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Growing and Caring for Chives, Chives Varieties. Preparing and Preserving Chives.

Growing Chives

How to Grow Chives

Chives are grown not only for their flowers but also their leaves. Their flat leaves are not hollow like scallions or onions. The plants produce beautiful, globe like lavender and pinkish blossoms. They grow to about a foot and a half high and do best in Zones 3 to 9. They require very little care other than watering and weeding.

Chives perform best in well-drained soil with well aged compost or manure. In early spring, plant seedlings in full sun. Keep any mulch away from the bases of these plants to prevent disease problems due to excessive moisture retention, as well as to promote proper air circulation.

Start Chives from Seed. Starting Chives from seed is the most common method of beginning a chive patch. Sow chive seeds about 1/2 inch deep in starter tray, peat pots or other suitable containers. Keep the potting mix consistently moist, but not soggy. Optimal temperature range for germination is 60-70 degrees F. It's not really a good idea to add any fertilizer when planting seeds, all the nutrients needed for germination are already within the seed itself. Fertilizer especially excessive fertilizer has the potential to cause more harm than good.

Hydroponic Chives. Both Onion and Garlic Chives thrive in a hydroponic scenario. They are not without their own special needs but they have multiple advantages over many other plants.

How to Grow Chives Indoors. Fresh herbs year round, growing right in your own kitchen are the kitchen gardeners dream and it is not an overly difficult project. Chives are a common herb that can be grown indoors, but there are a few caveats and tips to be aware of.

Chives Harvest and Storage. Use scissors to cut chives about 1 to 1 1/2 inches above the ground, leaving enough stalk for the plant to regenerate. Leaves can be harvested as soon as they are large enough to clip and use but have the most oil just before the plants flower, so harvesting them at this point will ensure a better quality. Cut from the outside of the clump, about 1/2 inch above soil level.

Chive Varieties

Chive Varieties. The word Chive comes from the French word 'cive' which originated during the Roman era from the Latin word 'cepa' meaning onion. There are several primary varieties of Chives, the most common being 'common' or onion chives followed by garlic chives.


Companion Planting

Chives Companion Planting. Chives are highly beneficial to other plants in your vegetable garden. Their aesthetically appealing flowers attract pollinating insects while the sulfur based oils that flow through the plant act as a repellent to many harmful insects. When planted near carrot and related root crops it has been proven to result in larger and longer carrot roots and is believed to enhance the flavor as well. When planted in proximity of Tomatoes and other solenaceous crops it is beneficial in reducing the occurrence of multiple diseases.


Herbal Ice - Freezing herbs is a very economical and efficient way to preserve summers bounty. In some instances freezing leeches away some of the flavor and essential oils. One method of freezing herbs that works exceptionally well is freezing herbs in ice cubes. Herbs can be frozen individually or in conjunction with other herbs that will compliment one another's flavors. Basil is one of my favorites but the ice cube method also works well with chives, cilantro, fennel, lovage, mints, oregano and marjoram, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme.