review also appears in Ciao! under the same username.
Summary: Great oniony tasting herb that has many uses