The chive plant Allium schoenoprasum is a member of the onion family (Alliaceae). The clumping habit and hardiness of lavender flowers make this plant an attractive perennial garden.
Its grassy hollow leaves have a mild onion flavor and are commonly found in salads and dips. Small flowers begin to bloom in late May or Ju
ne. These are edible and you can use them in salads and flower arrangements.
Soil pH and fertility
Chives thrive in full sun and well-drained soil rich in organic matter.
Has your soil been tested? ;
A pH range of 6.0-7.0 is best.
They tolerate light shades but six to eight hours of direct light is best.
Over-fertilizing can be harmful to leeks. Like many herbs growing slower and more compact results in a stronger flavor and healthier plant. Soils rich in the organic matter should provide adequate nutrients.
Use a very small amount of 5-10-5 fertilizer once a year in spring if the plants are starting to weaken due to successive annual harvests.
For leek plants grown in containers or in a sunny window use a liquid fertilizer at half the strength recommended by the label every four to six weeks.
The easiest and most successful way to grow chives is to plant rooted clumps in the spring after the danger of frost has passed.
Divide established plants every three to four years. Spring is the perfect time to split.
Space plants 6-12 inches apart.
Replant new clumps in soil rich in organic matter such as fine compost.
You can also start chives from seed.
You can easily grow leeks indoors in a sunny spot.
The bottom of the pot must have drainage holes.
Use a good houseplant potting mix with light well-drained soil.
Plants don't grow as much in winter when there's not enough light. The plant may even die a little but should bounce back with the return of the brighter sun in the spring.
Do not fertilize during winter.
So, How to keep your leeks healthy and productive ?
When rain is scarce water deeply ensures the soil around the root zone does not dry out.
A thin layer of leaf compost or grass clippings will help retain moisture.
Harvest chives by clipping leave from the base of the plant. Once flowering is over cut flower stems at the soil line. This will prevent the plant from forming seeds and keep it more productive. Leeks are best when they are fresh. Finely chop the pre-washed leaves to reserve the extra chives Small pieces and freeze them in plastic containers. There is no need to thaw the pieces before use.
Garlic Chives Allium tuberosum is a chive known for its garlicky flavor. This variety has flat leaves and fragrant white flowers that usually bloom in July and August. You can use it like regular chives: as a fresh or dried culinary herb as an ornamental Garden or container and flower arrangements.