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Everything there is to know about growing Chives

Chives are a perennial herb prized for the delightful onion or garlic flavour of their leaves and feature grass-like foliage topped with purple, pink or white blooms. Although chives are a member of the onion family native to Europe, Asia and North America, they are much easier to grow than traditional onions and garlic, with the added benefit of not taking as long between planting and harvest time.

Chives are ideal plants for pots, make attractive grass-like plants in herb beds and can be used as to attracts bees and other pollinators while repelling other insects at the same time. Chives are sometimes planted among vegetables to discourage Japanese beetles and other damaging insects.

Even those without a serious garden have probably tried growing chives at some point. It is one of the most common garden herbs available, probably because it is so easy to grow. It is a perennial, which means there’s no need to re-plant every year. Chives are about as low maintenance as you can get in the plant world. You can grow them indoors or outside, and they’re happy pretty much anywhere.

What Are Chives?

Chives are a herb that is related to onions and garlic with long green stems and a mild, not-too-pungent flavour. Typically used fresh, and most often (although not always) as a garnish, they add a bright colour and oniony flavour to soups, dressings, and dips, along with many eggs and potato-based dishes. They're easy to grow, easy to find, and easy to use.

Chives belong to the allium family, which makes them relatives of onions, leeks, scallions, and garlic. They have been used in Europe and Asia for hundreds of years but can be found around the world. Chives produce edible leaves and flowers; the green stem is long, pencil-like, and thin, with a centre that's hollow like a straw. They grow in dense hearty clumps, and typically are one of the first herbs to pop up in the garden in spring.

Chives do not require a lot of preparation since they are often used raw, fresh, and as a garnish. A little goes a long way, too—you don't typically need a lot to make a flavourful impact. They're widely available in grocery stores and therefore not expensive.

Growing Chives

Chives like plenty of sun, well-drained soil, and decent moisture. It's a good idea to dig in 4 to 6 inches of well-decomposed compost to the soil before planting. Because of their clump-forming habit, chives can become easily overcrowded, so dividing the clumps regularly will help to ensure growth remains vigorous.

In warm climates, they may remain evergreen year-round; in cold climates, they will die back to ground level each fall, returning as perennials in the spring. Chives are shallow-rooted plants; carefully consider what you grow around them and watch out for weeds springing up, as these can out-compete the chives if you aren't careful.

Gardeners growing chives as edible herbs may cut back the flowers to prevent the plants from going to seed. If you choose to enjoy the blooms (which are also edible), be aware that the plants will self-seed very freely, leaving you with many volunteers. This is not a seriously invasive plant, however.

Chives have no serious pest or disease problems, but root-rot can be an issue for clumps growing in dense, poorly drained soil. Chive Care

Light for Chives

Chives thrive in a full sun location Although they tolerate light shade, the flower display will be less impressive in shady locations.

Soil for Chives

To produce the best harvest, you'll want to plant chives in soil that is well-draining, rich. and moist—the same conditions under which onions thrive.

Chives are a drought-tolerant species once established. That doesn't mean you should neglect to water them during hot, dry weather. To achieve an impressive harvest, make sure chives are kept consistently moist throughout the growing season. If you aren't always able to keep on top of watering duties, you could consider mulching. Because chives bulbs are located close to the surface of the soil, this can help to conserve soil moisture.

Temperature and Humidity For Chives

Water for Chives

A cool-season herb, chives produce their best harvest in the spring and autumn. Extreme summer heat can sometimes result in chives going dormant during the middle of the summer. Extreme cold can also kill off the foliage, and this is why pot-grown chives are often overwintered indoors.

Fertilizer for chives

Chives don't need a lot of nutrients to survive, so frequent fertilization isn't necessary. But it's a good idea to give chives a single top-dressing with a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer in late spring or early summer. How to Grow Chives from Seed

Planting Chive seeds

Chive seeds sown outdoors in the spring usually germinate within a few weeks. Ideally, you want temperatures to be around18 to 24C. If early spring temperatures are cold, sowing them in a tray on a sunny windowsill is preferable, six to eight weeks before the last frost.

Make sure you sow them close to the surface and that they aren't spaced too close together. If you have germinated seedlings indoors to transplant outdoors, make sure you harden them off first with increasingly long visits outdoors over a period of about 10 days.

Planting Guide for Chives

Method                         Sow direct

Planting Depth             5mm

When                             Spring, summer and autumn

Germination                  7-14 days at 18-24°C

Life Cycle                       Hardy Perennial

Plant Spacing               15cm

Plant Height                 25cm

Position                        Full sun, moist well-drained soil

Days Until Maturity     60-90 days

Propagating Chives

Chives are easy to propagate by division. Even if you don't need to make new plants, it's still recommended to divide clumps every few years. This improves the productiveness and health of the plants and prevents them from becoming overly congested.

Pruning Chives

If you don't want chives popping up all over your garden, it's a good idea to deadhead the flowers immediately after they have finished blooming. This will prevent the seeds from spreading.

Harvesting Chives

Chives are usually ready to harvest within a couple of months of seed germination, or about 30 days after nursery seedlings are planted. It's a good idea for aesthetics, and to encourage healthy regrowth, to cut the leaves right down to the base. You can harvest at any time but be aware that old-growth can be tougher and not quite as flavoursome. New plants should be harvested four or five times in their first year. Mature plants should be harvested monthly.

Chives are best used fresh or when frozen immediately after picking. They lose their flavour if they are dried for storage. If you want to consume the flowers, pick them immediately after they have fully opened, as this is when they'll have the best taste.

Chive varieties

Garlic Chives: Perennial growing to 50cm. Plants grow in slowly spreading clumps with long green strap-like leaves with white star-shaped flowers. Leaves have a mild flavour, somewhat like a cross between regular chives and garlic. Can be eaten raw or cooked, good in salads, sauces, stir-fries and with fish, poultry and egg dishes. Can be grown in containers. Also known as "Chinese chives".

With their white flowers, long green shoots, and lack of a bulb, Garlic chives are graceful herbs with pretty white flowers. The combination of a chive-like appearance and strong garlic flavour makes garlic chives a popular seasoning. Chopped fresh garlic chives are found in recipes for Chinese dishes including stir-fries, and they are used in Japanese cuisine as well.

You can grow garlic chives in your garden or a container herb garden and bear a strong resemblance to regular chives. That's not surprising since both are members of the onion family. However, while the standard chives have a mild flavour similar to onions, Chinese garlic chives are known for their strong “garlicky” flavour.

Chives -Large leaf; One of the most popular herbs used in home gardens, Chives Large Leaved Plant is native to Mexico and South America. It has a pungent and aromatic flavour that makes it popular in Mexican cooking and its leaves and stems make interesting decorations on tables.

Chives Large Leaved Plant has several uses in cooking and as a garnish for food. Because it has such a pungent flavour, Chives Large Leaved Plant is used like garlic. In addition to being used as a garlic repellent, chives are also good for insect bites and burns, as well as digestive ailments.

Chives Large Leaved Plant can also be eaten raw or dried. When dried it becomes a delicious herb soup and has a distinct chive taste. When raw, Chives Large Leaved Plant has a sharp, pungent flavour that is very pleasant. The chive plant has an amazing ability to absorb the oils of the sunflower seeds, so they can be harvested several times a day, then placed in the sun and allowed to dry. This gives chives a fresh scent.

If you are growing chives from seeds, you will need to be sure that you buy chives Large Leaved Plants seed that will grow in your garden. Chives are small and do not grow up to three feet high. When growing from seed, be sure to keep the seed away from young children and pets. Chives Large Leaved Plant will only produce new leaves when they are fully developed.

If you are growing larger plants, such as the leaved chives, they can be used both as a garnish and as a spice in dishes. In Mexican cooking, they are often added to stews and  soups along with onion and garlic.

Natsuyo Chives: Green slender bunching onion high in vitamin B and C. Widely used in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cuisine. Natsuyo is a cold-tolerant and heat tolerant variety that is a good bunching onion for all-year-round production. Resistant to disease especially downy mildew.

Chives are a member of the onion family, but unlike most onions, the greens are harvested instead of the bulb. In comparison to standard onions, chives have a much milder taste. The small grass-like herb is often added to soups, salads, and sauces for its light flavour and aesthetic appeal. Whether you're using chives for cooking or as an ornamental addition to your garden, the entire process from choosing a species of chive, preparing your garden, planting, and harvesting is quite easy.

Onion Chives: Perennial growing to 25cm. Grows in slowly spreading clumps. The plant has green, hollow, tubular leaves that have a mild onion flavour; used as a garnish, in sauces, dips, stews, casseroles, salads and soups. Can be grown in containers.

Chives are a member of the onion family, but unlike most onions, the greens are harvested instead of the bulb. In comparison to standard onions, chives have a much milder taste. The small grass-like herb is often added to soups, salads, and sauces for its light flavour and aesthetic appeal. Whether you're using chives for cooking or as an ornamental addition to your garden, the entire process from choosing a species of chive, preparing your garden, planting, and harvesting is quite

Happy gardening

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