Chives are a type of herb that belongs to the onion family. They are known for their long, thin green leaves, which are often used to add flavour to a variety of dishes. Chives are easy to grow and thrive in cooler weather, making them a popular choice for gardeners in the spring and fall. They can be grown in pots or in the ground, and prefer well-draining soil with full sun exposure. Chives require regular watering and can be harvested once the leaves have grown to a length of around six inches. They are a popular addition to salads, soups, and other savoury dishes.
How to Grow Chives Organically
- Choose the right time: Chives are a hardy perennial herb that grows best in cool weather. It’s recommended to plant chives in early spring after the last frost date or in the fall before the first frost date.
- Select a location: Chives prefer well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 to 7.0. Choose a location with full sun or partial shade.
- Prepare the soil: Loosen the soil to a depth of 8-10 inches and remove any rocks or debris. Add compost or aged manure to the soil to improve soil fertility and drainage.
- Plant the seeds or bulbs: You can start chives from seeds or bulbs. If you’re starting from seeds, sow them about 1/4 inch deep and 6-8 inches apart. If you’re using bulbs, plant them about 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart.
- Water the plants: Chives prefer evenly moist soil, so water the plants regularly. Water the plants deeply once a week or more often during hot and dry periods.
- Fertilize the plants: Chives do not need a lot of fertilizer. You can add a light application of organic fertilizer, such as compost or fish emulsion, once or twice during the growing season.
- Control pests and diseases: Chives are generally pest and disease-free, but they can attract aphids and thrips. Use organic methods like neem oil or insecticidal soap to control pests.
- Harvest the leaves: Chives can be harvested when the plant is 6-8 inches tall. Cut the leaves about 1 inch above the soil level, leaving some of the leaves on the plant to continue growing.
Following these steps will help you grow chives successfully and enjoy their mild onion flavour in your favourite dishes.