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Fresh chives in the Sunday scrambled eggs or in the homemade herbal quark is a true treat. Regardless of whether you have planted the aromatic herbs in the garden bed or in the herb pot on the kitchen windowsill in order to enjoy this delicious herb for as long as possible, some tips for correct harvesting should be observed.
Chive is one of the perennial herbs. In order for the leeks to be constantly repelled over a few years, attention must be paid to the correct procedure when cutting or harvesting the plant. Basically, chives should be handled with care. The thin stalks are quite sensitive. Any damage to the buds and shoot tips as well as minute cuts on the tops of the roots inhibit or prevent the new buzz of the plant.
Where to cut the best?Basically, care should be taken to start cutting inside the herb pot, although it may seem a bit more cumbersome than simply "skimming" the outside edge. But the new shoots grow from the inside to the outside. The stalks should be cut relatively close to the ground, that is about one to a maximum of two centimeters above the ground. However, you may find some stems on your plant that split about 5 cm above the ground and continue to grow on two stalks.
In such a case, it is advisable to set something above this division at harvest time, as new shoots will usually grow up at the branch. Caution: When cutting it must not happen that a whole stem is torn from the ground. Because in such a case, no new impulses grow at this point.
What is being cut?To prevent the thin tube-shaped leaves from being damaged by the incision, either a very sharp knife or a pair of good scissors should be used. In any case, blunt cutting tools should be avoided as they can easily cause damage to the delicate stalks and as a result, the chives would not continue well.
When will be cut?Chives are the most aromatic shortly before and during flowering. Therefore, this time window is the most popular for harvesting the delicate but spicy stalks. Although many hobby gardeners put off cutting during flowering, this is by no means questionable. Although the stems during the flowering something hard, which is not for everyone, but tastes are known to be different. If you harvest shortly before flowering, you always have the well-known tender stalks, which can be used for the fresh preparation of all dishes. But the bloom itself is in the opinion of many also very tasty. It is up to each one to harvest only the stems or the flowers during the flowering season and to use them in food preparation. The flowers have a very strong, almost onion-like aroma. Because of the purple color, they are also pretty to look at. So they make themselves very decorative in cottage cheese, as a side salad or in other fresh spring dishes.
How often and how much?
In order for the plant to recover after each harvest, only cut off as much as is actually needed for the preparation of food. So the chive has enough time to exorcise again. Since this herb needs plenty of space and also air, it makes sense to thin out the pot a little during harvesting, so that the regrowing stems can develop unhindered. The motto should be: Cut regularly and only harvest smaller quantities. Because the individual stems are in the enclosure due to the mass in the enclosure, they run the risk that some of the stalks will wither quickly. Once this occurs, the withered leaves have a negative effect on the growth of the plant and it takes a lot of effort to pluck them out of the plant. If you do not necessarily always need fresh chives at regular intervals, then this is completely unproblematic, since you can freeze it without difficulty. It does not lose its aroma, vitamins and minerals thereby, as long as the freezing takes place immediately after cutting. Because after only one or two days, the cut leeks already begin to wither.
overwinterWho breeds his chives outside in the herb garden, should consider the following notes in terms of winter resistance:
- In late autumn (late October) make a complete harvest
- Cut the stalks down to a short stub
- Cover with a little mulch before the first frost
- A frosty winter is good for the condiment, and it is guaranteed to flourish in the spring
- Tip: Just put the herb pot in the freezer for one night, when the herbs in the house overwinter