A Guide to Growing Chives
Growing chives could very well be at the top of your list if you enjoy fresh herbs and seasonings. Chives add great flavor to so many dishes that they are wonderful to have on hand. Cooks will tell you that herbs and spices always contribute more flavors to a dish when they are fresh. If you are the type of person that loves to add flavor and color to a meal that you have prepared, then growing chives may be a wonderful experience for you. This article is going to explore how to do this in a simple, yet effective way.
Chives are the smallest species of the onion family. They are very popular to grow at home because they are not easily ruined by frost and they can thrive in cool places or simple locations like your kitchen window. They are going to prefer soil that is going to drain well and they are often grown in sandy soil that has a lot of organic material in it. You will want to work in a low nitrogen fertilizer to the soil as you are getting ready to plant your chives.
Growing chives can take place from seeds that you purchase or you can separate a clump of bulbs and plant these. Remember that if you are starting with seeds, they are going to take a while to get started. You will need to plant them one half inch deep and approximately one foot apart from each other. Because of these issues, you may want to start with bulbs rather than seeds. Either way, select a location that is cool if at all possible. However, keep in mind that they will grow just about anywhere. You will want to begin planting them about six weeks before your final frost of the year. They are very strong plants so do not get overly concerned about the frost if you misjudge this. They will most likely survive if they are hit by a frost.
Once your chives have been planted you are not going to need to do much with them. They are going to grow for several years if you keep them maintained. It is going to look like grass but they are hollow. This hollow can be cut and used for salads and used as food flavoring. You will begin cutting them when they are approximately six inches and cut them down to where they are about two inches above the ground and let them begin to grow again.
You can store chives or freeze them through the winter months so that you can enjoy them on a more regular basis. You are more likely to do this if you are growing the plants outside. However, if you are growing chives in your window inside then you are more likely to have access to fresh chives all year long. Because of this, you will not need to freeze them or store them for the winter months.
When some people are done growing chives they like to dry them. You can do this by tying them together and hanging them in a location in your home that is dry and warm. You also want this to be a location that is dark. Another option you have is to harvest the chive while the flower is in bloom and store it in white vinegar. This is going to make light lavender vinegar that is really delicious and can be enjoyed by friends and family alike. If you are growing lavender in your home or garden, you may consider making this vinegar as a gift.
As you can see, growing chives is very easy. There is really nothing to it and they can last forever. You also have so many different options related to the use of the chive. If you have never done this before, you may want to get some seeds and start growing!