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Chives - accidental self seeding

 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1592
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I just had a nice accidental experience in my herb garden.

I have wood chip mulch down, around a variety of herb plants, in a herb garden about 5m wide by 10m long. I have lots of chives, including some nice chive "hedges" - basically long clumps about 6 inches wide. When I first planted these around 4 years ago I only had single pot of chives, bought from a nursery. I divided it up into about 30 plants and stuck them in the in the rows. They filled out fabulously and I've been able to divide them multiple times and give them away to folks.

Additionally chives have been popping up in the cracks in the paving which I have just let be.

Last month they all flowered and were going to seed so I chop and drop mulched them. They are semi-succulent and made a nice thick mat of moist mulch. Today the mulch is basically gone, and in its place are hundreds of tiny chive plants, hair thick and about 2 inches long.

I want to establish some alliums around my fruit tree guilds an now I know the really easy way. Just let them flower and drop the whole lot, stems flowers and all, where I want the chives to grow. What could be easier! I haven't tested it yet, but I bet the same could be done with other aliums (garlic chives, onions etc...). My chives flower 3 or 4 times in a season provided they are cut back after flowering.

Mike
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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Very cool! I had garlic chives at my old house and they would self-seed all over the place. They grow much larger and have pretty white flowers, also larger than regular chives.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I would think that Walking Onions around fruit trees would also be a good choice.
I believe that alliums belong in any polyculture guild.

 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1592
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Aye, i have some walking onion sets - just a couple each of 4 different varieties started in pots. I'm nurturing them for a year because they were hard to get hold of.

Sadly, despite loving the flavours, I can't eat alliums as they give me painful stomach cramps
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Many pests cannot eat Alliums either. That is one of their benefits in a good polyculture.
They repel many of the pests, bringing a better balance to environment.

 
David Williams
Posts: 133
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The lawn at my house in town was long and a friend's sheep had eaten all his yard, so we put it in my yard and it flattened the lawn perfectly to my amazement i have the odd standing of garlic it didn't touch , These were from the garlic's i planted and harvested 4 years ago and the little corm's left behind have been growing steadily ... I had also winnowed lettuce seed and the chaff landed in my lawn, it has out-competed the Kikuyu always pleasant when you find little treasures
 
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