Chives are a low maintenance, easy to grow perennial herb and we’re going to teach you how to grow some in your own back garden!
Chives are closely related to the onion family that mostly grows in the cool season, although they can be planted early spring for a late spring harvest.
These plants and flowers can cover up a large open space once they start growing so it’s better to contain their growth if you are planting other herbs alongside.
You can choose from two types of common species when deciding to grow your own chives. The choices are slender bulbs with edible flowers in white, pink, purple, and red. Or, garlic chives, which have flatter bulbs and look a more lusher green colour, which can grow in warmer regions without many issues.
How To Plant Chives
Spring is ideal for chives optimal growing conditions as they grow best around 15°C-20°C. They don’t do well in harsh summers and may become dormant until the next cool season.
When planting the chives, you can germinate the seeds indoors before the frost and you can expect this to take around six to eight weeks, although germination may take longer than expected in some cases.
After the seeds have grown out, you can prepare the soil with good organic compost. Chives grow best in well-drained and moisture-retaining soil while requiring a lightly shaded area along with some sun to remain cool while growing.
Plant the chive seedlings at least 4-6 inches apart, spanning all directions. This will give them the required space to grow and absorb nutrition from the compost.
How To Care For Chives
When the plants are fully established, they do not require much care. Chives care includes keeping the soil full of moisture and fertilizer as they need nitrogen-rich manure to grow to their full height. This will result in a higher yield of chives with healthy bulbs.
To prevent the growth of weeds, you can use mulch. Since chives grow close to the ground, picking up weeds may affect their roots so carefully pick weeds out by hand.
After the flowers grow, you should cut them to prevent the spread of their seeds and the chives taking over the garden soil. It is best to divide the chives into groups to help them grow with uniformity.
How To Harvest Chives
Chives can take up to 30 days to come into full bloom after transplantation. This implies 30 days after the seed germination indoors.
Cut the chives from the base, preferably within 1-2 inches of the soil. You can harvest chives 3-4 times in the first year of plantation.
If you’ve picked some chives and don’t know how to use them best, here is a bunch of recipes for you to try out your new produce on.
Tips & Common Problems
Beware of the potential pests attacking your chives. Onion fly and thrips can infest on the crop. You can use insect proof fleece or mesh, even predatory mites could help you protect your plants.
Diseases like bulb rot due to soil fungi, white rot, mildew, rust, and smut may affect the green chives. Consider using insecticides and healthy seeds to avoid these problems.
Mild attacks of leek rust won’t harm the plant, but serious infections may cause leaves to shrivel and affect yield. Make sure you don’t crowd plants, as this increases humidity and increases the likelihood of infection.