ORGANIC GARDENING: CHIVE

Member of the onion tribe, the plant called chive is worth a place wherever vegetables are grown. It takes up very little space, and both top and bottom of it can be used – the leaves in salads and soups, the bulbs as mild-flavoured onions.

In the matter of soil it is easily suited, and its position might well be as a decorative edging – decorative, because its small, mauve. flowers are produced freely.

Each bulb in time becomes a cluster, necessitating lifting, dividing and replanting every three years; unless the bulbs, harvested in autumn, are stored indoors.

Securing the Plants.

Bulbs or young plants may be purchased in March or October for planting during those months, 6 in. apart.

Seed is sown in April, outdoors, in a ½ in. deep drill, and the seedlings thinned out to 6 in. apart. Thinnings lifted from moist soil transplant readily.

Gathering.

Leaves are taken as wanted, from the outside of each cluster; or one or two plants may be cut right down. In either case fresh leaves soon appear. Young leaves are the best.

Propagation.

Unless the small bulbs are harvested each autumn the plants do quite well undisturbed in the ground until clusters become overcrowded. They should then be lifted, in March or October, the clusters divided, and the separated pieces replanted.

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