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Alliums How to Grow

Chives and Garlic fall into this group, both are a great addition to the herb garden but, they are also a very pretty addition to the garden take the wonderful Nodding Onion 'Hidcote' with its large nodding pink starburst flower-heads, or the petite Fragrant-flowered garlic chives with its pure white starry flowers.

They are a very distinct group of herbs with long tubular leaves with a very pretty, usually pink or white, flower head. Depending which type of chive, you have it will have an onion or garlic smell and flavour. We have the Welsh Onion which has nothing to do with Wales and is used in Asian cuisine like a Spring Onion or try our Garlic Chives as a milder form of normal garlic if you prefer a subtler flavour.

History and Herb Usage

The first recorded use of Chives for culinary purposes was over 4,000 years ago in China where it was primarily used in cooking. Chives have been cultivated in Europe since the Middle Ages. The Romans believed chives could relieve the pain from sunburn and cure a sore throat. They are a wonderful ingredient in salads, sandwiches, soups and egg dishes as a garnish Garlic is often linked to heart health and as a cure for the symptoms of the common cold as well as its obvious culinary uses.

Where and How to Plant

Chives are easy to grow thriving in most types of soil, in full light. They can be grown from seed in the spring.

  • Chives require warm temperatures (15’C) to germinate, preferably planted directly into pots or plug modules to reduce root disturbance prior to planting into the garden.
  • Chives grow in clumps and can be split every two or three years. Dig up the whole Chive clump and split in half, re-plant half, providing the option to also plant the other half of the clump elsewhere in the garden, or give to a neighbour./li>

Garlic- It is better to buy bulbs specifically for growing don’t attempt grow bulbs bought from the supermarket

  • Plant Jan to March
  • Prepare your soil well.
  • Break up the bulbs as you plant them being careful not to bruise or damage them. Place cloves 3/4cm below the surface, pointy end up, roughly 30cm apart.
  • Garlic will need to be watered during dry periods throughout the growing season, but stop watering completely during the last few weeks This will give the bulbs time to dry out.
  • Carefully remove any weeds as they appear.
  • In February you can apply sulphate of potash to fertilise your garlic
  • Garlic will tell you when it is time to harvest. The top growth will wilt and turn yellow.


“ Chives will grow anywhere – if you don’t want them to spread you can always eat the flowers before they set seed”