Many people aren’t aware of the difference between green onions and chives, beyond size. More slim than green onions, chives also have a more delicate flavor, making them preferable in dishes with mild flavors, such as egg dishes, mashed potatoes, and sauces. There are four varieties used in cooking: common, giant Siberian, garlic, and Siberian garlic. All have slightly different flavors. Plant one of each and do a taste test!
Chasing the round chive leaves around the cutting board when chopping might result in mashed leaves and an uneven result. Use a clean rubber band to hold your bunch together while you chop. Don’t wrap it too tightly, so that as you chop closer, you can easily slide it back. When snipping a leaf from the plant, snip it close to the base and discard anything you don’t use. Snipping it midway up the leaf makes the remaining section tough and unpalatable.
Did You Know?
It’s easy to guess that chives are in the onion family, but did you know they are also related to lilies, along with garlic and leeks? Unlike garlic, they lack the bulb-shape between the leaves and root structure. They feature a lovely light purple flower and are often chosen as decorative borders in English gardens.
Know to Grow
Chives appreciate humidity, so set your container on a tray of pebbles and water, or pebble trays nearby. Or better yet, add a small water feature to your garden and provide humidity with charm! Don’t let your chives sit in standing water, which will cause overwatering, root rot and pests. Soil should be well-draining and the surface of the soil should be dry to the touch before watering. Use water soluble fertilizers at half strength no more than twice per month – more might weaken the flavor of the leaves.Like many herbs, chives will do well under bright LED or fluorescent grow lights. The scent of chives often repels pests, so consider planting them around the border of your garden as a natural deterrent.
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