Heirloom. Organic. Chives, scientifically known as Allium schoenoprasum, are cool-weather perennial herbs with bulbous roots and narrow, hollow green leaves. Chives resemble their close relative, the onion, but have a milder, sweeter flavor. These hardy evergreen plants, which originated in Siberia and Southeast Asia, feature attractive purple flowers, and are a good choice for decorative edging in flower beds. They are also well-suited for growing in window boxes or containers. By following some simple techniques, you can germinate chive seeds indoors and then transplant them outside, where they can be enjoyed for both their decorative and nutritive value. If there were an award for “easiest herb to grow”, growing chives would win that award. Learning how to grow chives is so easy that even a child can do it, which makes this plant an excellent herb to help introduce children to herb gardening. You can eat every part of the chive plant. The edible flowers add colour to the salad bowl or other garnish, the grass-like leaves can be cut up and added to cooked potatoes, salads, sauces and even sandwiches, and the bulb can be used as a mild onion. I grow these year round on my kitchen window.
While starting seeds of the Chive plant is not necessarily difficult, the right conditions will make the process successful. Most gardeners sow Chive Seeds directly in the ground in the spring when the threat of frost has passed or plant is containers (grows great on a window ledge). Keep the ground moist but not wet for the first couple of weeks. Pick a sunny, well-drained spot for planting for the best performance. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position. Heirloom / Open Pollinated Chive are cool weather loving plants that prefer well drained loose soil and an even amount of water. Plant heirloom Chive in rows or hills but make sure the soil is well warmed. Plant seeds 1/8" deep. Plant Chive in full sun or partial shade. Germination should occur in 5-10 days in soil 70-85°F.
In rows 12-15" apart. Height: 12-18” Spacing: 3-6”
Depth: 1/8 inch Germination: 5-10 days
Starting from Seed Indoors
Generally, the time to start your seeds is about 2- 3 weeks before the last expected spring frost date in your area, planting the seedlings outdoors about 2 weeks after that date. Another way to figure is to plan on setting out sturdy seedlings in the garden when night temperatures stay in the mid-50 degree range both day and night. Count back and sow seeds 2 to 3 weeks before that date normally arrives. Broadcast seeds over the area to be planted. Cover the seeds to a depth of approximately 1/8 inches of the potting mix. Mist each pot with water until the soil appears moist. Place the pots in an area which will provide both light (which is required for germination) and heat, preferably about 65 to 70 degrees F and at least 8 hours of light each day. Check on the seeds every day and keep the seeds damp but not drenched by misting with your plant mister. You should see sprouting in about 5 to 10 days. Once your seedlings have reached about 2 to 3 inches in height, choose an area in your garden to transfer them. You can also use containers like barrels or clay pots. Dig holes twice the width and depth of each of your pots. Fill up each hole with water then let it drain off. Place a pot in the hole center and level so that your seedling is at the same level as the surrounding soil. Push dirt in carefully all the way to fill the hole back up. Water each seedling carefully so as not to soak the leaves or stem. You can grow several crops during a season.
Direct-seeding into the Garden
Turn over the area you've selected to a depth of approximately 2 inches. Rake the area until it's level and smooth. Water the area until the soil is damp but not saturated. Scatter the seeds in the row. Gently rake the area to distribute the seeds further and protect them from birds. Or, press the seeds into the soil and cover with no more than 1/8 inches of soil. You can also place 2 to 3 seeds every 3 to 6 inches in rows approximately 12-18 inches apart, and cover seeds with 1/8 inches of soil. Place planting stakes around the area so you will know where to water. Check on your seeds about once a day. Make sure to mist the soil whenever it appears dry. Germination for the Chive is approximately 5 to 10 days, depending on the warmth of the soil.
Growing plants from seeds successfully depends on a lot of factors and this makes it impossible to guarantee success on every batch of seeds planted. Factors include, soil composition, PH, temperature, moisture levels, seed depth, soil density, seed viability, seed storage and many others. We tested the germination of all our seeds and this seed variety is around 80%, but your results may vary based on exactly how you plant and all the environmental factors. Good luck.