Chives - Seeds
Chives are cool-season, cold-tolerant perennials that are planted in early spring.
Be mindful when planting this herb, as it will take over your garden if the flowers are left to ripen (the flowers scatter the seeds). However, this plant is easy to dig up and move if it overwhelms your garden.
Color: pinkish lavender flowers.
Height: Chinese and garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) grow up to 2 feet tall.
Difficulty level: Easy
Planting & Care
Propagate by seed, division or separation - Direct seed, divide or transplant in spring or fall.
Germination temperature: 45 F to 95 F
Days to emergence: 7 to 21
Seed can be saved 3 years.
Sunlight: Full sun / part shade
Soil: Tolerates acid soil, tolerates droughty soil, tolerates damp soil, tolerates low fertility.
While chives will tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, they prefer slightly acid soil (pH 6.2 to 6.8) with moderate fertility and high organic matter.
Water: It is important to give chives consistent watering throughout the growing season for high yields. Moisten the soil thoroughly when watering.
Fertilizer: Apply 2 to 3 tablespoons of all-purpose fertilizer (16-16-8) per square foot of planting area. Work compost and fertilizer into the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.
- In spring or fall, direct seed onto well-prepared seedbed (covering very lightly), or transplant established plants.
- (If starting from seed, plants probably won’t be large enough to harvest for at least a year.
- ) Regular cutting helps keep plants vigorous and healthy and encourages spreading.
- Keep flowers picked to discourage dormancy in warm weather.
- No fertilizer is needed if planted in reasonably fertile soil.
- Plants harvested frequently benefit from nitrogen top-dressing.
- Divide and replant clump in fresh soil every three to five years.
Garlic chives and Chinese chives both have garlic flavour, and belong to a different species, Allium tuberosum. They grow taller (up to 2 feet) than common garden chives, and have white flowers.
- The leaves of chives are used in all kinds of sauces and salads to lend a delicate onion flavour.
- Flat-leaved garlic chives combine the flavor of onion and garlic.
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