Chives herb – Allium schoenoprasum
Chives are a light, leafy part of a hardy perennial bulb that overwinters really well. I had mine in the same spot for over twelve years. I’ve pulled on it, cut it, divided it in half many times and still it grows. I grow it in my 2 ½ feet, raised garden bed and it doesn’t seem to freeze due to its long, bulbous root system.
Start these seeds early in February as they take a long time to germinate and reach transplant ready stage. Plant the seeds in a sterilize seed mix and set upon your furnace or a low heat source such as a grow mat with a cardboard or book underneath. This herb doesn’t need a lot of bottom heat to start growing as too much and the seed will not germinate.
This herb loves a sunny location in the garden with rich, moist and well-drained soil. It does ok with poorer soil too. Water when the soil starts to dry out and enrich the soil annually in the fall or spring.
To keep this herb happy they need a “green cut” to encourage new growth.
this herb use scissors. I know this may sound silly, but a knife tears the delicate leaves.
Otherwise, if that’s all you have at the time it won’t hurt the plant or the leaves when used for cooking.
In preserving this herb snip them.
You can refrigerate the leaves in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper, freeze the leaves in ice cube trays to add to soups or stews when cooking, or dry them for your own organic culinary herb recipes.
Use the edible flowers for salads or make chive vinegar. Really tasty!
Garlic herbs are great for vinegar's too!
Add the leaves to soups, sandwiches and salads or as a garnish for an onion or garlic flavor, depending which variety you grow. They are delicious in sauces, stews, mashed vegetables (especially potatoes), fish, poultry and egg dishes (especially scrambled eggs).
This French delicate herb, so add this fine herb at the end of cooking so the flavor is not destroyed by the heat.
Since chives are from the onion or Allium species they contain some iron and vitamins and are mildly antibiotic. Chives herb and garlic chives when sprinkled on food are an appetite stimulant, promote digestion and are a mild laxative.
These edible plants are a must for any culinary herb garden.
There are many varieties and here are a few that I have purchased from Richerts catalog - Grolau chives, Nelly chives, Profusion chives, Staro chives, Garlic chives, Kobold garlic chives, and Mauve garlic chives.
Start with one type. Plant a few more later to see which one becomes your favorite.
Learn more about...Growing Herbs Indoors