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Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are a popular herb in the onion family, known for their mild onion flavor and delicate, grass-like appearance. Chives are commonly used as a culinary ingredient to enhance the taste and visual appeal of various dishes. If you're interested in growing chives, you can start from seeds. Here's some information about chive seeds:

  1. Purchasing Seeds: Chive seeds can be purchased from garden centers, nurseries, or online seed suppliers. Look for reputable sources that offer high-quality seeds.

  2. Planting Time: Chives can be grown from seeds both indoors and outdoors, depending on your climate. If you live in a colder region, starting seeds indoors in early spring and transplanting them outdoors after the danger of frost has passed is a common practice.

  3. Soil and Light Requirements: Chives thrive in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. They prefer a sunny location but can tolerate partial shade. Ensure the soil pH is around 6.0 to 7.0, which is slightly acidic to neutral.

  4. Seed Starting: Fill a seed tray or small pots with a seed-starting mix, and sow the chive seeds thinly on the surface. Lightly cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil or vermiculite. Moisten the soil gently without causing waterlogging.

  5. Germination: Chive seeds typically germinate within 10 to 14 days, depending on the conditions. To aid germination, cover the seed tray or pots with a plastic dome or a clear plastic bag to maintain moisture and warmth. Place them in a warm area, ideally around 70°F (21°C).

  6. Transplanting: Once the chive seedlings have developed a few sets of true leaves and are large enough to handle, they can be transplanted into individual pots or into your garden. Space the plants about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) apart to allow them room to grow.

  7. Care and Maintenance: Chives are relatively low-maintenance plants. They require regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Avoid overwatering or letting the soil dry out completely. Mulching around the plants can help conserve moisture and suppress weed growth.

  8. Harvesting: Chives can be harvested once the leaves have reached a usable size, usually after a couple of months. Snip the leaves close to the base using scissors or pruning shears. Avoid removing more than one-third of the plant at a time to allow for regrowth.

  9. Overwintering: Chives are a perennial herb, meaning they can survive through winter and regrow in the following season. In colder climates, you can mulch the plants heavily to protect them from frost or consider bringing potted chive plants indoors during winter.

Chives are a wonderful addition to herb gardens, vegetable patches, or container gardens. They not only provide a fresh and mild onion flavor to dishes but also attract beneficial insects with their purple flowers. Enjoy growing and using your homegrown chives!

Herb Specifications

  • Season: Perennial
  • USDA Zones: 3 - 9
  • Height: 12 inches
  • Bloom Season: Spring
  • Bloom Color: Lavender
  • Environment: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Type: Rich, well-drained, pH 6.2 to 6.8
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Latin Name: Allium Schoenoprasum

Planting Directions

  • Temperature: 70F
  • Average Germ Time: 7 - 21 days
  • Light Required: No
  • Depth: 1/8 inch
  • Sowing Rate: 1 - 2 seeds per inch
  • Moisture: Keep moist until germination
  • Plant Spacing: Rows 18 inches a part; thin seedlings 6 - 8 inches

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The herbal information on this web site is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information on this web site is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Please see a medical professional about any health concerns you have and before beginning any herbal regimen.