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Sow or plant chives?

You don't sow chives. At least: I don't. Because if you buy 1 plant and put it in your Planty Garden box, you'll have enough forever.
Bieslook: zaaien of planten?
Chives: sow or plant?

Garlic family

Chives belong to the garlic family, just like onions, leeks, and garlic. The green leaves have a real oniony flavor.

You can cut off a chunk of the green leaves pretty often. They'll grow back quickly. So you'll always have fresh and tender chives.
Bloemen van bieslook zijn echte bijenlokkers
Chive flowers are real bee magents
If you let the stems grow out, they'll produce purple flowers: a bee favorite. The green leaves become less tasty, but the flowers are also edible.

The plant is hardy and will survive the winter. In the fall, everything green above ground dies, but the bulbs in the soil mix contain enough nutrients for the wintertime. You'll see fresh shoots in the spring:
Uitlopende bieslook in januari
Sprouting chives in January
A chive plant is actually a cluster of individual stemmed onions that you harvest the leaves from. Every year, new onions pop up. So the cluster gets bigger and bigger.

10 years ago and beyond

10 years ago, I bought 1 chive plant at the local garden center.

The next spring, it was so big, I could tear that plant into 4 separate plants. That was convenient because 4 clusters fit in 1 square patch.

The next year, the clumps had grown again. They were enough to divide into 4 pieces again. So I filled another patch with chives and gave the rest to my family.
Chive plants in different boxes
In the years after that, the whole family and our circle of friends had plenty of chives. They ended up all over the garden, plus a few wound up on the compost heap.

We had more than enough chives.

Doing the numbers

So my first plant yielded 4 plants in the 2nd year. A year later, there were 16.
Let's say I kept up this rate for 8 years: 16 x 4 = 64, 64 x 4 = 256. 256 x 4 = 1024.

What!?? I would have had 4,194,304 chive plants by now.


The garden center sells 1 chive plant for 2.50 euros. That's what I'd call a steal.

So. This is how to grow chives:

Buy 1 chive plant and put it in your Planty Garden box anytime between March and August.

Cut off a good chunk of the green regularly. It grows back fast, so you'll always have fresh and tender chives.

In the spring, take the whole plant out of your box and tear it into quarters.
Vier kersverse bieslookplantjes in een vak
4 brand new chive plants in a patch
Then, top off the garden box with some MM-Plantfood, mix all the soil mix together, and choose a patch to plant the chives in.

Do it again every year and you're set for life.

The moral of the story

Well, it's pretty obvious, isn't it? You don't sow chives, you tear them.

Have fun!
PS: Do you also want to garden my way?

Then set up a real Planty Garden: you'll be growing in no time:

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