Chives are a perennial plant of the alliaceae family, like the leek, a vegetable with which it shares its characteristic fragrance. Its use as a condiment is very popular to season fish dishes, stuffings, various creams and sauces, and to spice up the taste of omelettes and cheese preparations. Only one variety of chives(Allium schoenoprasum) is grown in France, and it is very easy to grow in the garden.
Simple to plant, capable of remaining in place for several years, this fine herb is a lover of fresh, humus-rich soil. It prefers a sunny position in the garden. As for the calendar, favour the beginning of spring or autumn. The easiest way is to get a plant that you will place in the ground, before tamping and watering: as soon as the plant has taken, watering is only necessary in case of marked drought. You can therefore harvest its green stems without delay to enjoy in the kitchen. If you prefer to sow the chives, place each seed half a centimetre deep, spacing them about two fingers wide. Cover lightly with soil, pack gently, water in rain.
It takes three to four months after sowing to harvest the chives. It is a good idea to cut back the stems to 1 cm every month, even if they have not been eaten, as this will strengthen the plant and give rise to new shoots.