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Chives are one of the most popular kitchen herbs. Cultivation is possible without any problems. It grows particularly well in mixed cultures. It should be noted that chives have both good neighbors and bad neighbors.

In a nutshell

  • Chives need humus and nutrient-rich, moist soil
  • belongs to middle eaters
  • goes well with other herbs
  • good neighbors also various vegetable and flower plants
  • Beans, peas are bad neighbors

Chives love moisture

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are perennial, clump-forming leeks (Alliaceae). It belongs to the medium eaters and can reach a height of between 20 and 30 centimeters. Its typical smell drives away pests. Chives grow particularly well in mixed cultures with other plants. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when growing:

  • bright to semi-shady
  • no blazing sun
  • Moist, nutrient- and humus-rich, if possible calcareous soils
  • water sufficiently in case of dryness
  • good nutrient supply necessary
  • Culture also possible in pots

Notice: When harvesting from April to September, make sure that there are always a few centimeters on the ground. Do not use chives in the kitchen after flowering.

Good neighbors for chives

Good neighbors can positively influence the growth and health of chives. The herb gets along best with other herbs, but some vegetables and flowers are also good neighbors. Below is a small selection of the best plant neighbours. They are listed alphabetically.

B to G

Savory (Satureja hortensis)

  • annual herb
  • Growth height up to 40 cm
  • white to pink flowers from July to September
  • sunny and warm place
  • nutrient-rich, loose soil
  • water regularly, fertilize little

Borage (Borago officinalis)

  • annual "cucumber herb"
  • Growth height 50 to 80 cm
  • blue flowers from June to August
  • sunny to partially shaded location
  • well-drained, preferably calcareous soils
  • water regularly
  • Sow March to June outdoors

Dill (Anethum graveolens)

  • annual herb
  • Growth height up to 100 cm
  • yellow flowers from July to August
  • sunny to partially shaded place
  • humus rich, well-drained soils
  • water evenly, fertilize little
  • Direct sowing outdoors from April

Southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum)

  • also cola herb
  • perennial, winter-hardy herb
  • Growth height up to 150 cm
  • white flowers from July to September
  • sunny place
  • dry, poor soil
  • keep evenly moist, fertilize little

Strawberries (Fragaria)

  • perennial perennials
  • Full sun, slightly sheltered from the wind
  • deep, loose, humus-rich soil
  • pH 5.5 to 6.5
  • Planting time mid-August to September
  • water regularly when dry
  • no gray mold occurring in mixed cultivation with chives

Notice: Strawberries are sensitive to replanting. Strawberries can only be planted on the old site again after four years in order to prevent soil fatigue.

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)

  • perennial, hardy herb
  • Growth height up to 100 cm
  • yellow flowers from July to September
  • sunny to partially shaded place
  • nutrient-rich, moist, loose soil
  • keep evenly moist, fertilize little
  • Preculture from mid-March

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

  • Biennial or perennial medicinal and aromatic plant
  • Growth height 150 to 200 cm
  • yellow flowers from July to September
  • sunny to partially shaded, wind-protected place
  • deep, nutrient-rich, moist, calcareous soil
  • pour plenty, fertilize little
  • Sow from April to the end of May

Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus)

  • annual cucurbits (Cucurbitaceae)
  • Preculture in the house
  • Direct sowing outdoors from mid-May
  • wind-protected, sunny, warm and humid places
  • nutrient- and humus-rich, loose soil
  • water regularly with lukewarm water

Tip: A mixed culture with chives noticeably reduces the occurrence of downy mildew in this neighbour.

K to M

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

  • annual, aromatic-smelling daisy family (Asteraceae)
  • Growth height 30 to 50 cm
  • white flowers from May to August
  • sunny place
  • slightly loamy, humus-rich soil
  • water and fertilize regularly
  • Sow from April, germinates in the light

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)

  • annual
  • Growth height 30 to 200 cm
  • yellow, orange, red flowers from June to October
  • Sunny to semi-shady, wind-protected places
  • not too nutrient-rich soils
  • water regularly, fertilize little
  • Direct sowing outdoors from mid-May

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)

  • annual herb
  • Growth height up to 60 cm
  • white flowers from May to September
  • bright, partially shaded to shaded
  • moist, nutritious soil
  • water evenly, fertilize moderately
  • Sow direct outdoors at the end of March

Notice: This neighbor of chives can easily be combined with the poisonous hemlock (Conium maculatum) be confused.

Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes)

  • medium eater
  • sunny to partially shaded place
  • humus rich, moist soil
  • Preculture from the end of March
  • Sow direct outdoors in mid-April
  • short culture period

May turnips (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa var. majalis)

  • biennial plants
  • weak feeder
  • sunny to partially shaded place
  • light humus rich soil
  • Direct sowing May to August

Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

  • hardy culinary and medicinal herb
  • Growth height 20 to 40 cm
  • white, red, violet flowers from June to September
  • sunny places
  • permeable, nutrient-rich soils
  • water sparingly, fertilize moderately
  • Sow from March, germinates in the light

Chard (Beta vulgaris)

  • biennial culture
  • Growth height up to 50 cm
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • nutrient-rich, humus-rich, well-drained soil
  • Direct sowing outdoors from April to June

Carrots (Daucus carota)

  • annual umbellifer (Apiaceae)
  • reddish yellow to orange tubers
  • warm, sunny to semi-shady
  • loose, humic, deep soil
  • Direct sowing from March to the end of June
  • Keep soil evenly moist

Tip: A mixed culture with chives will help deter carrot fly, the main carrot pest, in most cases.

O to R

Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

  • perennial, hardy medicinal and culinary herb
  • Growth height 50 to 100 cm
  • white to pink flowers from June to September
  • sunny and sheltered place
  • nutrient-rich, dry, well-drained soils
  • Direct sowing from May

Parsnips (Pastinaca sativa)

  • biennial root vegetable
  • 6 cm thick yellow and white turnip
  • Length 40cm
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • deep, humus-rich, loose soil
  • Sow from March

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

  • biennial herb
  • Growth height 30 to 100 cm
  • greenish flowers from May to July
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • humus-rich, deep, moist soil
  • water regularly
  • Direct sowing from mid-March to mid-July

Burnet (Sanguisorba minor)

  • also small burnet
  • herbaceous perennial plant
  • Growth height 20 to 100 cm
  • green to reddish flowers from July to August
  • sunny, sheltered place
  • well-drained, slightly calcareous, humus-rich soil
  • Direct sowing from March

Radicchio (Cichorium intybus var. foliosum)

  • biennial, usually only cultivated as an annual
  • strong taproot
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • loose, humus and nutrient-rich soil
  • weak feeder
  • Sow from May to August, depending on the variety

Radish (Raphanus sativus var. sativus)

  • annual cruciferous plant (Brassicaceae)
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • loose, humus-rich soil
  • Direct sowing from mid-March continuously until the beginning of September
  • always at intervals of two to three weeks

Radish (Raphanus sativus)

Winter radish (Raphanus sativus var. niger)
  • biennial cruciferous plant
  • elongated turnip, mostly in the ground
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • loose, humus-rich, fresh soil
  • Direct sowing in subsequent sowings from March to July

Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

  • annual
  • Growth height up to 70 cm
  • yellow to orange flowers from June to September
  • sunny places
  • well-drained, moist, nutrient-rich soils
  • avoids downy mildew
  • Sowing April

Arugula (Eruca sativa)

  • also rocket
  • cultivated as an annual, actually a biennial plant
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • fresh, loose soil
  • Direct sowing at the end of March to September

S to Z

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

  • perennial, hardy shrub
  • Growth height 30 to 60 cm
  • blue flowers from July to September
  • sunny, sheltered place
  • permeable, nutrient-rich, calcareous soils
  • Preculture from the beginning of April
  • Direct sowing in May

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)

  • annual
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • humus-rich, loose, fresh soil
  • Direct sowing depending on the variety from March to August
  • pre-cultivation is also possible from the end of March

Celery (Apium graveolens)

  • different varieties: tubers, sticks, cut celery
  • Growth height 50 to 100 cm
  • sunny place
  • nutrient and humus rich soil
  • should hold water well
  • Preculture from March
  • Plant out from May

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

  • annual
  • Growth height 10 to 30 cm
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • humus-rich, fresh soil
  • Direct sowing depending on the variety from March to the end of November

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

  • perennial, hardy herb
  • Growth height 5 to 30 cm
  • white to pink flowers from June to August
  • sunny, sheltered from rain and wind
  • dry, slightly chalky, well-drained soil
  • Direct sowing outdoors from April

Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)

  • annual nightshade (Solanaceae)
  • bushy or tall
  • Full sun, warm, wind-protected place
  • very nutrient-rich and humic soils
  • Preculture from the end of February at 20 °C
  • Plant out from mid-May
  • also direct sowing outdoors from mid-May

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

  • perennial herbaceous plant
  • Growth height 60 to 100 cm
  • yellowish flowers from July to August
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • calcareous, nutrient-poor soil

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)

  • perennial medicinal and spice plant
  • Growth height 30 to 60 cm
  • blue flowers from June to August
  • sunny and sheltered from the wind
  • well-drained, loose, humus-rich, slightly calcareous soil
  • Preculture from March
  • Plant out from mid-May

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

  • hardy medicinal and kitchen herb
  • Growth height 30 to 90 cm
  • white flowers from July to August
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • light, humus-rich and moist soil
  • Direct sowing in May

Bad neighbors for chives

In addition to good planting neighbors for chives, there are also bad neighbors. These can negatively affect the growth and health of the leek plant. Such neighbors include, among others

  • Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)
  • Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica)
  • Peas (Pisum sativum)
  • Garden cress (Lepidium sativum)
  • Cabbage (Brassica oleracea convar. capitata)
  • Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
  • Beetroot (Beta vulgaris)
Broccoli (left) and peas (right) are not suitable neighbors for chives in the intercropping.

frequently asked Questions

What exactly is a mixed culture?

In a mixed culture, different plants are grown on a certain area at the same time. They have very different needs and can positively influence each other's growth. On the one hand, space is saved and on the other hand, soil leaching is prevented, since the plants draw their nutrients from different soil depths.

Are chives hardy or do they need winter protection?

The leek plant is frost and winter hardy. As a result, no winter protection is necessary. However, chives planted in pots should be watered on frost-free days, otherwise they can dry out quickly.

How to properly sow chives outdoors?

Sowing can take place from March to July at a soil temperature of 18 °C. The soil must be thoroughly loosened and enriched with sand and compost. It is best to mix the seed with sand and then sow it in grooves. As a dark germ, it is covered with a one to two centimeter thick layer of soil. Germination occurs after 14 days.

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