Patsy Bell Hobson is blogging at Oh Grow Up! When not in the garden or on the road, find her in southern Missouri USA. Read more travel stories at Striped Pot. Find more garden, travel and random rants on her Facebook.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are a part of the Alliaceae family. In fact, they are the smallest of the edible allium family. As a cool-season, cold-tolerant perennial, chives love full sun and well-drained soil. I'll be starting these from seed for my herb garden border. All those cute little pink blooms are the herb garden's springtime welcome. Chives also make a great herb vinegar.
Although chives are weeks ahead of most herbs, I'll be making loads of herb vinegar. I splurge and use a good quailty white wine vinegar. The result is a light pink vinegar with a hint of onion flavor. Later, I'll add more herbs to the chive-flavored vinegar to make a mixed herb flavored vinegar. Raspberry-chive vinegar is a favorite of mine. It makes a beautiful and tasty vinegrette for delicate spring greens.
Chives are a herbaceous perennial plant with hollow, tubular leaves. Like most herbs, there are no common pests or diseases. They need little care once they are established and are ideal for containers and raised beds. Chives (all alliums, actually) need well-drained soil.
If you are starting a new garden or a mixed herb garden in a container, start chives from seed. I have two large mixed herb containers on the patio, with one on each side of the kitchen door. It's a full sun location and is handy to water.
Seed Packet Giveaway
Renee's Garden is giving away three packets of chive seed to Herb Companion readers. Winners will be selected randomly from comments. Look through Renee's online catalog for more herbs.
HOW TO ENTER
• Post a comment in the comments section below telling us what you would use chives for if it grew in your garden.
• End date: March 7, 2012 (12:00 a.m. Central Time) UPDATE: Time's up!
The winners have been contacted. They were chosen using Random.org. Thanks to everyone who entered my Garden Giveaway! Watch out for even more giveaways.
P.S. Now is a good time to order and start tomato from seed. This year I am growing a Renee's exclusive "Italian Pompeii" tomato. This plum tomato grows tall and produces beautiful fruit, perfect for sauces and salsas.
Here is one more little valentine from Renee's Garden. Renee is hosting a Valentine's Day Special: 20 percent off select "Seeds of Love." Check it out!