Chives - cultivation, care and use

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Chives belong to the family of leeks and attract attention with its light to strong onion taste. Chives is one of the most popular garden herbs and belongs to every herb garden for that reason alone.


Chives are easy to care for when sowing. The small black seeds can simply be sprinkled on the loose soil and easily covered. Casting is good, of course, but nothing else is needed. Chives can grow in the pot on the windowsill as well as in the balcony box or in the field. Outside, the plant has a benefit that you normally do not vielliest: The strong aromatic fragrances of the plant keep pests away. It may therefore make sense to sow the chives in a mixed culture with other herbs, flowers or vegetables. If you want to use the flowers in the kitchen in addition to the stems, you should pay attention to the variety: Not all varieties have edible flowers.
Chives like a moist, loose soil and a sunny location, but also thrives in partial shade. Dark, shady corners in the kitchen garden, however, are unsuitable. Calcareous soils with many nutrients are - as with almost all herbs - an advantage. It is best if chives are sown early in April, but it also thrives on later sowing. Chives germinate after about seven to fourteen days and can grow up to 50 cm high.
Chives are a grateful plant, providing green leaves ready for harvest almost year-round. For a richer leaf growth, the flowers should be cut off - unless you also want to use them in the kitchen. For harvesting, the leaves and flowers are simply cut relatively close to the soil, optimally about two inches above the ground.
Chives must be watered regularly, and especially in flowerpot and balcony box, it is important to fertilize regularly. An herbal fertilizer from specialist retailers is perfect, but in the field can also be fertilized with compost or other means. Pour the plants regularly, chives not only needs a lot of water, but also likes to be moist.
Chives are winter proof, so they can stand outside in the cold season. However, just before the onset of winter, the leaves should be completely cut off. Chive is an onion plant. Although the onions are hardy, they should be covered if necessary. A tarpaulin or a few needle branches are sufficient. The plant germinates very quickly in the spring, leaves can be harvested again in April.
Chives proliferate - the plants grow rapidly when well cared for, and the pot soon becomes too narrow. Therefore chives should be divided about every three years, in the pot as well as in the balcony box and in the field. For this purpose, the plant is divided with the spade or a grave fork, the root ball is simply cut with a sharp knife. The new plant parts can be planted with plenty of distance in the field again and develop into their own, new plants. If the chives are kept inside, a second pot or another box or bucket is added. If chives are not split, the leaves grow more and more delicate and very hesitant. The best time to share the plants is in the spring.
Chives as pest controllers
Chives have strong essential oils, which not only provide the sharp taste, but are also responsible for a rather penetrating odor. What we humans sometimes a little uncomfortable, even pests do not necessarily like. Chives keep away some pest by its mere presence in the garden. For example, in the rose bed: Rust mushrooms infect the roses far less often when chives grow next to them. In the carrot field, chives keep the carrot fly away. And what is true for the field, is of course also given on the balcony: Chives and roses in a large bucket make sense.
Use of chives
In spring, chives chives as one of the first garden herbs and can already be harvested in April. Already in the second year you can divide the plants and thus multiply. However, the division of the plants should only all max. 3 years.
Chives find great use in the kitchen for those who value healthy and beautiful decoration. A homemade herb butter with chives, parsley and many other herbs tastes great and is very healthy. It is used in numerous dishes to improve its taste: poultry and meat dishes, soups, stews and eggs, as well as hearty salads and simple breads.

Keep chivesIf too much chives are available in the summer, you can easily freeze them.He does not lose his color, can be thawed at any time and does not collapse, but seems to be freshly harvested. Rinse the cut-well well and cut it into very small sections (see photo). If you want some chives for e.g. If you need a stew, you can open the plastic bag at any time and use a knife to scrape out some chives - the aroma remains the same as the color.
Chives taste good. On mashed potatoes, in salad dressings, on vegetables and meat, it is often seen in the kitchen. It can be found in almost every herb garden and on almost every windowsill. Chives provide flavor and vitamins, and it tastes fresh the best. You do not have to buy it - chives are quite easy to grow yourself, from sowing to the care of perennial plants to regular cutting all the information in the following description.
The special tip: chive blossoms
Chives belongs to the leek family and is very rich in vitamins. Vitamins E, C, A, K and B6 are included as well as thiamine, folic acid, riboflavin and niacin. Chives also contain large amounts of potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. So at least there is a lot to be said for nutritional science: treat yourself to a hearty piece of bread with cream cheese and lots of fresh chives now and then - not to mention the incomparable taste experience. The eye eats, it is always said. If you now not only finely chopped the green leeks on the bread, but the flowers cut close to the stem, so that they crumble into lone single, small flowers, they taste mixed with the bread not only delicious, but also see whole charming. The flowers contain roughly the same nutrients as the leaves, but with a slightly sweet, honey-like taste. And what works with the bread is also possible in the Frankfurt Green Sauce, which then turns into a purple sauce. Make sure that the hard flower stem does not end up in the food - it tastes a bit bitter and is difficult to chew.
Tips for quick readers:

  • Sow in the field at the beginning of April, optimally as a mixed culture. But chives also grow on the windowsill.
  • Pay attention to partially shaded to sunny locations in moist, nutrient-rich soils.
  • Germination time: 7 to 14 days
  • Height of plants: up to 50 cm.
  • Leaves can be harvested year round, flowers should be cut off for rich leaf growth (but are also edible in many varieties).
  • Water regularly, keep the soil moist, pay attention to many nutrients (fertilize).
  • Before winter, remove all green, cover onions with needles or tarpaulin, if necessary.
  • Chives germinate quickly in spring, from April can be harvested.
  • Divide every three years in spring: split with a spade and a sharp knife and repopulate separately at a distance.
  • Chives can keep rust fungi from roses and carrot fly from carrots as it grows alongside the plants.
  • Special tip: eat chive blossoms with little plucking.

useful informationChives are very rich in vitamins and minerals. In particular, the proportion of vitamin C content is very high (49mg / 100g), but also the potassium and phosphorus content make chives a very valuable spice.
Tasty herbs include herbs from Provence, sage, chervil and fennel.

Video Board: How to Grow Chives & Garlic Chives! 101 Seed to Kitchen, Planting, Problems, Harvest, & Using!.

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