|Onion Chives Seeds produce this very popular herb used in soups, sauces and salads. Zones 3-10. Package (1000 seeds).|
How to Grow Chives from Seeds
Start seeds in late winter or early spring then transplant seedling outside after last frost. Spacing is 6-8" apart. Days to germinate 7-14 days. Sprinkle Chive Seeds on top of well drained soil, and tap them down firmly but do not cover these tiny seeds with any soil. Keep moist.
Best to cut the slim leaves near the base of the plant to encourage tender new growth. When the plants become over crowded, divide or thin. No special soil conditions and sun to partial shade.
Onion chives are grown for their leaves and rosy purple flowers with a mild onion flavor. They grow well in the ground or any pot.
Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum), also known as Chinese chives, are grown for their leaves with a mild garlic flavor and for their pretty white flowers. The leaves are flat, not hollow like those of onion chives (Allium schoenoprasum).
Chives prefer full sun but plants also grow in partial shade, especially in the South and Southwest. Set out transplants in early spring in soil amended with plenty of compost or a good slow-release fertilizer. For fast growth, plant in rich, well-drained soil; plants are tough enough to withstand poor soil, too; they just will not grow as fast. Be sure that the soil drains well. They need little care other than watering until well rooted.
If you harvest often, fertilize every 3 or 4 weeks with a liquid plant food such as fish emulsion or 20-20-20, diluted according to label directions. Although the flowers are nice, the plants produce more leaves if you pinch off the flower buds. Suit yourself. If you use chives a lot, let a few bloom and pinch the rest.
After a few freezes make the leaves ugly, cut the plants back to the ground. They will come back in spring. After 3 or 4 years, each plant will have grown into a clump of many plantlets; divide them in early spring.
Watch for aphids, especially in spring. Spray insecticidal soap. Spray will bead up on the waxy leaves, so be sure to spray thoroughly so that it comes in contact with the pests, especially down in the crown of the plant.
Garlic chives reseed generously if you let the seed mature; this can be a plus, but in the wrong place, you will find yourself pulling up lots of seedlings, so just be aware.
You can begin harvesting leaves as soon as they are big enough to clip and use. Cut from the outside of the clump about 1/2 inch above soil level, always leaving plenty to restore energy to the plant. Although fresh is best, you can store extra for winter use by chopping and freezing the leaves, or you can also preserve them in herb butters, oils, and vinegars, where they blend well with parsley and tarragon.
In late summer, dig up a couple of plants and pot them to move to your windowsill later for a nice winter source of fresh snips.