Grow your own chives – and make herb butter

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Grow chives, make chives butterChives are sometimes referred to as common or onion chives to distinguish them from garlic chives, although the two are different in appearance. The mild garlic-tasting leaves of garlic chives are wide and flat, while those of common chives are round and hollow. Their flowers are different too. Garlic chives have a white flower, common chives a pink flower.

Chives are a hardy perennial and are super easy to grow. Their only requirement is reasonably moist soil. If chives become stressed from lack of water, they tend to be a magnet for black aphids (to get rid of aphids, simply blast them with the hose or pour a bowl of soapy water over the whole plant).

Chives grow best in full sun but will benefit from a little shade during hot summers. They like a humus-rich soil, so dig in plenty of compost or well-rotted manure before planting.

If you’re a fan of chives, plant a minimum of three clumps (sow 10-20 seeds in a circle to form a clump). Harvest one clump (snip down to 5cm), then move on to the next. After harvesting an entire clump, feed with liquid fertiliser and leave it to develop a new set of leaves.


If you have an abundance of herbs in your garden, add them to the saucepan when boiling vegetables. Or make herb butter. It’s delicious on freshly baked bread, boiled potatoes and vegetables, or grilled fish and meat. It takes only 5 minutes to make, then chill it in the fridge for about 1 hour. Your herb butter will keep in the fridge for about 10 days, or freeze it until ready for use.

You need:
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
250g butter, softened
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and blend together. Wrap the mixture in cling film then roll into a cylindrical shape. Place in the fridge to chill.

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