As I mentioned a short while ago, my Chives were in urgent need of some attention. The pots had become very mossy, and since the plants were beginning to grow again I thought that re-potting them sooner rather than later would be advisable.
One of the pots was showing some very strong new growth...
But one of them was almost covered in moss...
So this is what I did.
First (since the temperature here is still sub-zero), I immersed the pots in buckets of lukewarm water for a while. I did this for a variety of reasons: first, it thawed the plants out a little; second, it softened the moss and made it easier to remove; and third, it enabled all the accumulated bits of gunk (by this I mean extraneous debris, including seeds from the birch trees etc) to float off. Finally of course it helped me to keep my hands from freezing, since I was able to dunk them in the warm water every now and then!
When the pots had thawed, I removed the plants from them. They were well and truly "pot-bound", each with a huge mass of silvery roots.
I then picked out as much as possible of the moss (using the sharp point of my garden knife) and trimmed off about 50% of the root mass, both at the bottom and at the sides of the plants, which then looked like this:
I re-potted each plant, starting with a layer of broken terracotta pieces at the bottom of each one to provide drainage, and then adding around the plant as much fresh compost as I could fit in. So now they all look like this:
Following some advice from fellow garden-bloggers, I plan to get some small-diameter gravel and put this around the plants to discourage the re-growth of moss - but that's a task for another day.