How to Grow and Care for Chives

Chives are an easy-to-grow, low-maintenance perennial herb that is grown for their onion-flavored leaves. They are a delicious addition to salads and can be added to many other tasty dishes.

Their flavor is milder than that of onion, making them the perfect choice for soups and savory dishes, where their more subtle flavor is needed. Although grown primarily for its leaves, chives also produce very attractive purple-pink flowers. These are also edible and make an attractive salad garnish.

They also attract bees and butterflies, since chives are compact, they are ideal for embroidering paths and borders, as well as growing in mixed borders, orchards, herb gardens, and containers.

How to grow chives

Chives grow perfectly well in full sun or partial shade position. They grow best in fertile, moist but well-drained soils. Dig up lots of organic matter, such as garden compost, very rotten manure, or another soil improver, especially in sandy soils that are very well-drained to retain moisture.

Add fine or coarse sand to heavy clay soils to improve drainage if necessary.

Varieties of chives

The common chive grown as the grass is the pure species, Allium schoenoprasum. You can also find Starland Fine Leaved, which has a milder taste, and Forecast, which has a slight garlic flavor and light pink flowers.

Sowing chives

You can sow chives seeds finely outdoors in the spring, where you want them to grow. Prepare the soil well with additional compost or other soil improver and rake to a good slope before sowing. Thin the young plants to 23-30 cm (9-12 in.) Apart from when they are large enough to be handled.

Seeds can also be sown indoors from March to June in pots or cells or trays filled with planting compost at a temperature of 18-21C (65-70F). Lightly cover the seed with more compost and keep it moist. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5-10 cm (3-4 inch) pots in clusters of 4-6 seedlings per pot.

Grow seedlings in cooler conditions of about 50 ° F (10 ° C) and plant outside when the last frosts are over, after they have hardened, gradually acclimating to external conditions, for 10-14 days.

Planting chives

You can buy spring onions at garden centers, which can be planted outdoors at any time of the year.

Dig up the planting area, incorporating some organic matter, such as compost or leaf mold if the soil is loamy. Dig a good-sized hole, large enough to easily accommodate the clod.

Place the root ball in the planting hole and adjust the planting depth so that the tops of the leaves are level with the ground.

Mix more organic matter with the excavated soil and fill in the planting hole. Apply a general granular plant food to the soil around the plants and water them well.

Or grow them indoors, on a well-lit windowsill, so you have fresh leaves on hand.

How to care for chives

Chives are very easy to care for and require minimal maintenance. Keep the soil moist by watering regularly during prolonged dry summer spells. Feed a general granulated plant food each spring.

Plants can become congested over time and need rejuvenation every 3 to 5 years. Lift carefully, divide the plant into smaller portions, and replant in well-prepared soil in the spring.

To keep plants productive and with the tastiest leaves, remove flowers as they form or cut them back when young to brighten up salads.

When the chives die in late fall, remove all dead leaves and any other debris.

Harvest

Harvest the leaves as needed with scissors, cutting them close to the base of the plant. The more regularly they are cut, the more new leaves they will produce.

It is best to consume fresh chives as soon as they are cut. They can be frozen by cutting and packing in ice trays with water.

We hope you enjoy this video about how to grow chives:

Source: Rainbow Gardens

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