Chives are easy to grow and pack a lot of flavour for their compact size. The plants form neat grass-like clumps of tubular leaves that contribute an onion flavour to salads, creamy soups, potatoes, egg dishes, and others. A wonderful addition to an herb garden. Great for containers.
Garlic Chives looks like an onion chive but tastes more like garlic. Garlic chives in the garden are also often referred to as Chinese chives plant. Also known as Chinese leeks, garlic chives impart onion flavour with a distinctly garlicky overtone. Young leaves are most tender and work well in egg dishes, soups, marinades and Asian cooking
Light requirements Full sun. Plants can also grow in part shade.
Planting Space 8 to 12 inches apart.
Soil requirements Plants grow fastest in rich, well-drained soil, but also tolerate a range of soil types.
Water requirements Keep soil moist after planting until plants are well-rooted. Once established, plants in beds survive on rainfall.
Frost-fighting plan Onion chives are perennial in zones 3 to 10. Plants can survive light frost. Protect newly planted seedlings from late spring frosts or prolong the growing season by covering plants with a frost blanket.
Common issues Give chives a midsummer trim if plants are floppy and scraggly from lack of harvest. Keep an eye out for aphids.
Harvesting Pick leaves at any point in the growing season. Flowers are edible, too; break them apart into individual blooms before adding to dishes for less intense flavor. Cut from the outside of the clump, about ½ inch above the soil level.
Storage Store in water at room temperature to enjoy fresh clippings for a few days. Otherwise, wrap unwashed stems loosely in a paper towel and stash in a very loosely closed plastic bag in a warmer spot in your refrigerator, like a compartment in the door. For longer storage, dry or freeze leaves.