How to Grow and Harvest: Chives

June 08, 2020 2 min read

How to Grow and Harvest: Chives | Healthy Garden Co

These lovely members of the onion family will continue to benefit you for years to come once they have been planted. As perennials, they will sprout every year in the peak of summer heat. Though they love the sunshine, they can withstand some cold temperatures . Did you know that the entire Chive plant is edible? The leaves, flowers and even the bulb! 


One thing to be mindful of when planting this in your garden is that it will very quickly take over. Once these plants are fully grown, they require very minimal maintenance. The chives will grow in long stems grouped together, with a bulb slightly under the surface. Since the bulb is only 1 inch under the soil it is best to cover the surrounding soil with mulch. Once the flowers bloom off of the chive plant, you should remove them immediately to make sure that they do not pollinate other areas of the vegetable garden. 


These plants are very drought tolerant, it is important to water them regularly and ensure the soil is left moist after watering. 


Bulb rot, White rot, Mildew. When it comes to insects, the most frequent visitors are Thrips. Never heard of them? They are small, clear bugs that will create silvery damage to your leaves. To discover if your chives have Thrips take a black piece of paper and tap the chives against the paper and you’ll be able to identify them, Purchase an insecticide and spray your plant for best results. 


You can begin to harvest your chives 30 days after planting. It will be quite obvious when your chives are ready as they sprout to 6 - 8 inches tall. In the first year of planting you do not want to harvest your chives too frequently as it may damage future yields. In later years you can feel free to cut back the chives aggressively every month. When cutting your chives cut them down only to about 1 inch above the soil. 

Fun fact:

Chives love to be planted with tomatoes and carrots as companion plants. Chives are considered to be the “gateway herb” when it comes to new gardeners, they are so easy to grow it can be a great plant to help boost a new gardener’s confidence. Since Chives have an oniony flavor, but are more subtle than onions they are a great addition to any soup or omelette. 

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