Chives are the tinniest species of edible onions. Just like onions this herb grows in clumps but is also grown for its vibrant leaves and flowers. The chive bulb blooms every spring and summer, and then enters a long slumber during fall and winter. Chives come in two varieties; onion and garlic. Both are grown and used in similar fashions. Since it was almost spring planting chives seemed to be a good idea and a good collection to my mini herb garden. So with all this in mind I trotted myself to the nearest home garden store and bought myself some chive bulbs.
After 30 minutes of sorting through some bulb selections I decided to go with the Chinese chive. The Chinese chive has a hint of garlic. After completing my selection I then picked out a couple of window boxes. Although technically the bulbs could be planted in my garden this selection produces small pink and lavender globelike blossoms that will add an extra unexpected touch to my window boxes. For this reason I thought it would go perfectly in my porch windows. Also the chive herb is a natural insect repellent which will help with a variety of insects entering the home through the windows.
Like many herbs chives can thrive anywhere as long as the soil area has good drainage, sunlight and space. Since I selected bulbs and not seedlings I have to make sure that they’re planted properly. Although they’re tiny in size they do sprout nicely so they need room. To start I purchased organic soil, added aged compost and then added 1-cup of bonemeal per large window box. Remember if you add aged compost and bonemeal you don’t add fertilizer.
Before planting the bulbs into the soil I made sure the soil was moist enough. Chives require a continual state of moisture straight down to the root. They should be watered thoroughly and frequently. I then planted the bulbs in bunches of 5. This was an ideal number as long as they are kept four inches apart. Because chives have a strong root system they aren’t very delicate compared to other herbs. If left neglected for a short while chives won’t die but I wouldn’t recommend that. If neglected for too long it will prolong when they’re able to be harvested.
After a few weeks the bulbs started to show growth into a clump of bulbs. Remember to pinch goodbye those tiny flowers so the plant can produce more leaves. If you don’t mind a sparing harvest then you can leave them and enjoy the flowers (which is what I do). By summer I was ready to harvest my very own chives. The proper way to do this is to cut from outside of the clump to half an inch above soil level. Leaving the half inch in the soil allows the the extra space for the plant to restore itself. Now I can season my eggs, potatoes, soups and fish with chives anytime I want to simply by reaching out into my porch window box.