Garden Rows

Friday, August 14

Garlic Chive

I love Chive. It is beautiful when it is in bloom with it's unique Dr. Seuse style pompom flowers. Many foods enjoy the jazzy onion like flavor it offers. Needless to say, I was pretty excited when I was given a little Chive plant last Spring. We used companion planting as a general guide for what plants to put together. The little Chive went in the bed with tomato, a purple basil and there may have been some carrots in that bed, too. Chive is said to repel Japanese Beetles. I can say they seem to prefer the canna lily leaves over the Chive. 

I was surprised by it's mild flavor, but thought maybe it would be stronger the next season. When the gardening season wrapped up, we let the chickens into the garden and they scratched out the Chive root ball. I was sad but decided there are always seeds to start again. A while into the winter, I looked at the root ball and realized there may actually be some life in it yet despite exposure to harsh winter weather. I put it in a pot (and watered it slightly) in the garage to stay dormant a little while longer. When we were in the full swing of seed starting, I put the Chive under the light. Boy it was happy then. It got watered and fed and enjoyed 8 hours of bright light a day. 

It went outside once the weather eased up and there she sits! She is happy and blooming. The pollinators are pretty happy about it, too. Since I have not seen Chive bloom any color other than the pink/purple poof, I had to do a little research to find out what the deal is here. This is a Garlic Chive. They are less cold hardy than regular Chive, so it's probably good I brought it in to baby it a little when I did. 

I am enjoying the sweet little white flowers. They make me think of bouquets of stars. Leaving the flowers to go through their life cycle will encourage the plant to go dormant, so I guess I will cut them to prolong the season of Chive seasoning. Our one year old has enjoyed plucking a blade and sitting on the step to nibble on it. Little does he know, he is helping with the reccamended minor pruning. :)

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