Chives: planting and cultivation

Chives: planting and cultivation

L'chives it is a very simple aromatic plant to grow, it does not take up much space and it is a perennial crop, so it should not be sown every year.

The tube-like leaves have the characteristic flavor of onion, of which the plant is a close relative, a taste that can be very useful in the kitchen for flavoring various recipes and flavoring cheeses or salads.

In short, I can only recommend planting chives in a corner of every organic garden, or keep this aromatic in pots on balconies or windowsills, always at hand when cooking.

The chive plant

L'chives (scientific name Allium schoenoprasum) is a perennial plant of the Liliacee family, it forms dense bushes that reach about 25 cm in height. There root is bulb, mind the leaves they are long and thin, tubular in shape and are the most noticeable part of the bush. THE flowers they appear between late spring and early summer and are very decorative pink spheres.

It is a rustic and undemanding plant, its cultivation is perennial: the leaves dry out during the winter but come back in spring from the roots that are kept during the vegetative rest. For the scent of the leaves it is fully included among the aromatic herbs, even if it does not belong to the family of most of them.

Sow chives in the garden

Chives it propagates in two ways: division of the head or sowing. The first possibility is undoubtedly the simplest, but it presupposes having an existing plant to be explanted in whole or in part. Obviously, there is also the possibility of buying a chive plant in the nursery.

Division of the head. The simplest method to multiply chive plants is to divide the clumps, which is done in autumn or at the end of winter, taking advantage of the vegetative rest of the plant. The roots of this aromatic are bundled into bulbs, it is easy to remove a plant from the ground and obtain several smaller clumps to transplant.

Real sowing. To start growing chives, you can also start from the seed to be planted in the seedbed in spring and subsequently transplanted into the garden. At the time of transplanting it is important to water abundantly. Plants go to 20-25 cm apart between them.

Climatic conditions and adversity

The chive plant grows well both in the sun and in shaded areas, it requires a lot of water during the summer and a constantly humid soil. This crop prefers calcareous and rich soil and is a very rustic aromatic herb, very easy to grow.

Chives do not have particular parasites, on the contrary, they dissuade many insects and for this reason it can be useful to have bushes among the flower beds of the organic garden as a natural defense. It is therefore used as a useful association for various vegetables, especially advantageous for carrots, celery and fennel.

Chives: harvesting and use

The long, thin leaves of the chives are used, which can be finely cut and added to dishes to flavor them.

Collect the leaves. The collection of leaves can be carried out throughout the year, except for the winter rest period. It is cut without exaggerating so as not to weaken the bush too much, cutting off the leaves at the base.

Culinary use. The taste, as the name indicates, is similar to that of onion, chives are not for nothing a lily plant, belonging to the garlic, leek, shallot and onion family.

This aromatic can also be dried and stored to be used as a spice but it loses most of its flavor, better rather freezing it. It goes well with cheeses, meats and fish and is also excellent as an aromatic to give a different note to soups or salads. This aromatic herb stimulates the appetite and has digestive, purifying and diuretic properties.

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