Many people enjoy the savory flavor of chives in their dips, dressings, or even on their baked potatoes. If you love the flavor of chives and want to have fresh chives at your own fingertips, there are a couple of things you should know. Take a look below at how to grow chives in your own garden so you can enjoy this tasty herb year after year and in recipe after recipe!
How to Grow Chives
How to plant your chive seedlings:
It is best to start your chives from seedlings instead of seeds so you can enjoy quicker results. When planting your chive seedlings, you want well drained and nutrient rich soil. Chives will flourish quickly in a full sun spot, but if you only have partial sun they will survive, they just won't grow as quickly. When planting your chive seedlings, you want them to be 8-10 inches apart so they have room to stretch.
How to plant chives in pots:
Many people like planting chives in flower pots so they can keep it right inside their kitchen or window sill garden. This is totally possible and quite easy to do! If planting your chives in a pot, you want the same nutrient rich and well drained soil. Put one plant per 8-10 inch pot. A sunny window where your plant will get 6 hours of sun is ideal.
How to care for chive seedlings:
Chives will really perform for you if you offer them fertilizer every few weeks. Use a liquid food every 3 weeks during the growing season when establishing your plant to really make it flourish. Chives do like water, and will enjoy about an inch per week. Touch the soil with your finger and if it feels soft or soggy avoid watering. Wait until the soil feels dry to water again. To encourage growth, you want to pinch off the blossom heads (typically purple) as you spot them. Although they are quite pretty, they can stall the plant from growing. Remove them and you will notice quicker growth.
Aphids love to dine on chive plants, so you want to use a food safe deterrent to deal with them. A dish soap and water spray is also shown to keep aphids at bay and keep your chive safe.
Chives are a perennial so there is no need to plant from year to year. Cut plants back in the fall so they come back stronger in the spring. You also want to be sure to thin out your chives as they can re-seed and start to become out of control.
How to harvest chives:
Chives are ready for harvesting pretty quickly. Once they have been established for a few weeks they are ready for use. You can snip one or a dozen leaves if you wish, just snip at the base so about an inch of chive is left. You can rinse and use them fresh, or you can dry or freeze them for use later.
Whether using chives in salad dressings, dips, marinades, or fresh, you will find that these tips can help you yield a nice crop!