You can grow chives at home in a few days, and they are a great ingredient for adding flavor in the kitchen. Adding chives to eggs, potatoes, or salads gives them a mild onion and garlic flavor. Herbs do well even when neglected, making them the ideal houseplant for southern-facing windows.
How to grow chives at home
The easy-to-grow chives make for a great flavorful herb for cooks with less than a green thumb. Fresh chives have a greater flavor than dried ones and can be harvested and used in your favorite recipes. Chives are a cool-season plant, and they will die off in the summer heat and cold winters. When grown indoors, your chives may not do dormant at all if kept cool, such as in an air conditioned space.
You will receive even more chives once this perennial self-sows when the conditions are right. It is important to divide this plant every few years because it clumps and expands fast as a perennial. This will help it avoid taking over its growing space or becoming root-bound if it is grown in a pot.
Chives love full sun but can handle partial shade if that is all you have in your perennial garden bed. Anywhere it can get at least 6 hours of sun, be it morning, evening, or all day will do the trick.
The chives prefer rich, fertile soil that drains well. When preparing your soil for chives, mixing fresh compost and aged mulch is preferable to ensure it provides adequate nutrition for the entire plant. The perennial nature of chives may not allow you to till compost back in again for several years until it is time to divide them.
As soon as your plants are well established, they don’t require much attention. Despite their drought resistance, chives don’t need constant watering, making them ideal for creating low-water landscaping beds in regions that need to conserve water. A forgetful gardener can still grow a great crop of chives if the leaves are watered well. They do well and grow larger if they are watered well.
These bulbs can grow to up to 12 inches long and have little leaves. It is for this reason you can keep your chives buried by adding a layer of compost and mulch each year. An optimum PH level for chives is between 6 and 7, so you can feed them a high nitrogen fertilizer or a compost tea prepared from coffee grounds.
The best time to divide your plants is every 3 to 4 years. Divide each year in the spring after tilling in compost and thoroughly mulching. As a result of more room to work and grow, chives that are divided will produce better. After your chives have been divided, allow them to recover before harvesting them.
If you do not want to risk your chives spreading, you should remove the booms as soon as they pop up. If you do not mind your chives self sewing, you can deadhead your chives to encourage more blooms.
How to start chives from seed
Chives are a fairly easy plant to grow from seed, and they can even self-sow. During the first four to six weeks after seeds have been sown, plant 2 seeds per pod or 2 seeds every 4 to 6 inches after seeds have been sown. Thus, you’ll be able to obtain great germination rates while ensuring that chives will still be able to grow naturally in clusters.
Seeds should be started indoors during the winters and in the early spring if you live in a cold climate so that they can become established before planting in your garden. Growing chives indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost allows them to get a head start on growing. The extra time is important because chives can be slow to germinate.
It’s safe to transplant seedlings once the last frost danger has passed and the soil temperature reaches 60-70 degrees. In your garden bed, you can use black landscape fabric to speed up the warming process by placing the fabric over the top of it.
How to grow chives in a pot
The chive plant grows well in pots. For best results, use a pot no larger than 8 inches. To provide your chives with balanced soil, mix in some fresh compost with a well-draining potting mix. To prevent water from pooling, make sure your pot has plenty of drainage. To prevent your chives from drying out, add a bit of mulch to the top of the pot around your leaves.