Do you love the taste of fresh chives on your baked potatoes but hate paying for them at the store?
Growing chives in your backyard can be a simple and personal way to have a constant supply for your meals.
But Chives can be fussy and may not always produce as expected. Don’t fret yet.
This article teaches you the essential steps for growing and caring for chives in your backyard. Following the tips and advice in this article, you can have a successful and abundant chive garden in no time.
What Is Chives?
Chives is a type of perennial herb in the Allium family, including garlic, onions, and shallots. They are native to Europe, Asia, and North America and have been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
Chives have a delicate, mild onion flavor and are often used as a garnish or ingredient in dishes such as salads, soups, omelets, and dips. They are also a great source of vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron.
So, not only do chives add delicious flavor to your meals, but they also offer health benefits. It’s a win-win!
Whether planting them in your backyard or on a sunny windowsill, you’ll love having fresh chives at your fingertips.
In this section, we’ll walk you through each step of growing and caring for chives so you can start immediately.
Chives makes a great companion plant. They keep aphids, scale insects, and mealybugs at bay while providing their host with the perfect scent to lure pollinators.
Choose the Right Location
The first step in growing chives is choosing the right location.
Chives prefer full sun and well-drained soil, so look for a sunny spot in your yard or choose a sunny windowsill if you’re growing them indoors.
Make sure the soil is neutral, with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
Plant the Chives
Once you’ve chosen the right location, it’s time to plant the chives. Plant the seeds in the spring or fall, spacing them about 6 inches (15 cm) apart.
If you’re planting in a garden, dig a hole about as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. If you’re planting in pots, choose a container with good drainage and fill it with high-quality potting soil.
Water and Fertilizer
To keep your chives healthy and happy, ensure it is regularly watered. The soil should be evenly moist but not soggy.
Fertilize your chives every 2-3 weeks with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer to give them the necessary nutrients.
Regular pruning is essential for keeping your chives healthy and producing flavorful leaves.
Cut the leaves back to within an inch or two of the soil, taking care not to damage the roots.
This will encourage healthy growth and prevent the formation of flower stalks, which can weaken the plants.
If you live in a cold climate, you’ll need to take extra steps to protect your chives over the winter.
Mulch the plants with a layer of straw or leaves to insulate them, or move the pots into an unheated garage or other protected areas.
You can transplant the chives into your garden in the spring or place them on a sunny windowsill.
How To Harvest Chives?
Harvesting chives is a fun and easy process that can be done in no time!
Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll have fresh chives to add to your meals in no time:
- Timing: Harvest chives when they are about 6-8 inches (15 – 20cm) tall. This usually happens in the spring or early summer.
- Snipping: Use scissors or sharp garden shears to snip the chives about an inch (2.5 cm) above the soil. Make sure to leave some green leaves behind to allow the plant to regrow.
- Don’t overdo it: Be careful not to over-harvest the chives. This will stress the plant and could lead to reduced growth.
- Use them fresh: Chives are best when used fresh, so try to use them as soon as possible after harvesting. If you can’t use them immediately, you can store them in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze them later.
With these tips, you’ll be able to harvest your chives quickly. Just remember to be gentle with the plant and to leave some leaves behind to allow it to regrow.
The beautiful purple flowers bloom on chive plants are edible and can add a pop of color to salads or garnishes.
Possible Problems With Growing Chives
Growing chives can be easy and stress-free, but sometimes problems may arise. Don’t worry; we got you covered.
Here are a few common issues you may encounter and how to fix them.
Chives Not Growing
If your chives is not growing, the first thing to check is the sunlight and temperature.
Chives require at least six hours of direct sunlight each day and prefer temperatures between 60-70°F (15-21°C).
If you’re still having trouble, try repotting the chives in fresh soil and fertilizing them every two weeks with compost or organic fertilizer.
Chives Going to Seed Too Quickly
If your chives are going to seed too quickly, it means they are receiving too much sunlight.
Move the pot to a shadier area or try to give them some shade during the hottest hours of the day.
Another reason could be over-fertilizing, so cut back on the fertilizer to give chives some breathing room.
Chives Losing Flavor
If your chives are losing flavor, it’s usually a sign that they need to be harvested.
Cut the leaves to about an inch above the soil, and the chives will grow back with a fresh and zesty flavor.
Also, ensure to water the chives regularly and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged to maintain their flavor.
Common pests that can cause damage to chives are aphids, thrips, and spider mites.
To prevent pest damage, keep the growing area clean and free of debris, and water the plants in the morning, allowing the leaves to dry out before evening.
If pests become a problem, you can use insecticidal soap or neem oil to eliminate them.
Chives can be susceptible to fungal diseases such as downy and powdery mildew.
Plant chives in well-draining soil to prevent these diseases and provide adequate air circulation.
If you notice any fungal diseases, prune affected leaves and dispose of them properly. You can also use a fungicide to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Growing chives is easy and fun to spice up your meals with fresh herbs.
With proper care and attention, your chives will thrive and provide you with a bountiful harvest year after year.
Just remember to plant them in the right spot, give them enough sunlight and water, and keep an eye out for pests and diseases.
So, give it a try and start enjoying the sweet and tangy taste of fresh chives in your favorite dishes!