I love chives. I’ve loved them since I was a little girl. These little onions are a gateway onion for little kids, since they look like grass, not big, bulky onions. My daughter will eat chives, but she will not eat onions – not unless they’re very well disguised, anyway!
Why Grow Chives?
This little onion is so simple to grow, and it’s so tasty to eat! Chives are lovely in salads. They’re superstars when they’re chopped up in cream cheese and added to a bagel. Chives also add a delicate onion flavor to cooked food like mashed potatoes. If you’re making a creamy soup, cut up chives and place them on the top of the soup to add a decorative, flavorful touch.
Chives are ideal for a child’s garden. They’re easy to grow, fun to snip off with scissors, and they add new flavors to your child’s diet!
Chives are very easy to grow. If you’re starting chives from seed, start them indoors in March or place them outdoors after the weather warms. Chive plants tend to be fairly inexpensive to buy. Since chives grow and spread through bulbs like onions do, those who have chives are often happy to send a bunch off your way, so check with friends and family before you buy!
Care and Feeding of Chives
Chives aren’t overly picky about soil and moisture conditions. While they enjoy moist, well-drained soil, they can also live in pots and can tolerate some drought if necessary. They’re not really a hot weather plant, though, so pick a location that does not get intense sun. Harvest your chives with a pair of scissors from the kitchen. Snip a few inches off the top each time, and your chives will grow back.
A Perennial Herb for the Garden
Chives are perennials. This means that they return year after year, growing from the roots that lie buried in the ground over the winter. If your winters are mild, the chives may stay green throughout the winter season. Perennial herbs are a good backbone for your herb garden, and they’re cheaper than buying new plants every year.
Chives Have Edible Flowers
Most people think of chives as green onions, but they also create amazing purple flower heads as well. Chives are the cousins of the decorative allium, and they can be attractive border plants for a herb garden. The chive flower is totally edible and delicious in salads. It also adds an attractive puff of color to a dish. When the chives flower, cut them back to a few inches in height and they will begin to grow again, provided that the warm season is long enough.
Growing Chives Indoors
If you’re in a small space or you’d just like to have herbs close by, you can grow herbs in your kitchen. While many vegetables aren’t fond of indoor environments, chives are an exception. Give them enough light and good soil and they will grow indoors as well as outdoors. They’re particularly lovely in the winter. At a time when most other green onions are being imported from far away, you can cut your own little green onions from your kitchen!