How to Grow Chives
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Chives are a great herb to have in your kitchen or windowsill garden, offering a fresh and mild onion taste to many dishes. They are in the ‘Allium’ family, meaning they are close cousins to garlic, onions and leeks. Sprinkle chives on top of baked potatoes or mix in with your scrambled eggs in the morning are two of our favorites.
Grow chives by starting chive seeds indoors, or directly sowing outdoors after the last frost date in spring. Chives grow in clumps, so you can sprinkle many seeds close together in a seed tray or small pots. Cover with a light sprinkling of soil, and keep moist until the seedlings sprout.
From seed, chives take about 2 – 3 months to be ready to harvest.
To eliminate the guesswork in selecting the right size containers for your plants, we’ve put together a list of commonly grown herbs, veggies, fruit and flowers along with the minimum pot sizes required by each.
Starting a container garden? Grab my free guide on choosing the best sized pots for each veggie, fruit, and herb in your container garden – Veggie Garden Potting Guide
Water whenever the soil feels dry. You can check by sticking your finger into the soil up to the first or second knuckle. When the top few inches are dry to the touch, it’s time to water!
Where Can I Grow It?
Grow chives either indoors or outdoors. Outdoors, chives will produces throughout the spring, summer, and fall, but if you want to harvest chives throughout the winter you can leave a small pot indoors on a sunny windowsill.
Like most herbs, chives do well in smaller pots. However, if your clump becomes too big for its pot, it can be divided into several smaller clumps and repotted in different containers.
Harvesting: When chives are at least 6″ tall, harvest with scissors by cutting approximately 2″ or 4 cm from the ground. Chives will grow back quite quickly, so you will have a continuous supply of this fresh herb.
The strong scent of chives is essential to its ability to repel many insects and pests from your urban garden. Because of this useful quality, chives are a great companion for planting in and around many other plants that many be found in your urban garden, such as: fruit trees, carrots, cucumbers, basil, parsley, strawberries and tomatoes. Avoid planting next to beans and peas, as they do not grow well together.
Chives are also beneficial to your garden in general, as their bright purple flowers are great at attracting bees and other pollinators.
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