Monday, April 13, 2009

Chives

Chives
Allium schoenoprasum: A mild member of the onion family. The leaves and pink flowers are edible and add a fresh, mild, green-onion flavor to salads, potatoes, and other favorite recipes. Grow in clumps 12 inches apart. Germination code: (1) Perennial

Herbs feed the palate and the soul! They add color and contrast to the landscape, perfume our homes, heal our wounds, and tantalize our taste buds. They are easy to grow. Whether in the garden or on the windowsill, learn their likes and dislikes, and you'll be rewarded with flavor and beauty.

CULTURE: Herbs grow best in well-drained fertile soils, so a garden bed that is well prepared with plenty of organic matter will increase your chances of success. Maintain a soil pH of 6.5. After seeding or transplanting, keep the soil moist and well weeded. Monthly feedings of a complete fertilizer will produce abundant foliage with maximum flavor.
HARVESTING: For fresh use, harvest as needed. For preserving, harvest at peak maturity. For distilling, harvest when blooms are just beginning to appear. At this point, the leaves contain the highest level of essential oils.
PRESERVING: Drying is the most common way to preserve herbs. Hang small bunches from the ceiling in a dry, dark location with good ventilation. Drying usually takes between 1-2 weeks.
STARTING HERBS FROM SEED: Start seed indoors 6-8 weeks prior to transplanting into the garden. Hardy seedlings can be transplanted after the last frost and tender types after June 1. Follow the guidelines below for the most success.
1. Good sanitation practices are the key to good germination and growth. Always use a sterilized growing medium and clean containers.
2. After you have sown the seeds, water them and cover the container with plastic or a clear dome lid. Remove the covering once germination is complete.
3. You must provide the proper warmth for germination. Never let the soil temperature go above 80°F or below 60°F.
4. Optimum seedling growth can be attained with indoor lighting fixtures in your home or greenhouse.
5. Seedlings transplant more successfully at a younger age. When the second set of true leaves appears, it's time to transplant. Don't allow them to become leggy or root bound. Small seedlings such as thyme, savory, and sweet marjoram may be transplanted successfully in small clumps.
6. Harden off seedlings before transplanting into the garden by gradually exposing them to fluctuating light and temperature.
GERMINATION CODES: Check the code at the end of the description for specific germination requirements.
(1): Germinates at temperatures between 60-75°F.

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PURCHASED: 1/2g from Territorial Seed Co. $2.25
STARTED SEED: Good Friday 04/10/09. Sprouted 4/13/09. Three days!
HARDENED OFF:
TRANSPLANTED IN GARDEN:
DISEASE ISSUES:
INSECT ISSUES:
HARVEST YEILD & DURATION:
OTHER NOTES:

2 comments:

Annie's Granny said...

Chives are one of my garden favorites. I have always grown a lot of them so I'd have some for cooking, salads and baked potato toppers, and some for blossoming...just because I think they are beautiful in the garden. I divided mine last year, and only replanted a few. Now I wish I had saved more of them.

I'll comment on your previous posts of today here. You're going to have a lot of beauty going on in your gardens! As much as I love flowers, I've not grown a lot of them. I pretty much stick veggies just about any place I can find extra space. I need more flowers!

Just Jenn said...

I really love Chives too - not too sure where I'm going to put them... maybe under the artichokes? I don't actually have a spot for them! But they're such a brilliant little plant how could I not plant them? They're tasty, pretty to look at and a good attractor of beneficial bugs. Most of the flowers I'm planting are also just there really for the veggies as a way to attract good bugs or repel bad ones.... I do plan someday on having a butterfly garden across the way so then I'll really get into the flowers. This year the focus is food though. You have tons of room for flowers! (just chop out more of that big 'ol lawn!)