If you are a big fan of growing culinary herbs in your home garden, chives are one of the best help. It is so easy to maintain them, and the fresh seasonal flavor you get can add a real twist to your favorite dishes. Easy maintenance, high yield, and versatility make chives the best culinary herb to grow in your garden.
This article will discuss everything you must know about chives, from how to plant, cultivate, harvest, and store them. But first, let’s examine why you should even consider growing a herb as a chive in your garden.
If you are a beginner in gardening or have never planted a herb before, then consider chives as the gateway herb. Despite being so easy to grow, chives can boost your curiosity for further exploration and make you confident in your work. These are perennial herbs and grow back each spring. Chives can be seen quite early during the cooler season for the same reason.
With a light onion-like flavor, these hollow green leaves are the perfect seasoning for your salad, omelet, soup and many other flavourful delicacies to elevate the taste with a herbaceous punch. Potato salads are the first and foremost classic to be seasoned with chives, but their versatility makes them suitable for almost any cuisine.
The unique quality of the plant is that it is entirely edible. The leaves, blossoms, bulbs, and all the content can be used in your kitchen very efficiently. Also, adding chives can be a good call to attract pollinators through its vibrant purple blossom if you have a house garden full of several different vegetables.
Also Read: How to Grow Spinach Microgreens?
Here are some more quick facts about chives!
- Chives are summer herbs and require full sun with a soil adequately rich to provide all the organic matter required for them to survive.
- One of the easiest ways to grow chives in your house garden is by planting clamps in spring that have been rooted after the Frost danger has already passed.
- Chives can be harvested by snipping the leaves from the base of the plant.
- The taste gets adversely affected when chives are kept stored for a long time; these versatile herbs taste better when fresh.
How many hours do chives need sunlight?
Chives need exposure to at least 7 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. This time can extend to 10 hours if the environment is not warmer. This is because the extremely hot climate can make The herbs die out of dehydration. Exposure to at least 6 hours of sunlight is essential for the proper growth of the chives plants. You can also notice sun deprivation in chives plants when they lose color and start dropping off. They may appear more yellowish brown, which is not normal for healthy chives growth.
Even though chives are sun-loving plants, keeping them under proper shade during the highest temperature will protect them from dying out. More than 90 degrees Fahrenheit has the brightest sun, which should be avoided for longer to reach the plants directly.
When planting outdoors
If you are planting the chives outdoors, you must remember that after the passing of Frost danger, when chives are planted as rooted clums in spring, it is the most successful way of growing them to get a healthy yield. Every 3 to 4 years must be the time to divide the established plans, and the division must be done in spring as it is the best time. You must plant the seedlings on an appropriate spacing of 6 to 12 inches apart. When planting new clums, remember to enrich the soil by reworking it to get the richest soil inorganic matter. Fine compost can be used for the same.
When planting indoors
Bright Sunny location is most suited to grow shapes indoors in your house gardens. These herbs are summer loving and require 7 to 8 hours of sunlight to flourish. When planting them in pots, make sure they have holes in their bottom for drainage. Also, a good house plant potting mix with light and well-drained soil must be used for the healthy growth of the plant. Chives do not grow effectively during winters as the sunlight is poor. And you can even see the plans of chives dying because of the reason. However, with the arrival of a brighter sun again in the spring, the plants will also be rustling back.
What to remember!
- A common mistake many people make during the winter season on seeing the plants dying is adding extra fertilizer. However, it is not appropriate and required by the plant during winter to get fertilized, which will do more harm than good.
- The best yield of chives occurs in container gardens, and they thrive on a Sunny windows cell when planted indoors.
- Let the ground temperature reach at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit to set the chives seeds. Start the planting process indoors if you are planting them from seeds. This is because when the growing season arrives, they will have a head start organically so that you can set them in the ground.
- You must sow the seeds at least 4 to 6 weeks earlier than the last projected frost. The transplantation of the seedlings must be done when they have grown about 2 inches tall.
Check this out: How to Grow Lemongrass from Scraps?
Soil health and fertility
Planting shares in fertile, well-drained soil is a crucial step for a healthy and good yield. Organic fertilizer and a healthy composition in the soil to enrich the nutritions also add value to the plant’s health. You must also remember not to over-fertilize the plant, which will affect it negatively. Over-fertilizing your soil can lead to slower growth of chives leading to a strong and intense flavor. You can also get your soil tested for pH accuracy. A pH level of 6 to 7 is the best for chives to thrive.
If you see the plant becoming weak from continuous harvesting every year, a light application of 5-10-5 fertilizer will enrich the soil with good nutritional content.
As we have discussed above, chives thrive in strong sunlight. However, you can grow chives indoors by placing them at a specific location where they can receive at least 7 to 8 hours of sunshine.
If you receive frequent rain, you must water the plants deeply enough, so the soil around the roots does not dry out. You can also use compost, grass clippings, or a light mulch of ground-up leaves for the soil to retain its moisture. Moist soil is the key to a healthy chives plant. Your plants will strive to be healthy if there is a proper drainage system.
Chives thrive alongside the plants, including cabbage, mustard, carrots, and tomatoes. Chives are also good for repelling carrot flies, cabbage worms, and aphids that may destroy crops. They also can be planted near apple trees as they prevent Apple scabs.
Also Read: Is Lawn Fertilizer Safe for Vegetable Garden?
Clip the chives leaves using the garden shears from above 2 inches of the soil. You will be required to clip the leaves from the outer portion of the plant instead of clipping all the plants at once. However, if you mistakenly cut back all of the plans, they will grow back again the following here, so there is no need to worry about that. Harvestation must be done when your chives plant is at least six inches tall.
Chives flowers between May and June can be used as a delicious ingredient in salads or as infused in the chives blossom vinegar. Once the flower stocks finish blooming, you must cut them off from the soil line. This will keep the plant productive by preventing it from forming seeds. You can also keep the extra chives by chopping them into small pieces and freezing them in an air-tight container.
Also Read: How Much Sunlight Does Broccoli Need?
Chives can grow almost anywhere, even if they do not receive sunlight directly. However, in this situation, the duration of sunlight is certainly increased to keep them flourishing. It is easier to grow chives in warmer temperatures. If soil conditions are also properly managed, chives will thrive without direct sunlight.
Chives are the most commonly used herb in any kitchen, and with your chive plants thriving in your home garden, you can get satisfaction from chopping the leaves right away when you need to add a hinge of flavor to your freshly prepared dishes and salads. Happy cooking!