Chives- you can grow that!

One of the first perennial edibles to pop up in spring, good old reliable chives.

Do you have a tiny amount of space, and want some herbs? Or, do you have a lot of space to fill and are looking for something cheap that will spread? One of the most reliable edibles that come up this time of year is chives.
They belong to the onion family, but the greens taste much milder than green onions- not as sharp. To start from seed, dump a whole packet on the soil of a small pot, water regularly. Very fine grass like leaves will start to come up, with a sharp bend in the end, and the seed coat still attached to the shoot. Leave it alone, it will fall off on it’s own. If you are starting the seeds inside, harden them off by leaving them outside for an hour or two per day- if you transplant them straight to the outside they’ll burn and die. Moment of silence…
Okay- if you buy a pot at a nursery, they will most likely be hardened off already, and you can plop them into the ground or into a container. They have such a shallow root system they can go into a container with other things.
Snip off individual shoots and flowers- the flowers are edible, and have a funky texture- funky in a good way. Eat them with potatoes, obviously, or deviled eggs. That reminds me, we need to get eggs and mess up the kitchen…there is still dye on the tablecloth from last year.
If you wind up not eating the flowers, let them go to seed, that way your patch will spread. As I said, chives don’t need very deep soil- in fact, when I build my dream shed, I plan to plant chives on the green roof. We just have to tear down that playhouse, mwah ha ha ha!!!

I have also considered the possibility of a chive lawn- it looks so grassy, and doesn’t take much water…and just think of the fragrance when you mow…yeah, maybe not.


Edited to add- I keep forgetting to mention that “You can grow that” is a meme created by C.L. Fornari, genius garden writer. If you came here via her site, welcome.  To find more blogs with growing tips, go to C.L.’s site!


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thewitchspromise
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 02:47:10

    I didn’t know the flowers are edible, I’m going to try them and look forward to the funky texture in a sandwich!


  2. Joene Hendry
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 03:14:58

    Chives are one of my favorite herbs. The greenery is attractive, the flowers are wonderful, and being able to use fresh snipped chives from early spring to hard frost is a pleasure that should not be missed.


  3. Gordon's Gardens
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 03:22:47

    I love the idea of a chive lawn. If only they could take the same abuse as grass….. I know my dog would destroy it all in seconds, though. Oh well, I’ll have to stick to weeds for now and just imagine how cool it would be to have a field of chives instead.


  4. bgbowen
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 03:50:09

    And is there anything than waltzing outside, humming, followed by paws and whiskers, to snip enough chives to make a baked potato perfect?

    Nice post and blog!


  5. Candace
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 05:41:50

    I have a chive plant that has been perennial in one of my big out door pots for ten years now. I plant violas around it in the early spring for a great first flower display of the season. I also have several clumps in the yard that I divide for inexpensive housewarming presents all spring and summer. Pretty, edible and easy to grow are words that are music to my ears.


  6. Trackback: Garden Bloggers You Can Grow That Day – April 4 « Whole Life Gardening

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