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Garlic Chives

December 8, 2016 Back to Picks >

Garlic Chives are similar to Onion Chives in many ways, but they grow a little larger and have flat leaves when mature, instead of the tubular ones of Onion Chives. Generally speaking, chives grow in smallish clumps and make attractive borders, though Garlic Chives out-strip the other variety rapidly. Garlic Chives produce attractive white blooms that have the scent of violets and are an excellent addition to fresh or dried flower arrangements.

It�s a good idea to discourage chives from blooming by pinching off the flower stalks, especially when the clump is young and small. This promotes the growth of new leaves. Both chives like a rich, moist soil, and often take nearly a year to reach maturity. Divide established plantings about every third year. The tops sometimes are burned by frost, but cutting them back will encourage new growth when warmer weather returns.

To harvest Garlic Chives, separate a small bunch of leaves from the clump and cut them off with scissors right at the ground level. Leaves whose tops are cut simply die back and look tattered — all new growth comes from the roots.

Keep watered during hot dry weather, and fertilize with a slow-release organic fertilizer in spring and fall.