Chives are a clumping herb. They offer a delicate onion taste and are perfect for those who enjoy a light flavour, but not the overbearing taste that onions sometimes provide when used raw. Chives are easy to grow and add a lovely ornamental quality to your gardens. The flowers are a showy pinkish to pale purple blossoms.
They require full sun and will benefit from rich, moist soils. Keeping your chive plant snipped back will cut down on the dried, yellow stems from overtaking the entire clump. These are simply the chive leaves that have finished their growing cycle. Cutting them back will create a new batch of bright green leaves. If you continue to cut the blossom heads from your chive plant, the flowers will keep coming and you will have a special ingredient for herb vinegar. Chives need to be divided every two to three years. Dig up the entire clump of chives in early spring, chop it into two or three pieces with a shovel and replant each one separately. This ensures a fresh start for more chives.
Chives are a wonderful addition to the beginner’s garden. They impart a light onion flavour in any dish and can be used interchangeably in recipes calling for onions. There is even a variety of chives that tastes like a blend of onion and garlic. Chives keep their lovely green colour when cooked so they make a fancy addition to butters for an aromatic blended topping for corn on the cob, pasta dishes or garlic bread. Chives have a stunning purple blossom that offers a culinary treat that will become a fantastic treat for any food lover. Fill a one litre jar about 1/2 full of white vinegar. Start snipping and submerging the blossoms as they open. If you continue to snip and remove all the blossoms, this will force the plant to keep making flowers. Once the jar is full-with vinegar covering the blossoms, cover and let steep in a dark cupboard for at least 2 weeks. The blossoms will fade to white and the vinegar will become a shockingly pink colour. The delicate taste of chive blossoms will arguably be one of the finest infused vinegars you will ever taste. Be sure to keep this treat in the dark as sunlight will fade the colour rapidly. This makes a wonderful gift for your food loving friends.
|Harvest||Snip leaves at any stage, 10-15cm is optimal. When leaves turn yellow, pick them out and harvest more vigorously to keep this at bay. Flowers are edible and delicious in salads as an attractive, edible garnish.|
|Position||Part to Full Sun|