Garlic chives may just be one of the most useful herbs you can grow in your garden. Not only do they add a garlicky punch to your recipes but they also make for great flower borders and vase fillers at home. What’s more, they’re pretty easy to grow and maintain.
If you’re wondering how you can grow your own garlic chives plant at home then you’re in luck!
We all know how versatile and yummy chives can be but what could be better than garlic and chives? Today we’ll be talking about everything you need to know about planting and growing garlic chives at home. Let’s get started!
What are Garlic Chives?
Garlic chives or Allium tuberosum is a member of the onion family. It is native to the Chinese province of Shanxi and cultivated and naturalized elsewhere in Asia and around the world.
Unlike its onion and garlic cousins, however, it does not have an edible bulb. Instead, it is grown for its flowers, stems, and leaves. They have flat, grass-like leaves and petite, white, and star-shaped flowers. They also grow between 12 and 15 inches tall.
Garlic Chives flowers blooms in late summer to autumn and are cold-hardy to USDA zones 4–10 (−30 to +35 °F, −34 to 2 °C). They are regarded as easy to grow under many conditions and will spread easily by seeds or you can divide them and grow more.
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Planting Garlic Chives
When planting garlic chives, you can start them from seeds indoors in the spring and set them out after the last frost. Keep in mind, if you’re starting Garlic Chives from seed, the plants generally won’t be large enough to harvest for at least a year.
Alternatively, you can buy seedlings from a nursery and transplant them in your garden bed or in containers. If you’ll be planting them in the ground, be sure to space them 6 inches apart.
Garlic chives can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. However, they prefer slightly acidic soil that is moderately fertile. They also thrive in soil that is amended with organic matter and well draining.
These herbs thrive in full sun to partial afternoon shade. Since they’re hardy perennials, they can also survive harsh winters.
They are best when companion planted with oregano, thyme, carrots, tomatoes, and roses. They are also great companion plants for mound-forming herbs.
Caring for garlic chives is simple and straight forward. They should only be watered as needed since this herb is drought-tolerant.
Note, however, that they enjoy moist soil. If you’ve planted your chives in fertile soil, you won’t need to add fertilizer.
While they’re generally low-maintenance plants, they’ll need regular cutting to keep them strong and healthy. If you don’t want them to spread, be sure to deadhead them so they can’t spread their seeds.
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How to Harvest and Store Garlic Chives
Garlic chives can be harvested throughout the growing season once they’ve reached about 6 inches long.
Pick off the leaves at the base and avoid using scissors since it can leave a brown edge.
On the other hand, garlic chive flowers should be picked just when they have fully opened.
It’s best to use garlic chives fresh so don’t let them dry out. If you want to store them, you can freeze the leaves in ice cubes.
Using Garlic Chives
Garlic chives make for a lovely flower border in your garden. They can be planted along a path or as a dense ground cover.
Also, the flowers, once harvested, can be eaten fresh in salads or dried and turned into floral arrangements.
Of course, the leaves can be added to a number of recipes including herbal vinegar, salads, soups, soft cheeses, and butter.
If you’re looking for a good garlic chives recipe, here are a few you can try:
Whether you’re growing Garlic Chives for their beauty or their taste you’ll be thrilled with how easy they are to grow. Do you have any recipes with garlic chives you can share with us?
What is your favorite way to use this versatile plant?
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