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my chive plants need help!

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by JeanM, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. JeanM

    JeanM Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2013
    Hi,

    I have had thriving chives here until this year.
    I transplanted a clump of chives from my dear old riding instructor's kitchen garden about 9 years ago, and they've been doing great until this year. While they've been tremendously successful at self-propagating throughout my lawn & even my horse's paddock up to 150' away (!), this year they have produced skinny, wimpy, limp stalks.
    So, what's up?
    Are they lacking fertilizer? I confess, I have been pretty much leaving them to Mother Nature as far as watering & fertilizing go, but they have done quite well for 8 years without any attention but my snagging some for my use, or my mare's occasional much larger snatches when she's out mowing the lawn for me (the "Original One-Horsepower Mower"). I've also dug up small clumps occasionally over the years to share with friends, but that certainly has never had any effect on the "thrive-abilty" of my chives.

    Are they salvageable, or do I need to scrap them and start anew next spring?
     
  2. Dreyadin

    Dreyadin Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2013
    They sound over crowded. You can break up the main clump a bit and add in some compost to where they are to be replanted. When they get spindly like that in an established patch- it's because they're fighting for space & nutrients.
     
  3. JeanM

    JeanM Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2013
    thanks; that is one of the things I was wondering about.
    No reason not to go ahead and thin them out now, is there? I'm not planning to transplant any of the ones I remove (I'm in Connecticut, if that helps your advice ;-) )
     
  4. Dreyadin

    Dreyadin Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2013
    Go for it- the cold doesn't bother the chives much, you just want to try to get as much of their roots as you can so they bounce back faster. You can divide them out pretty much any time of the year.

    I've gone in to a big patch with a shovel and dug out a big chunk (try to go down as far as you can- you'd be surprised how far they can send their roots).. then cut the clump down with a sharp gardening knife into smaller clumps. Transplanted them to a new bed (looked like bad hair plugs lolol.) Come spring- scratch in a little sprinkle of bone meal & blood meal around them (not on them.. but maybe 2 inches from the base of the clumps). The nitrogen will green them up- the phosphorus will help them with roots & flowers.

    We use a lot of chives (baked potatoes, herb bread, in my salad dressing, on salads, garnish, in compound butters.) The flowers are always ending up in our salads when they are blooming- which also keeps my patch from taking over.
     

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