Monday, October 18, 2010

Chives

Chives
Chives are fairly easy to grow anywhere.   You can grow a pot on your kitchen table or counter or you can grow them in your yard or garden - or both.  Garlic or Chinese chives are also easy to grow.

Chives are small onion like plants which grow in clumps.  Chives have purple edible flowers, rounded leaves, and a light onion flavor.  Garlic chives have white edible flowers, triangular shaped leaves, and a garlic flavor.  If using chive flowers harvest just after they open.  The flowers will separate into small pieces (florets) which can be scattered into salads for an attractive appearance and a chive (or garlic chive) flavor.

Both types of chives can be started from seed, purchased as a plant, or divided from an existing plant.  When starting from seed plant many seeds together since each seed will grow to be one plant.  At first they will look like tiny grass plants but as they grow the stems will thicken and they will be more obviously chives.  Chives can be harvested when the leaves are just a few inches tall.  Since you probably won't have many at first you can still cut them (leaving 1/2 - 1" for regrowth) and throw them in a salad.

To divide chives just cut into the bunch with a trowel or spade.  Dig up the portion you want and plant in another location or into a pot filled with good quality potting soil. The pot need not be much larger than the clump you are planting.


If moving indoors to or in a pot your chives will do better if exposed to the first light frost first - then move indoors.

As with other herbs use your imagination: top a baked potato, stir into scrambled eggs, throw into a salad, mix some with softened butter or cream cheese.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for participating in How to Find Great Plants! The newest issue is out today and here's the link for it:

    http://www.appalachianfeet.com/2011/01/03/how-to-find-great-plants-2/

    Your chives look gorgeous!

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  2. I grow both varieties, the purple flowers are such a welcoming sight in spring:) I didn't realize the flowers were edible!

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