How To Harvest Parsley:
The best time to harvest parsley is during its peak season (April – August). You will need to wait until after the heat wave ends before harvesting because the leaves are still wet from their soaking in water. If you have any leftover parsley, it’s better if you use it immediately rather than letting it go bad.
Chives grow very quickly so they’re ready to harvest when the top of the stem starts turning brown. They’ll continue to grow and get bigger as long as there’s enough moisture in them. If you don’t want to wait, just grab some now!
To make sure your parsley isn’t going to die or rot, store it in a dark place away from direct sunlight. Store it in a plastic bag with air holes for maximum freshness.
You can also freeze chopped parsley for later use. Just defrost it in the refrigerator first.
When you’re ready to eat, simply chop up the parsley and add it to salads, soups, pasta dishes or even smoothies!
Chive Plant Harvest: How And When To Harvest Chives
Chive Plant Harvest: How And When To Harvest Chives, when is the right time to harvest chives?
You have to wait for the flowers to bloom. It seems counterintuitive because you think they’d taste better fresh. However, chive flowers are meant for reproduction, not eating. Just like many plants, they make their own food via photosynthesis. Chive flowers don’t taste as good so you should wait until the plants turn brown and start to die back. You will know it’s time to harvest when the lower part of the stems has turned brown. Once the plants start to die back, you can cut or snap them off from their base. You can also harvest a few each week. Chives can grow back, so don’t worry about overharvesting. Just make sure to let the plant get some sun every day and water it if it’s getting dry. The base of the plant should be mostly buried in soil (not up to the leaves, though). Chive plants grow best in cool seasons and are often found naturally in forests or grasslands. Chive plants grow from a bulb underground.
How To Grow Chives:
Chives are hardy perennials that survive the winter as bulbs under the soil. However, they’re very slow to grow in the spring and need extra care to get them growing. Here’s what you can do:
Plant the bulbs (chives grow better from planting bulbs rather than seeds) around the middle of March. Measure 2″ deep and 3″ apart. They can grow in almost any type of soil, but a soil with high organic matter would be the best choice.
Plant them in full sun or light shade. Too much shade makes them leggy and weak. They also need at least 7-8 hours of sunlight each day to grow properly.
Chives like their soil to stay on the wet side. Add mulch around them or water them every other day.
You can also plant them in pots or containers (they don’t like their roots to be root-bound). Be sure to keep the soil damp and add mulch around the plants to retain moisture.
How To Care For Chives:
Chives grow best in zones 4-9, but can sometimes survive in colder or warmer zones if taken care of properly.
Add fertilizer for the first time when the plants are about 8 inches high. You can use compost, aged manure or bloodmeal.
Add a second feeding of fertilizer when the plants are about 14 inches high. Use the same types of fertilizer. If there isn’t any more fertilizer available to them, the plants will begin to flower rather than make leaves.
Flowers don’t taste good so it’s important to stop them before this happens!
Water chives well and deeply when they’re about a foot high. Water them less often as they grow taller. They like a lot of water when they’re little, then less as they grow.
Apply mulch around the plants to retain moisture and keep the soil cool. Chives like cool soil, but not cold soil. They begin to like the soil more on the cool side as they grow.
Chives release a chemical into the soil that keep weeds from growing nearby, so there’s no need to use weed-blockers around them.
You can start harvesting chives as soon as the plants are 6 inches high and have several leaves. Cut or snap off leaves close to the base of the plant. This will promote the plant to grow more leaves.
You can harvest about 3 tablespoons of chives from each plant.
Don’t over harvest plants or harvest all of one type of herb from your garden. It’s best to leave some leaves on the plants so they look nice and healthy. Plus, the tasty herbs scattered around the garden will attract beneficial insects that will help prevent harmful pests from attacking your plants!
If you don’t want to pick the leaves, you can just trim the tops of the plants so they’re even with the soil. This will promote more leaf growth and the plants will be bushier. After a hard frost or freeze, trim plants back anyway since this will promote top growth and keep them from dying back too far.
How To Eat Chives:
Chives have a mild onion flavor and are juicy and tender like garlic. Use them in any dish that calls for garlic or onion. They’re also perfect for potatoes, eggs, fish and even salads!
Chives have a signature tart flavor that goes well in creamy, rich or soft foods. They aren’t good in vinegar-based sauces (like BBQ sauce) since the acidity makes them get bitter.
Chives can be used to make a creamy cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese by adding milk, butter, salt and pepper. They’re also perfect for a creamy garlic sauce for broccoli, chicken or fish.
Chives can be used on top of breads, burgers, salads and omelets. They’re a nice replacement for onion in an onion ring. Add them to eggs, tuna or chicken salad.
You can make a nutritious dip by mixing mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper with chopped chives.
You can add chives to mashed potatoes, gravy, meatloaf and other types of stews and soups as well.
Chives are one of the herbs used to make “Eggs sorrel”, a green egg dish made with various fresh herbs.
Chives are native to Europe and Asia but have become established in temperate areas all around the world. They’ve been eaten for centuries and were even found in the grave of Ramesses III, a Egyptian king who died in 1160 B.C.!
In 1542, Spanish explorers brought chives to the America’s and they’re now found all over North and South America. Even though it’s often claimed that chives are part of the onion family, they’re not even related.
Chives are in the same family as garlic and leeks, all of which come from a small group of plants called the “Alliaceae” family. Garlic, leeks, chives and onions are all in the same genus: Allium.
There are many different kinds of chives. Asian chives, also known as “Chinese chives” look somewhat like garlic but have a milder flavor. They often grow much larger than garden chives and don’t have hollow leaves.
Garlic chives look similar to normal chives but have a strong garlic flavor. They have a thicker, hollow leaf and a very strong flavor.
So even though we call them “chives” they’re not all the same thing!
In case you weren’t confused enough already, chives are often mislabeled in stores. They can be labeled as “garden chives” or just “chives”, but often times they’re sold as “narrow leaved garlic”. This can cause even more confusion since there is a plant called “garlic” with a similar description.
Confuse these two and you may end up tasting both!
Sources & references used in this article:
Evaluation of different compost amendments with AM fungal inoculum for optimal growth of chives by Ö Üstüner, S Wininger, V Gadkar… – Compost science & …, 2009 – Taylor & Francis
Greenhouse production of garlic chives and cilantro by RG Anderson, W Jia – Progress in new crops. ASHS Press …, 1996 – plantgrower.org
Effect of biostimulator Chlorella fusca on improving growth and qualities of chinese chives and spinach in organic farm by MJ Kim, CK Shim, YK Kim, BG Ko, JH Park… – The Plant Pathology …, 2018 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Chive: Allium schoenoprasum L. by T Tatlioglu – Genetic improvement of vegetable crops, 1993 – Elsevier
Influence of the environment on growth and development of chives (Allium schoenoprasum L.). II. Breaking of the rest period and forcing by E Fölster, H Krug – Scientia Horticulturae, 1977 – Elsevier