Garlic chives thrive in full sun, and fertile soil. The dark green leaves are a staple in Asian dishes. Transplants are easy to find in garden centers. Or you can start your own from seeds. Garlic chives are cold – hardy from zones 3 through 9. This means just about everyone in the U.S. can grow them.
Ideally suited for the herb or vegetable garden, they also thrive in containers, making them the perfect herb for a deck or patio that receives full sun. A sweet onion aroma permeates the air when the leaves are crushed, and the late summer blooms have a wonderful fragrance. The white flowers are a magnet for butterflies and bees. Almost two dozen species of butterflies can be seen feeding on the nectar-rich flowers.
You’ll need to divide the clumps every three years. Divide the clumps in spring, and give some to herb loving friends. Cut the chives to the ground in late spring and summer. The chives respond well to organic feedings once a month. Use a seaweed based plant food or fish emulsion. Follow directions on the package.
When the chives are their height of growth, here’s a tip for using the excess:
Fill an ice cube tray two-thirds full with finely chopped chives. Cover with olive oil or melted butter, freeze overnight. Transfer the cubes to a zip lock bag. Label and date the contents. Use the cubes for sauces, stir-fry, or toss the frozen cubes with hot, cooked pasta.
Where does your herb grow? Ideally in an area with plenty of sun. Pick a spot that gets 4 to 6 hours of sunshine. Herbs don’t mind cool temperatures. It’s prime time for sowing herb seeds and planting out 3 inch transplants in the garden.
Herbs need regular pruning to ensure fresh, strong growth. Start pinching back stems to the next leaf cluster as soon as plants grow to 4-6″ tall. If you spot flowers on your herbs, remove them right away.
When you’re ready to harvest leaves, start from the top, not the bottom. This will keep your herb plants from growing too tall and falling over.
Thomas Jefferson said it best:
No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the Earth, no culture comparable to that of the garden. Though I am an old man, I am but a young gardener. ~ Monticello
Happy growing to those who come here to Mystical Magical herbs.
~ Meadow Walker