Sunday, March 21, 2010

How does your garden Grow? Part 4: Another no fail plant!

This little guy looks like a pot of nice green grass, but actually it is a Chive plant. Chives are in the onion family. They are a very hardy perennial. You can find them growing in herb gardens inside of homes, in the ground outside and even potted like mine. They are pretty hard to kill so if your thumb isn't as green as you'd like it to be maybe you should start here. It will boost your gardening confidence.

I bought this Chive years ago. I've kept it in this pot the whole time. The only care I have done this year is ridding it of all the brown ugly leftovers from last year. Yes, you read right. I do nothing to it. It grows in the summer (with a little help from me by watering it if the weather isn't cooperating) and in the fall/winter it dies back. In the coming spring I just pick off the dead stuff from last year and water it if needed. Sometimes I forget until closer to summer and you can't really get in there to pick the dead stuff off so I just don't. Pretty complicated stuff we have going here! The only thing I want to warn you about is that if you don't use them they will sprout these pretty purple flower balls. :) Do I have to keep reminding you that I am no expert and don't use expert terms?! Now I like purple flower balls just as much as the next person, but when the Chive does this task it is going to seed and your plant will be chewy and tough. It will be comparable to chewing on straw. To avoid this strawlike texture just give it a haircut every so often. No shorter than 2" or your Chive may get mad at you. Chives may be divided every couple of years if yours gets too unruly. Mine stays a perfect size in this pot. The ones directly planted in the ground are the ones that get big. They are also not really bothered by any insects, pests or disease.  

I loves Chives on baked potatoes with sour cream. Sometimes if I don't have onions around I use these instead. They are very mild in taste. I use them on taco dips, in scrambled eggs, and potato salads. You name it. Chives are best used fresh, but can be frozen or dried.

I hope you go get a Chive plant this summer. It will be an easy addition to your garden. I bet you even know someone who has one already and would be willing to give part of theirs. If you have any other questions about Chives feel free to ask me or an expert. :) Happy Spring!

No comments: