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Perennial comes back year after year
Chives produce clumps of upright, hollow leaves and showy pink-lavender flowers. They are distinguished by their onion flavor. Starry, white, sweet-scented flowers make garlic chives a beautiful plant, and their mild onion-garlic flavor make them tasty, too. Chives should be grown in full sun for optimal production.
Great for containers.
Timing: Start seeds indoors 8 weeks before the last frost or direct sow in containers or straight in the ground. Starting indoors allows you to control the size of the initial clump, and gives the plants a bit of time to develop before harvests begin in mid-summer.
Sowing: Sow as any other onions — three seeds to a cell, or lightly covered with soil in larger pots or outdoors in spring.
Soil: Tolerant of a wide range of soils, but loose, well-drained, fertile soil is best. Aim for a pH of 6.0-7.0.
Growing: Grown outdoors, chives need almost no attention except in very hot, dry weather, when they should be kept well-watered. If growing in containers, clumps will need to be broken up and transplanted on each spring or fall.
Harvest: Cut as needed, but cut all the way to the base of the stem. Chives will continuously grow back new leaves, and one large clump in the corner of the garden will suffice for most households.
Storage: Do not bother trying to dry chives, as they tend to turn to flavourless dust. Rather, treat like basil — chop the chives and freeze them with water in ice cube trays. The cubes can be stored in bags or other containers in the freezer until needed. Chives can be freeze-dried particularly well, but must be kept out of the light or they will deteriorate rapidly.
Seed info: The ideal temperature for germination is 15-20°C. Chive seeds, like all onion seeds, are not long-lived, but fresh seeds should germinate evenly.
Growing for seed: This is very simple, as the seeds are abundant and easy to shake free from the flower heads. Chives do not cross-pollinate with other Allium species.
Great for BEES
5064 Milford Road, East Stroudsburg, PA
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Seth H. Richards
Locally owned and Family Operated Since 1932.
Dr. John Richards established Richards Tree Farm in Middle Smithfield, PA as an evergreen farm. Building on those roots, his Great Grandson, Seth Hastings Richards, has grown the farm into a full service Garden Center and Landscape installation business for the past 25 years. The farm specializes in Organic Gardening, Edible, Native, and Unique plants.