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Onion chives are a herb that is easy to grow indoors and outdoors so it is perfect for urban gardeners and home growers. Chives are evergreen and pretty enough to mix it with your flower garden Hardy, perennial, and simple to grow, the chives stems and their pink flowers are amazing for sandwiches, salads, baked potatoes, and chives pesto.
This type of organic chives is widely cultivated small Eurasian plant related to the onion, with purple-pink flowers and dense tufts of long tubular leaves that are used as a culinary herb. Chives are dense in nutrients, which implies that they are low in calories but high in vitamins A, vitamins K, minerals, and antioxidants. The plant also offers a huge amount of nectar for pollinators.
There are so many ways to incorporate organic chives into your everyday diet. You can add onion chives in sandwiches, chop chives to mashed potatoes or omelets, mix them with cream cheese, add them to scrambled eggs during cooking, add chives to plain yogurt, use it as a salad dressing, or make chives pesto out of it.
Health benefits of chives are numerous. They are rich in antioxidants, which is the most popular of its benefits. It has flavonoid antioxidants, which some say prevent and help fight cancer, improve heart health, and can even fight different body inflammations. They also detoxify the body and improve the health of the skin and hair. In addition, the fiber in the onion chives can help ease the digestive process of the body. It also boosts the vision and is beneficial during pregnancy, while also enhances one's sleep and mood.
Preparation for planting
Chives, in general, are very easy to grow in a herb garden. They are perennials that are cool-seasonal, cold-tolerant and are usually planted in early spring. They do best in light, fertile soil, but it will grow easily in most soils. While they will grow in light shade, full sun is preferred. You can plant our organic onion chives seeds at any time of year.
Onion chives tolerate transplantation so the crops can be divided and shared, or moved to another portion of the garden. Our herb develops rapidly after being transplanted into a bigger space and generate edible leaves and flowers.
Growing chives from seed
Our advice is to start planting indoors from February to May and transplant or immediate sowing in late spring after the soil has warmed up. The optimal germination soil temperature is around 19 °C (65 °F).
The easiest way to grow chives is to start them from seed. Because they make quite good clumps what we suggest is to start from planting them in modules. Fill the modules with normal multi-purpose compost and put 1-2 seeds in each module. We advise you to use bottom heat for the seeds to germinate faster. After they grow 12 cm (5 inch) find yourself a sunny place and plant 20-30 cm (8-12 inch) apart. Be aware that in a few years, the chives will spread and can take up to a square meter (10 sq. ft.). So, keep cutting it and do not be afraid to remove some of the roots.
Growing chives in pots
If you do not have space, our organic chives are happy with good compost in a 3 or more liter pots. Just make sure that the pot is deep enough. This plant is a slow-growing one so choose a container, preferably terracotta planters, as they feel perfect in them. For their long roots, select a deep pot, which should be at least 20 cm (8 inch). We usually plant them in a free-draining potting mix. Try to remember not to use regular soil. Keep it moist and do not let it dry. If you plant several pots at a time, you will be able to rotate harvest and have fresh chives throughout the year.
Growing chives indoors
When the weather starts to get cold, chives can be carried indoors and cultivated as a houseplant. Just pick a nice spot, somewhere next to a window and away from your air conditioner or heather. If a sunny window is not an option, indoor chives can get the needed light from a fluorescent fixture. Two 40-watt bulbs, 15 to 30 cm (6-12 inch) above the pot, work best when growing chives inside. You can use low-dose organic fertilization for growing this herb indoors. Apply the fertilizer only twice a month as stronger doses can weaken the flavor. Pests should be minimal when growing chives indoors. You can spray them with soapy water in case of insect issues.
Chives grown indoors enjoy other pots growing in close proximity to provide air humidity. It also needs air circulation. Nearby pebble trays filled with water can also provide moisture for indoor chives. You can also avoid low humidity by misting with a water bottle.
When inside, chives should be watered only when the top of the soil is dry to the touch.
Caring for the plant
The care of chives is pretty straightforward. Water as needed because although the plants are drought-tolerant, they do enjoy moist soil. As long as there is proper soil drainage, chives grow best when watered frequently. Other care of chives instructs fertilizing them at the start of the growing season with a slow-release organic fertilizer. After a long-term freeze, chives will often die only to return again in the spring. Clip the stems either all the way to the ground or with 4 cm (2 inch) remaining to allow the herb to grow anew.
People often ask us how to cut chives to encourage growth. The answer is quite simple. Just try to remove the stems of the flowers before they open, to boost foliage production.
You should only harvest from clumps that have been developed, usually 30 days after you transplant or 60 days after seeding. The entire plant can be cut from the ground, up to 4-5 cm (2 inch). Use scissors and cut as much as you need. First, clip leaves from the outer part of the plant, making sure that the entire plant is not clipped at once. If you make a mistake and cut the entire plant back, no worries. The following year it will grow back.
Chives are not well dehydrated, so frequently use fresh portions and do not cut too much at once.
Once harvested you can use the flowers and the stems for sandwiches, potatoes, stews, omelets, chives pesto, salads, and meat marinades.
How to store chives
You can store your fresh organic chives in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. Another option is to put the stems in a glass bottle or jar filled with a bit of water and covered with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Do not wash until you plan to use them as excessive moisture promotes decline.
If you want to store some during the winter season, you can do that by freezing them or drying them. When frozen or dried this herb can last for up to 1 year.
They are several tricks that we can share with you.
- You can chop chives in small pieces and fill ice cube trays. After that add enough water or olive oil and freeze until solid. Reuse that is soups or salad dressings by letting the cubes to thaw first.
- Seal the herb with a vacuum by using plastic bags or simply by placing them in a freezer bag, removing the air as much as possible. If you place the bag in a ball of water the pressure will push the air out and you can seal the bag without the need for any special tool.
- Wash and dry the chives. Slice it into tiny bits and spread over a parchment sheet in a single layer. Slide the sheet into the freezer for an hour or two. Transfer the frozen chives into a jar or bag and return to the freezer for storage.
A perfect companion for carrots and tomatoes. It is believed that improves their flavor and growth. This herb has the special ability to repel aphids, carrot rust fly, onion fly, and Japanese beetles. Chives are also a good companion for Brassicas (cabbages and mustard plants), parsley, broccoli, eggplant, peppers, roses, squash, apple trees, and strawberries.
We advise you to avoid planting near beans and peas.
- Planting seasonindoors February to May
- Number of seeds1-2 seeds in each spot
- Depth0.5 cm (1/4 inch) deep
- Days to maturity45 days
- Row spacing45 cm (18 inch) apart
- In-row spacing20-30 cm (8-12 inch) apart
- Sunlight4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day
- Wateringonce every 2 days (keep the soil moist)
- Harvesting60 days after seeding
- PlantOrganic Onion Chives
- Planted on
- First seedlings date
- First harvest date