When asking for the easiest plant to grow in your garden, ask for chives seeds. It’s the best plant to start with, especially for beginners. Even beginner gardeners and children can plant chives seeds easily without too much hassle.
It is important to have a chive in your garden if you are a food enthusiast and would like to add flavor from herbs. They are easy to plant, and once you plant them, they will reproduce all year long as long you let them.
Chives are herb plants with a light onion taste that complement soups, dips, roasted veggies, omelets, and other foods. So, do you want to know how to plant chives seeds? We are going to guide you through planting chives from the beginning.
What are chives?
Chives are a perennial plant and a member of the onion family but with edible flowers. They can act as companion plants because of their scent to keep away pests from the garden. Once you start planting chives either as a companion plant or a single plant, ensure that it doesn’t spread to other garden areas.
It has a habit of taking over the garden once it develops. On the other hand, if you want to remove it from your garden, you can dig up the soil and remove it. You can plant chives with carrots, celery, lettuce, peas, and tomatoes.
Types of chives
There are different types of chives available for you to plant. That is common chives (Allium schoenoprasum), garlic chives (A. tuberosum), giant Siberian chives (Allium ledebourianum), and Siberian garlic chives (Allium nutans).
Common chives — These are chives found in your grocery store, just as the name suggests. They are bright green and plump with slender bulbs with thin green leaves with a height of 10-15 inches. They are often garnished in food since they have an onion flavor.
Garlic chives —- Garlic chives are also Chinese chives and are taller than common chives. They have flat leaves, and the blossoms are white. They have a garlic flavor and are used to provide more savory to the food.
Siberian chives —- Many people do not know these. They have the same flavor as common chives when in food. These chives grow up to two feet in height.
Common chives usually bloom best in the spring or early summer, while garlic chives bloom in the late summer. They grow under the sun, but they can withstand cold conditions once they mature.
When you pick the types of chives, you need for your farm, you need to start growing chives seeds.
Once the plant is mature and the flowers are pollinated, it dries out and reproduces seeds that fall out and grow if they are allowed to germinate. If you don’t want the seeds to fall out, snip the flowers to prevent them from releasing seeds.
However, your goal should be picking and using these seeds to grow fresh chives. Picking out the seeds ensures they don’t fall and start growing in unwanted areas. But, if you have the whole garden set for chives, you can let them fall, and they will continue growing independently.
Where to find chive seeds
Nowadays, it’s easy to find seeds. You can search online for a local nursery near you or online vendors.
Another method is finding a mature plant and harvesting seeds from it. Remove the seeds and allow for pollination, resulting in the flowers drying up after it has dried. Cut the flowers using clippers or a pair of scissors. If you let the flowers dry too hard,
away. The best way is to look at the color. Once it turns to tan, cut it off.
Once you cut off the flower, place it over a plate and roll your fingers through it to separate the seeds from the flower. Leave it to dry, and remove extra chaff by gently blowing away the trash. Seal the seeds in a container and store them in a cool place away from moisture and heat.
If you have different varieties of chives in your garden, ensure that you keep them apart from each to avoid cross-pollination. Since they self-pollinate, it’s easy for cross-pollination to occur. Or you can prevent this by cutting off the flowers from one plant.
How to Propagate
Chives work well indoors and outdoors. You can choose to propagate them indoors then take them out to sow them directly outside without keeping them indoors.
So how do you propagate chive seeds?
Propagating chive seeds indoors
You first need to understand that chives require sunlight for about six hours a day to grow into healthy plants. Indoors you can use a supplementary lighting system to ensure they grow happily.
In your pot, add rich and well-drained soil to the pot. Always use an all-purpose potting mix. Also, make sure the pot has drainage holes. Then sprinkle 10-15 seeds into the pot and cover them with ¼ inch of the soil.
Spray the seeds using a spray bottle, and always moisten the soil. Remember, moist soil is different from wet soil. Wet soil can kill the roots.
Suppose you have plans to move the seeds outside; start with a tray, preferably one with more cells. Also, if your area is frosty, don’t take them out; wait till the frost ends or plan to start planting to average, taking them out six weeks before the frost day.
After they have grown to one or two inches tall, remove all the weak seeds and remain with the tall seedlings, preferably one per container. Transplant them once they are six inches tall after the frost has passed.
Harden seedlings by putting them in indirect sunshine for a week. On the first day, place them for one hour, the second for two hours, and then add an extra hour each day until the plant can stay outdoors for seven hours. At that point, they are hard enough to stay outside on their own.
Propagating chive seeds outdoors.
The best time to plant chive seeds outdoor is during the start of spring. After the end of the frost, the ground should be well drained. Add some compost and mix it well with the soil—this plant likes fertile soil and access to full sunshine.
Ensure that you add enough fertilizer to the soil and avoid overfeeding it because it can result in milder tasting leaves. Check for the pH of the soil to prevent overfeeding. It should be around 6.0 – 7.0. If it’s more than 7.0, don’t add any fertilizer; however, if it is below 6.0, add fertilizer while considering the pH level.
When planting chives, you can either broadcast the seeds or plant them two inches apart while covering them with ¼-inch soil. You can use mulch to keep moist in the first few days, then remove the mulch after seven days.
The plant will start to emerge after 11 to 14 days. Once the plant is one or two inches tall, thin the slow-growing plants, leave the strong seeds, and ensure they are spaced four inches apart.
What are the problems you are likely to face when You plant chives seeds?
Seeds Fail to Germinate
In some cases, your seeds might fail to germinate. The problem can be a lack of enough food, water, or enough sunlight.
Food is achieved by fertilizing the soil; check your soil before you add it to ensure you add enough fertilizer. Seek help from a qualified person to help you apply enough fertilizer to avoid overfeeding and underfeeding.
As for water, ensure the soil is constantly moist and not wet or dry. That can be overwatering or underwatering—all these things you must consider because they help the seed grow into a healthy plant.
Chives seeds require a temperature range of 60-70 degrees F. If the temperature is hotter or colder, it can kill the plant. If you are planting outside, ensure you wait for the right season, early spring, when temperatures are right.
Damping off is a disease caused by Fungi known as Fusarium spp. And Rhizoctonia spp. You can identify these diseases if your seeds become mushy and rot.
To prevent this disease from attacking your seeds, ensure that you clean the container before you use them. Also, use fresh soil for your pot.
Gardening requires a lot of effort, especially when a plant requires certain conditions for it to bloom. But this happens only when starting from the seeds stage. After they mature, you can do minimal work on them.