Garlic chives, or Chinese chives, differ from ordinary chives in having flat leaves and have a delicate mild garlic flavour. They can be used in the same way as chives and are excellent in salads, stews, fish, egg or meat dishes. The flower buds are a Chinese delicacy and can be eaten raw, stir fried or added to scrambled eggs. A versatile and easy to grow perennial for the herb garden. Height: 50cm (20"). Spread: 15cm (6").
Culinary note: Some parts of these flowers are edible. For more details about edible flowers click here.
Direct sow chive seed outdoors from early spring. Grow chives in a well prepared seedbed in full sun. Sow seeds thinly at a depth of 1cm (½in) in drills 30cm apart. When large enough to handle, thin out the seedlings within each row to 23cm (9") apart.
Alternatively grow chives indoors or under glass from March to June. Sow in pots or trays on the surface of barely moist seed compost. Cover with a sprinkling of finely sieved compost and place in a propagator at 18-21C (64-70F) until germination which takes 14 - 21 days.
When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3") pots in bunches of 4 seedlings per pot and grow on in cooler conditions. Gradually acclimatise chive plants to outdoor conditions over 7 - 10 days before planting outdoors 30cm (12") apart, when all risk of frost has passed.
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