Chives are cultivated beyond their pure purpose as an aromatic and culinary plant. It also has a very prominent decorative component, which allows us to grow it in more quantities than necessary without worrying about its product being left over. Before we focus on how to plant chives, it is worth knowing that if we want it to only take advantage of its fine leaves, we must constantly prune it to keep it renewed and thus we will always have tender leaves. On the other hand, if we want to take advantage of its edible flowers, which are also very decorative on the plate, we 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 learn 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.
We can find packets of chives seeds in specialized garden stores. With them we will have enough resources to cover our needs. Seed packets are cheap, 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 caliber chosen, all of which have a very high germination power during their useful life.
For professionally produced urban gardens, chive seeds are purchased from farm supply companies, and the sachets are usually larger, starting at 100 grams. These seeds are more of a selection of larger caliber seeds as they are expected to be 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 those that are expired. In these containers we will find some basic information about its cultivation that will be very useful for us to position ourselves during the dates of sowing, planting, cultivation and harvesting.
Growing chives in a pot
In an urban patio 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.
After the chive seedbed is ready and germinated, we plant it in pots 14-20 cm in diameter, planting about five bundles: one in the center and four around, distributed evenly from the center. Over time they will take over the entire pot, and each year we divide and transplant it into two or more pots.
If we plant it in a window frame, the distance between the bushes can be around 10 cm, and as in the previous case, over time they will cover the entire surface, it is recommended to pull them out and replant them every two years. .
The height of the pot or planter does not have to be too high, since the root system of the chive it can develop perfectly on 15 or 20 cm.
The indicated substrate is fertile, rich in humus and a little humid, knowing that it perfectly supports those that are a little calcareous. Of those that are marketed, those manufactured especially as substrates for urban gardens can be used, although substrates for general use or planting substrates can also be used, we must improve them by providing 20 to 30% of garden soils that are somewhat clayey. because they contain excess organics.
It is ideal, in addition to some shade, to keep the soil moist, so regular watering is required without overdoing it or flooding. You can add low doses of liquid fertilizers at each irrigation or every 15 days. This, in addition to being balanced, must contain trace elements to avoid deficiencies and obtain healthy leaves with a good color. Remember that we will use them as a decorative element on many occasions, except that it provides the delicate flavor of spring onions.
From there, just watch it grow and collect its leaves, cutting them about two centimeters from the bottom to use them in the kitchen.
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, and more. In this case, we will use a smaller pot than the one recommended above and we will plant one to three bundles 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 sprouted, remove the weakest ones, or simply space them more. In this case, once planted, we will cover them about one centimeter with the same planting substrate, and we will water, keeping the substrate moist throughout the plantation.
One or more flower pots in the kitchen should be placed as close as possible to the window, since although it likes shadows, the light will make them acquire more intense colors. The recommended practice is to alternate plants grown in the kitchen with other plants on the balcony so that they are recovered from the interior of the kitchen. Let us remember that all aromatic and flavor plants are outdoor plants.
How to plant chives in the field or garden
The cultivation of chives in the field or garden is done directly on the ground. In both cases, we can plant them in rows to create borders that have a special decorative appeal during flowering.
From seed, it can be planted directly or in the nursery. A suitable date is late winter. If it is 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. Let’s remember that, over time, each small plant will develop many buds, forming a compact massif of leaves.
If we are doing it as a seedbed, it is advisable to leave about 8 to 10 cm between plantings, or about 25 cm if divided by bushes. As we have already anticipated, for its plantation 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 garden for several years. Although it is recommended to pull it out 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, we can begin to collect its leaves after three months. Two have buds if we plant them, less if we plant them 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 that 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 you should take into account.