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CHIVES


  How To Grow Chives


PLANT TYPE: Perennial
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Allium schoenoprasum
ZONE / HARDINESS: 3 - 9
MATURE PLANT SIZE: Reaches 10 to 14 inches in height.
LIGHT: Full Sun to partial shade
FLOWERING PERIOD: June to July
SOIL TYPE: Fairly rich, well-drained soil, but will grow in a variety of soil types
pH RANGE: 6.0
KNOWN PESTS: None
KNOWN DISEASES: None


OVERVIEW:

Chives are small, dainty, onion-like plants that grow in clumps reaching about 10 inches in height. They are a hardy perennial with decorative, light purple flowers.

Chives are used to impart a delicious, subtle, onion-like flavor to foods. A great season long producer - starts early and grows late into fall.

Sow seed 1/2 inch deep in pots or flats of soil mix. Germination is very slow. Constant moisture, darkness and warm temperatures are required. When seedling are 4 weeks old, transplant in the garden. Chives should be divided every 3 years. Leaves can be snipped when plants are 6 inches tall. You should not cut closer than 2 inches from the ground, since the plants need some leaves to keep growing.


PROPAGATION / SOWING:

Sow seed 1/2 inch deep in pots or flats of soil mix. Germination is very slow. Constant moisture, darkness and warm temperatures are required. When seedling are 4 weeks old, transplant in the garden.


COMPANION PLANTING:

Chives grown near the roots of apple trees helps prevent apple scab. It also helps prevent black spot in roses. Carrots grow larger than normal when planted with chive.


CARE & GROWING:

Chive is easily raised from seeds. Sow in shallow drills in fine soil. After seedlings pass the "delicate grass" stage, transplant them into a sunny spot in the garden. Planting in groups of up to 20 plants gives a nice clumping effect. After the tops wither, divide the clumps into 2-inch segments. If chive clumps get too large, the centers may die out. Add decayed manure to the soil occasionally and keep well watered for fuller plants.


HARVESTING:

Leaves can be snipped when plants are 6 inches tall. You should not cut closer than 2 inches from the ground, since the plants need some leaves to keep growing.


USAGE:

Culinary, decorative, and medicinal. Fresh leaves are excellent for making herbal butters and vinegars. They also may be used in salads, soups, and soft cheese and on grilled meats. Chives are one of the fines herbes and can be chopped and mixed together with chervil, parsley, and tarragon to make a savory yet mild blend of herbs to flavor cooked chicken and fish, salads, steamed vegetables, soups, and omelettes. A good source of calcium, chives are believed to strengthen nails and teeth when consumed. The plants are grown for their attractive flowers and can be planted in containers. Chive is said to have some medicinal qualities.












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Chives will grow in almost any type of soil as long as there is adequate moisture and lots of sun. Harvest as needed, chives grow like grass and will produce from early spring to mid fall.






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