Gardening can be intimidating for beginners, especially when beginning to consider growing your own herbs. Thankfully, some plants are easier than others with just a few simple tips.
Chives, a versatile herb that you can always find a use for in the kitchen, are one of these great herbs for beginners.
As a non-seasonal option, chives can be grown and stay alive most times of year. Additionally, you can use both their leaves and their blossoms for many dishes in your kitchen.
According to backyardgardenlover.com, anyone can get their chive plants started in just 5 easy steps. The site explains that chives send out a variety of offsets from which one can grow clumps with small leaves in various areas.
Read on to see how to begin growing your own chives!
Step 1: Location Choice
Plant your chives in direct sunlight and in well-fertilized soil. That soil should also drain easily, and can even be around other herbs or vegetables. This can be in a container or directly in the ground. Containers are a great choice for those of us in seasonal weather, as the chives can be easily brought inside when the air begins to chill.
Step 2: Soil Preparation
After choosing where your chives will go, check that soil. Your herbs will prefer well-draining soil with a pH between 6 and 7, not dry, dense dirt. If your soil does seem too clay-like, add some peat moss or compost to help it drain more easily.
Step 3: Planting
When planting your chives, understand that you can start with seeds, bulbs, or portions of thriving, existing chives.
For seed users, early spring is the best time to plant (between March and April). Because the seeds will take time to sprout, you want to avoid the harsher, drier months. Plant the seeds in warm, moist soil–about .5-.75 inches from the ground.
If planting bulbs or pieces of existing plants, dig holes about 3 inches deep. If you are planting multiple plants, keep them about 4-6 inches apart.
Step 4: Watering and Fertilizing
As with many plants, a great measure of when to water your chives will be based on how the soil feels. You will likely water them every day, but should avoid overwatering by making sure the soil is not already overly moist. Fertilizer should also come every few weeks.
Step 5: Harvesting!
When your plants reach about a foot in length, you know it is time to harvest. Cut the leaves at their base and allow what remains behind to grown again for you.
If any of your chives have flower, make sure to cut the flowers off quickly so that they do not produce seeds. Preventing this allows more nutrients to remain with the plant. Flavor and aroma are always better when herbs are prevented from seeding.
With your fresh chives ready to go, you can consider creating or adding to a variety of dishes at home!
Consider adding to dips and salads or sprinkling them over other foods as garnish. The flowers are edible as well! Use them as a garnish or add them to your savory dishes as well.