Chives are one of my favorite Herbs. They are beautiful, bees love the flowers, and they are yummy. Here are the proper terms for our project today. We are going to grow garlic chives.
Botanical Name: Allium tuberosum syn A. odoratumi
Common Names: Garlic chives; Chinese chives; kau tso
Chives are a wonderful plant for the beginner or novice. They grow under the worst of conditions, any soil as long as it is kept moist will grow beautiful chives.
In The Herb Garden:
Experience has taught me that when you choose to have chives growing in your herb garden, over time, they can take over your herbs. Finding the tall leaves of herbs sticking out in your Lemon Balm and basil can be aggravating. So, through trial and error, I adjusted my theme of growing these tasty herbs.
Chives are fast and furious about taking over your spaces in your herb garden. I suggest you plant them in their own little space, They will make a gorgeous display, they are Perennial plants, that come back every year. After a few seasons of growth, you may want to separate them and plant the clumps in other areas. Because of their beauty they will look marvelous wherever you choose to put them. You can put them in spaces between your flowers, or plant several in the front of your garden as a striking border.
Separating is simple, dig them up, pull them apart carefully and replant the new separated pieces you have. I am not going to waste too much time explaining the process, simply because it is so simple. Be sure to plant your newly separated pieces right away and water well.
Starting your Chive Plants:
If your lucky enough to know someone who grows chives, you can ask them for your first plant. Anyone who grows chives are very happy to share. If not, you can purchase your first plant from your local garden center. I hope you feel good about knowing that your first purchase will be your last, as you will never ever have to buy this plant again. You won’t be spending money at the grocer either for fresh chives, you will always have fresh chives of your own.
When you get your chive plant home, remember the pot is most likely root bound, so get that plant in the ground immediately. If you have to wait a few days, that’s ok, just make sure it is kept moist at all times. Root bound plants have more root than dirt, so it cannot hold water for extended lengths of time. Just like a houseplant when it becomes to big for the pot it’s in, you re-pot it in a bigger pot, right?
Chive Plants grow steady
, If you want the plant to go to flower, remember, it will be dropping its seeds all over. To avoid this, keep snipping the tops so it won’t spread. Keep a few that are not close to other plants that you want to flower by themselves. The flowers are wonderful floating on top of soup, cut up in salads. The flowers are very strong so use wisely. If you want to know how they taste, pop one in your mouth an chew it up. They taste yummy. The strong taste of garlic and onion will amaze you. They are wonderful. I love the fact that I am saving money, having a beautiful display in my yard is a plus, and I can go out and snip some right now to put in my baked potato for dinner. I don’t have to run to the market to buy fresh chives, they are in my garden.
Watering and Care:
Whether indoors or outdoors, chives prefer sandy loamy conditions. Simply put, add a little sand to your dirt. three parts dirt, one part sand. Simple.
Water outdoor chives twice a week soaking the soil equal to one inch deep of water. They prefer a good soaking as opposed to daily dousing. Indoor chives have a different need, as in all potted plants, they need water more often. Chives prefer moist soil.
Freezing for optimum taste:
If your outdoor or indoor chive plant grows faster than you can use the tasty leaves, freezing properly is also an option. The best way is so simple.
Cut your chives in long stems like the picture above. Lay them, spread out on a cookie sheet and pop them in the freezer. When they are good and frozen, it wont take long, put them in freezer bags, make sure you get all the air out of the bags, put them back in freezer. you may want to freeze serving size bags. NEVER put fresh chives in a bag and put in freezer. It just won’t taste like fresh chives. use my way, trust me, it works so much better. When your ready for your frozen chives, simply take them out of freezer and thaw before cutting.
If you want your chive plant to seed, simply let it flower. When the flower starts drying, you can shake the seeds out of the flowers with ease. Store them in a jar.with a tight fitting lid. Selling your seeds can be an option. You will have many many seeds. Try an online auction, or craigslist to sell your seeds. Research will show you that people want your seeds. Another option is to grow plants from seed and sell those to your local market or farmers market vendor who does not have chives in his display.
Gift of Chive Plants:
I am always happy to give my plants to people who want to learn how to grow plants. You may be changing someones way of thinking in terms of nature and bountiful goodness. I hope that gifting a plant will somehow teach a little something and bring enjoyment and knowledge and money saving results from my gift.
Chemical Free Alternative to Mildew:
My all time favorite quest is getting my readers to use chemical free concoctions that we make ourselves. There is a useful tea made from chive plants to control downy and powdery mildew. Chop leaves and boil in water, cool down and spray on infected plants. Note the great and wonderful and simple alternative to chemical spray.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I hope you are thinking about growing some chive plants now. You will enjoy the rewards
Thank You and please leave a comment or question, I will be happy to help with any problems you are having in your planting.
Founder of Bountiful Harvesting