Latin Name: Allium tuberosum
Item #: 157B
Helps Control Pests:
GARLIC CHIVES - a mild Garlic substitute
Perennial (12 in/31 cm) Approx. 34,000 seeds per oz/28 g
Although both types of chives can be sown outdoors in early spring, (the same time as you would onions) you will get faster results sowing them indoors from Apr. 1st to May 1st. Chives belong to the onion family and young seedlings need the cool growing conditions outdoors to establish root systems before hot weather arrives. Garlic chives differ from the regular type with their large, delicately lace white flower heads (that may be used as a cut flower) vs. the smaller, light mauve blooms of the regular type. Grassy stems of the garlic type are slightly flat rather than round or tubular like the common strain.
CULTURE: Grow the same as chives or spanish onions. Sow indoors in pots, as thinly as possible at 5 or 6 seeds per in/25 mm, about 0.25 in/6 mm deep, cover with fine soil and firm. Germinate seeds at 65-70°F/18-20°C degree soil temp. for about 12 days. Cover the pots after soaking the soil well with a piece of glass to conserve moisture during the germination period. Remove the glass every 4 days to check for seed sprouts as they appear. Remove the glass and place pots or seedling flats in a cooler growing area of about 58°F/14°C until plants are ready to transplant outdoors 6 weeks after germination. Just like spanish onions, it is necessary to give the young seedlings a hair cut or trim back the grass-like leaves to about 2 in/5 cm above the soil once every 2 weeks. This encourages the plants to develop root systems rather than spindly weak foliage. A light feeding of weak fertilizer at this point is recommended.
TRANSPLANT: seedlings in clumps or rows, outdoors 20 in/51 cm apart, spacing groups of 6 or 7 seedlings to 8-10 in/20-25 cm apart in the row. Chives like light sandy soil, medium rich, with a pH of 6 or 7 in a warm sunny location. Make divisions of roots (thin them out in the row) using the extras for indoor pots during the winter months. Mature clumps of plants increase rapidly and should be divided every third spring.
HARVEST: Cut the flower stalks for mid summer arrangements. Flat grassy stalks may be used after or before the plants flower. You can clip the tips of the stalks as much as you want without damaging plants.
USES: This species is an excellent mild substitute for all uses of garlic, in soups, salads, sour cream, mashed potatoes and stews.