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. Let’s start growing chives now.
Sowing chives, growing chives, how to grow chives
Chives are worth growing in any garden. They add flavor to almost every dish you can imagine. Above all, they are easy to grow and they can be eaten from top to bottom.
Don’t worry about losing the plants as they will grow abundantly and thrive if you give them just a little bit of care.
What are chives?
Chives or allium schoenoprasum are a member of the onion family.
If you would start with one seed, you would get one bulb that will form new bulbs around the first bulb.
So instead of growing bigger it just splits up and spreads.
Chives are a herbaceous perennial, it doesn’t have a woody stem and the roots stay alive underground when the temperature goes below freezing.
Where to grow chives?
If you can keep the soil moist, you can grow chives, where ever you want.
They aren’t difficult to grow at all. But they will thrive in a moist well-draining soil with good compost and mulch to avoid drying out.
It’s possible to grow them in full sun or partial shade although they like full sun.
If you want to avoid the chives to spread all over the place when flowering, it’s good to grow them in pots.
Taking care of chives
If you want to grow chives from seed, just fill up a pot or container with fertile soil or compost and poor on a bunch of seeds.
Cover the seeds with half an inch or one centimeter of soil or sand and make sure the soil stays moist, not soggy all the time.
Chives don’t need the sun to germinate, they need the moist and temperature around 70°F, 20°C.
Sometimes it helps to put the pot in a plastic bag to keep the moisture level up all the time. The plants should start growing after 7 to 10 days.
As already mentioned above, you can grow chives almost anywhere.
I also mentioned the fact that chives are perennial plants so it’s good to split up the clump of bulbs every year or every two years.
By splitting them up, you force the bulbs to make more bulbs and the plants will thrive because of this stress.
A well-draining fertile soil is all they need, preferably by adding compost.
Don’t over fertilize as the plants really don’t need that much fertilizer through the year. By fertilizing too much the plants will lose their taste (although this isn’t permanent).
Transplanting chives or planting chives
If you were ever afraid to transplant something, start out with chives because there’s almost nothing you can do wrong.
While transplanting, you can split up the clumps and change the soil if they are standing in pots or containers.
Check to see if the bulbs are almost at the same level in the soil as they were before you transplanted them.
Harvesting chives is much like mowing the lawn. Just cut the leaves about 2 centimeters or 1 inch above the ground and you can use the whole leaves.
If you want to use the bulbs, you can just pull them out, rinse them, remove the wire roots and you can eat them.
Of course, if you eat the bulbs, you won’t have any chives left and the leaves have about the same taste as the bulbs so it’s better to just eat the leaves.
The flowers are also edible, just cut off the flower heads and toss them in your salad.
One thing I should mention, the flowering stems are hard and tasteless so, you can toss those in the compost bin.
Diseases and pests in chives
Most diseases mentioned on the internet can be problematic for big growers with monoculture.
There are quite a bit diseases mentioned but I have never had any disease in my chives and I’ve been growing them for a very long time.
Just try not to overcrowd the plants.
Transplant them from time to time and don’t let the plants stand in the soggy soil when it’s cold outside.
One insect that I should mention that could give problems is the onion
maggot, Delia antiqua.
These maggots just eradicate the bulbs and kill off the plants.
With chives, most of the times, not all bulbs will be affected but it’s possible to lose a lot of plants this way.