- About Extension
- Get Involved
- Statewide Locations
Renovate your chive patch in early spring
This article has been updated. Please check our website for the most recent story.
March 31, 2006
CORVALLIS - Have you been neglecting your chives? Crowded in thick clumps, they are often overlooked in home vegetable gardens.
Early spring is the perfect time to give your chive patch a new lease on life, especially if they have been neglected over the years, recommended Ross Penhallegon, horticulture agent with the Oregon State University Extension Service.
Chives do best if they are dug up, divided, and moved to a new compost-rich site every few years. They prefer a moderately well-drained, slightly acid soil, rich with organic matter such as compost, manures, decomposed leaves or sawdust. When transplanting, clean up dead plant material from the clump before planting in a new spot.
Keep chives moist throughout the summer. Fertilize lightly in May and July.
Chives are quite hardy and can be over-wintered nicely. With a plastic hoop or cloche, chives can be kept alive and harvested all winter long.
The tender, hollow spears of chive leaves can be cut or chopped finely for flavoring. The purple flower heads can be used to add colorful zest to salads or dried for winter flower arrangements. They can also be chopped, then dried or frozen for future use.
Source: Ross Penhallegon