You know you are in heaven when you have fresh chives at hand to adorn meats and cheeses, season breads and soups, or simply add their fresh, lightly oniony flavor to a salad. Chives are an essential part of any culinary garden and dry wonderfully for winter use. If you are planning a kitchen garden and wondering what to grow near chives, wonder no more. There are a host of perfect chive plant companions for texture, color, and flavor.
What to Grow Near Chives
Companion planting isn’t anything new. Our ancestors knew what plants seemed to benefit from being close to each other, whether as a repellent, disease indicator, support, soil enhancer, or any other reason.
Chives have a sulfur-based oil that is the heart of the flavors we enjoy but can also be a deterrent to many pests. They also have large, tufted, purple flower heads that are a bee magnet and draw pollinators to your garden. In almost every case, it doesn’t matter what you plant them near, as companion planting with chives has a host of positive results.
If you plant chive near apple trees, it seems to have the ability to prevent apple scab and deter borers. Grapes are excellent companion plants for chives, as the Allium seems to help prevent insect pests and increase pollinating visitors, thus enhancing yields.
If you do add chives to the vegetable garden, you will see a number of benefits. The oils in the plant repel numerous insects, and the pollinators it attracts help increase fruit and vegetable yields. For instance, chives can increase the length and flavor of carrots when in proximity, and repel aphids from celery, lettuce, and peas. They also repel cucumber beetles, which can make a mess of your Cucurbit crop. Tomatoes benefit from their odorous oils and attractive flowers.
Herbs seem natural companion plants for chives and, indeed, they are. Place chives in your herb pots for quick, delicious additions to any dish.
Companion Planting with Chives
Chives are such attractive plants it is a shame to keep them in the vegetable garden alone. While it may seem that chive plant companions derive much from simply being near the plants, there are other ways chives can be helpful in the garden and home.
Dried chive flowers are wonderful in an everlasting bouquet and keep much of their purple color. Mix chives and water in a blender with a little dish soap for a repelling pest spray on most plants and to deter powdery mildew on vegetables.
Ornamentally, the chive plant has lively, slender green foliage and those wonderful fluffy flowers, making them perfect to enhance a perennial garden or herbal container. As an added bonus, chives can be cut and come again several times in one season. Dry them or cut them into small pieces and freeze them so you can enjoy them year-round.