Chives are grown beyond their pure vocation as an aromatic and culinary plant. It also has a very important decorative component, which allows us to grow it in larger quantities than necessary without worrying about the remains of its product. Before we focus on how to plant chives, you should know that if you want it to benefit only from its thin leaves, you have to prune it constantly to keep it renewed and so you will always have tender leaves. On the other hand, if you want to take advantage of its edible flowers, which are also very decorative on the plate, you must avoid pruning some of them so that they bloom when the time comes, between the end of spring and the end of summer in the northern hemisphere.
In this article we are going to see all the details to know how to plant chives and what aspects we must take into account.
Chives can be grown in any type of urban garden, and we can propagate it by dividing the bush and sowing. To do this, if we do not have an adult plant to resort to its division, we first resort to its sowing.
You can find sachets of chive seeds in specialized garden centers. With them, we will have enough resources to cover our needs. Seed packets are inexpensive, usually around 3-4 grams. To get an idea of the volume of seeds, one gram normally contains 200 to 400 seeds, depending on the variety and size chosen, all of which have very high germination power during their useful life.
For professionally produced urban gardens, chive seeds are purchased from agricultural supply companies, and packets are usually larger, starting at 100 grams. These seeds are more of a selection of larger caliber seeds as they are expected to fetch higher in the specialty market. This does not mean that we repeal the above.
Let’s keep an eye on the expiration date of the envelope and discard the expired ones. In these containers we will find basic information about its cultivation that will be very useful for us to position ourselves during the dates of sowing, planting, cultivation and harvest.
Growing chives in pots
In an urban terrace or balcony garden, it is ideal for planting in pots or pots. We are lucky if we keep them facing north or in the shade for long periods of the day, as chives need shade.
Once the chive seedbed is ready and germinated, we plant it in pots 14 to 20 cm in diameter, planting about five bunches: one in the center and four around, evenly distributed from the center. Over time, they will take over the whole pot, and every year we divide it and transplant it into two or more pots.
If we plant it in a window frame, the distance between the bushes can be about 10 cm, and as in the previous case, over time they will cover the entire area, it is recommended to pull them out and replant them every two years. .
The height of the pot or planter should not be too high, as the root system of chives it can perfectly develop on 15 or 20 cm.
The indicated substrate is fertile, rich in humus and a little humid, knowing that it supports perfectly those which are a little calcareous. Of those that are marketed, those made especially as substrates for urban gardens can be used, although general purpose substrates or planting substrates can also be used, we need to improve them by providing 20 to 30% low clay garden soils. because they contain excess organic matter.
It is ideal, in addition to a little shade, to keep the soil moist, so regular watering is necessary without overdoing it or flooding. You can add low doses of liquid fertilizer with each watering or every 15 days. This, in addition to being balanced, must contain trace elements to avoid deficiencies and obtain healthy leaves with a beautiful color. Remember that we will use them as a decorative element many times, except that it brings the delicate flavor of spring onions.
From there, just watch it grow and collect its leaves, cutting them off about two centimeters from the bottom to use in cooking.
How to Plant Chives
Chives are one of the ideal plants to grow indoors, right in the kitchen, along with other herbs like mint, parsley, basil, etc. In this case, we will use a smaller pot than the one recommended above and we will plant one to three bouquets spread over the surface.
Keep in mind that in this case, as with pots and planters, chives can be sown directly, spreading the seeds about two centimeters apart, and once they have germinated, remove the weaker ones, or just space them out more. In this case, once planted, they will be covered by about one centimeter with the same planting substrate, and we water keeping the substrate moist throughout the planting.
One or more flowerpots in the kitchen should be placed as close as possible to the window, because although it likes shadows, the light will make them acquire more intense colors. Recommended practice is to alternate plants grown in the kitchen with other plants from the balcony so that they are collected from inside the kitchen. Remember that all aromatic and aromatic plants are outdoor plants.
How to plant chives in the field or garden
Cultivation of chives in the field or in the garden is done directly on the ground. Either way, we can plant them in rows to create borders that have special decorative appeal during flowering.
From seed, it can be planted directly or in the nursery. A suitable date is the end of winter. If done directly, it will be arranged in rows of about 20 cm and the plants will be thinned every 3 or 4 cm, so that they begin to grow vigorously. Remember that over time, each small plant will develop many buds, forming a compact clump of leaves.
If we do it as a nursery, it is advisable to leave about 8 to 10 cm between plantings, or about 25 cm if divided by shrubs. As we have already foreseen, for its planting we will choose those shady areas, although it tolerates direct sunlight. The land must be fertile and ensure that there is no lack of moisture during cultivation.
Once planted, chives can be kept in the field or in the garden for several years. Although it is recommended to pull it up and transplant it to clean it every three years, the truth is that it can last more than 10 years without degrading its growth or the quality of its leaves.
Once planted, you can start harvesting its leaves after three months. Two have buds if planted, less if planted by dividing the bushes. As for the climate, of a cool and cold climate with some resistance to moderate frosts.
Few pests and diseases affect chives during cultivation. Only the onion fly (diptera insect which also affects onion crops) and thrips. In case of disease, if there is too much moisture, only on the roots.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about how to plant chives and what aspects to consider.