Chives or (Allium schoenoprasum) is a perennial plant in the onion family, closely related to garlic, scallion, leek, shallot, and cheese onion. It is the only member of the Allium family that is native to both the Old and New Worlds. The plant is famous for its purple flowers and nutritional value, which includes a high concentration of potassium, calcium, and iron, as well as Vitamins A and C. Chives, are easy to grow in the greenhouse using the following guideline.
- Start the chives seeds in a nursery about two months before the last spring date and transplant these about a week before the last spring date. However, if you choose to sow directly then do so as soon the soil is workable. Ensure the soil temperature ranges between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit as this is essential for effective germination.
- Chives prefer soil that is fertile, well-draining and moist so before planting, ensure you work up the soil and add about five inches of mature manure or well-composted organic matter.
- Place the seeds about half an inch deep into the soil spacing them four inches apart in rows of similar dimensions.
Tips and tricks
Planting chives next to carrots will improve the flavor and growth of the carrots.
Chives do well when you water them frequently. Just ensure the soil is not soaked. Ideally, two inches of water every fortnight should suffice.
The plant does relatively well in a wide pH range compared to other species in the Allium genus. The said range stretches from slightly acidic soils with pH of 6.1 to mildly alkaline soils with PH of 7.8. The optimal soil pH, however, is 7.0. The soil should be well-drained and rich in humus.
Chives grow well in full sunlight but they also thrive in partial shade conditions. This means that the plant will do well in most greenhouse kits available in the market.
Chives mature about two months after seeding. Harvest by cutting down the leaves about one inch from the soil.