Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Growing Chives

Chives make up the smallest member of the onion family. It is a native plant to Europe, North America and Asia. The name chive is derived from the Latin word cepa which translates into onion. Beyond adding chives to soups, stews and of course on top of sour cream, chives give home vegetable gardeners an incredible tool and that is, chives have insect repelling properties that can control garden pests.

As you will see in a moment chives are easy to add to any home vegetable garden, herb garden or simply to grow some in a pot on your window sill all year long. Here is how you can add and grow great tasting chives to your garden.

The seeds of chives are fairly small and therefore do not require to be planted very deep in your garden or in the pot that will sit on your window sill. Just lightly cover the seeds with some dirt. Their seeds will germinate in about fourteen days, sometimes sooner depending on the region of the world you live in.

Chives like the soil neutral to slightly acidic. Make sure your soil`s pH level is above 6.0 and at or below 7.0. In order to test the pH level of your soil you will need to use a soil testing kit available from any home or garden center for less than a few bucks. Once you obtain the reading, follow the instructions on the test kit instruction package to raise or lower your soil`s pH based on your findings.

Chives can grow in either full sun or partial shade and require moderate watering, so make sure you keep the soil moist for your chives. Space your seeds out about eight inches to give your chives plenty of room to grow and spread.

If you live in a warmer region of the world you can harvest chives all year round. Simply cut the plants about an inch above the soil. For those in a cooler climate if you wait too long too harvest chives can die in colder temperatures. You can simply just harvest the entire plant when the reach a size that is ready to use.

Chives make good companions for carrots and tomatoes whereas they make bad companions for beans and peas. Never precede or follow any member of the onion family with chives in a crop rotation cycle and never allow your chive plants to reach the size where seeds will drop. Your garden could become inundated with chive plants.

As you can see it is fairly easy to add this great herb to your backyard, porch or patio garden.

About the Author
Mike is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person: A Guide to Vegetable Gardening for the Rest of Us, available where gardening books are sold. Sign up for Mike`s vegetable gardening newsletter at his website: and he will send you a free pack of vegetable seeds to get your garden started.

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