Chives, a genus of onions in the family Lithospermum has been known as an ornamental and medicinal plant in Europe since the 16th century. As a food crop in the United States, where it has been cultivated by natives since the 15th century.
As a vegetable plant, it has only begun to take its place in the vegetable plant family of Dassia growers since the 20th century. As a food crop, this Chives is more common in Europe.
Chives have a fairly large distribution area in the United States. It grows wild throughout Europe, in western and eastern Siberia, in Kamchatka in the Far East, Primorsky Krai, and the North Caucasus. In all areas where winter frosts cannot destroy the rhizomes and pseudobulbs with roots of these winter-hardy plants.
This entry is about the common edible plants in Western cuisine. Chives have many synonyms in various regions of the world, and for Asian vegetables (garlic fine parsnip, Chinese fine parsnip), locals often consider them to be different crops.
In the official botanical name, the scientific name of Chives is Allium schoenoprasum. is a species of flowering plant in the family Lithospermum producing edible leaves and flowers. Their close relatives include the common Chives, garlic, small onions, leeks, and shallots.
A perennial plant that is widely distributed in nature throughout much of Europe, Asia, and North America.
USEFUL PROPERTIES OF CHIVES
The high content of sugars (3%), vitamins (B, C, K, E, A), mineral salts, and especially phytocide and its positive effects on human health make Chives a medicinal plant.
The green leaves and bulbs of Chives have amino acids, including histidine, methionine, tryptophan, arginine, lysine, and others. Chives are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fats, trace elements, including those that rejuvenate the body and improve immunity (selenium, zinc, manganese, etc.).
Medicinal properties of Chives:
- Stimulates appetite.
- Improves the secretory activity of the intestinal tract.
- Positive effect on kidneys, gallbladder, cardiovascular system.
- Used for the prevention of colds and infectious diseases with progressive arteriosclerosis.
- An effective insect repellent.
CHIVES MADE INTO SPICES
SchnittChives, like other varieties of Chives, refers to green and spicy flavored crops. Fresh is added as a spice to all vitamin salads, meat, fish, and vegetable dishes. The fresh leaves have a pleasant flavor without bitterness or char and are part of baked goods, omelets, sauces, and gravies.
Frost resistance allows you to use fresh Chives in mild climates and up to six months if grown outdoors. Chives can be frozen or dried and used in the winter as needed.
DESCRIPTION AND CHARACTERISTICS OF CHIVES
Chives belong to a group of herbaceous plants. In the wild, it is a perennial plant, in vegetable wedges on private farms Chives is more often grown as a 1-2 year crop. It is used as a perennial in vegetable plots and decorates traffic circles.
The underground part of Chives consists of small brownish-white or purplish-red pseudobulbs (15-20) attached to a short rhizome. Numerous filiform white root systems depart from the lower part and penetrate deep into the soil up to 20inch (0.5m). In the second year, each bulb forms a triangular flowering arrow and blooms annually thereafter.
The above-ground portion of Chives is represented by a pseudostem and thin, shilovid, or tubular leaves that are 10-18inch (25-45 cm) long and 5-8 mm wide and bright green. The bases of the leaves are flattened.
In a very short period of time (3-4 years), Chives forms a 20-24inch (50-60 cm) tall green bush with 40-100 leaf-bearing stems and an umbrella-shaped voluminous globular inflorescence at the top.
The flowers of Chives are narrowly oval and vary in color from white to purple to light purple. They bloom in May-June of the second year of the plant’s life and remain in bloom until August. The fruit is a capsule. After pollination small and numerous seeds are formed, which ripen gradually in July and August and become black and slightly angularly rounded.
The bulbs and leaves of Chives have almost the same flavor as Chives, but with a more delicate texture and flavor.
Chives can quickly form strong multi-stemmed bushes with good foliage. The leaves are very tender and grow quickly after being cut. It is widely distributed in areas with moderate winters.
These Chives are frost-resistant. chives seeds are highly wintered hardy and do not freeze even in the harshest of winters.
It is most practical to grow them in one place for 3 years, then separate the bushes and replant them. With this cultivation method, Chives will continuously form a large number of young leaves, which is the main product of this cultivation.
The shoots of Chives (unlike other Chives) can withstand short-term frosts as low as 25-27°F (-4 to -3 ºC). Mature plants can survive short-term frosts of 17-21°F (-8 to -6 ºC) without causing damage to the leaves.
Choose a location to place Chives
Depending on the planting method, you will decide the best location for your plants. Adequate moisture and avoidance of direct sunlight are the basic requirements.
If Chives will be planted as perennials, it is best to place them individually in a moist penstock shade or provide adequate watering. In this location, Chives take a long time to form young leaves. In sunlight, the leaves become coarser and are of little use in cooking.
Perennials can be planted as border plants in vegetable beds and along paths. In 1-3 years of cultivation, you can plant several varieties in squares and mixed beds. As summer Chives, grow in individual flowerbeds in rotation.
Chives’ predecessors and neighbors
Chives do not compete with carrots and tomatoes and are considered to be their beneficial neighbors.
It is poorly compatible with various beans, peas (according to some reports – generally with beans), cabbage, and sugar beets.
The following crops are considered to be the best precursors when planted in rotation: greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, potatoes.
Chives are the best friends of bees. Attracting bees and bumblebees helps in the pollination of horticultural crops.
Chives protect against aphids, earthworms, and some other cultures of cruciferous fleas. Pests cannot tolerate the scent of Chives. To protect them, you can sow Chives near or at the edge of your vegetable patch.
PREPARING THE SOIL AND PLANTING CHIVES
There are few requirements for soil composition, but they develop better and faster on fertile, moist plots. It is very important to free the site from rhizomatous perennial weeds. They are very conducive to the death of Chives seedlings.
If the soil is very dense and clayey, then introduce a bucket of humus or compost per square meter of the area when planting Chives, at a depth of 8-10inch (20-25 cm) during fall replanting.
In the spring, at the end of April – beginning of May, the mature soil is leveled, slightly compacted and, if necessary, the furrows are watered.
The sowing of Chives is planned in a continuous manner. In perennial cultivation, seeds are sown or bulbs are planted in 18-20inch (45-50 cm) x 10-12inch (25-30 cm) plans. When sown from seed, they are embedded in the soil no more than 0.4inch (1cm) away.
Germination appears on the 7th-10th day. In the case of marked rows, the soil is necessarily loosened to increase the oxygen supply to the plant roots. After the formation of 1 true leaf, the plants are thinned, leaving 1 plant at 4-5inch (10-12 cm). The rest of the plants can be planted separately as seedlings.
When growing for 1-2 years, it is best to plant Chives as sprouts in a 6-8inch (15-20 cm) x 1.5-2inch (4-5 cm) scheme, respectively. If planted as seedlings, rape can be used in the year of planting.
CARE OF CHIVES
When sowing Chives from seed in the first year, loosen the soil systematically. Remove weeds (they can choke the shoots), water them, and be sure to carefully cover them with fine soil. In the fall, remove the dry parts of the plant. As it grows, Chives forms a dense turf, spreading over the ground with green plants completely covering the soil. This eliminates the need for loosening and weeding.
In the second and subsequent years, after the first cutting, when the leaf height is 10-15inch (25-40cm), the first fertilization of Chives is applied. During fertilization, bring a solution of one cup of grass ash or poultry manure (1:20 liters of water) and manure (1:15 liters of water) per 1 square meter of area. After feeding, plants must be washed with clean water.
If organic matter is not available, the plants can be fed with nitroglycerin and nitrogenous glycerin at a rate of 40-100 g/m2 area, depending on the development level of the plants. The second feeding of mineral fertilizers is done after 2-3 cuts of vegetables. By the way, if the green plants are growing normally, the second and subsequent fertilization cannot be done on fertile soil.
This crop is very water-deficient and needs to be watered systematically. The soil should be constantly moist, but should not be flooded with water. If watering is delayed, the leaves of Chives will become rough and lose their flavor. In this case, cut off the coarse greenery on the ground and do not allow the soil to dry out again.
Make 2-3, sometimes 4 cuts during the year. chives are cut at 10-15inch (25-40 cm) (depending on the variety). The first cuttings should be taken in mid-May and the last one around the second half of September so that they have time to mature after the green cuttings.
In 1 year of cultivation, cuttings are taken at this season, and the following spring, the plants are completely dug up and Chives bulbs are used for food. The culture is planted as seedlings in a new location.
In perennial cultivation, Chives are dug up in the 3rd-5th years, propagated with some plants, and the rest are used for consumption.
Chives cannot be stimulated to grow with any preparation. It is practically disease-free and is not damaged by pests.
PROPAGATION OF CHIVES
As with all perennial crops, Chives can be propagated by sowing seeds, planting bulbs, germination, and division.
Propagation of Chives by seeds
Seeds of Chives can retain their germination rate for 2 years and then germination rate decreases sharply. In perennial cultivation, self-seeding propagation occurs if the bolls are not cut in time before dehiscence. Seeds are sown in early spring from the end of March to the beginning of April, in July, and from the end of September to October.
During the first months, the plants are very fragile and require careful and painstaking care, with plenty of watering and no standing water. It is more practical to propagate the culture by seedlings or by dividing the bushes.
Chives for germination
After soaking fresh seeds in water for one day in early March, sow them in prepared boxes with the moist substrate to a depth of 0.2-0.4inch (0.5-1.0 cm). Cover with film. New shoots appear on the 3rd-5th days. Maintain a moderate temperature, no higher than 64-68°F (18-20°C). Drink water gently. Intensive sowing thins out at the 1 present leaf stage, but it is best to sow more sparingly.
Plant 50-60 day old seedlings at the 2 true leaf stage in a permanent location. Planting scheme: 14-16inch (35-40 cm) between rows and 10-15inch (25-40 cm) between plants. In the first year, you can use 1-2 actively growing cuttings. From the 2nd year onwards, Chives bloom. The number of cuttings of oilseed rape increases to 3 to 4 cuttings per season.
Under optimal growing conditions, Chives will completely cover the soil and grow full of shrubs. The yield of groundmass decreases. Therefore, Chives are planted in one place for 3-5 years and then replanted by dividing the bush into several parts. The shrubs are pruned from below after heavy watering to a depth of 5-6inch (12-15 cm). Usually, for planting purposes, the bush is divided into sections, with 2-3 bulbs in one section. If there are many Chives bushes, some bulbs are used as food.
By the way, during cultivation, large bushes can be painlessly hollowed out and some of the bulbs can be used for food. The planting and care of dividers are the same as for the propagation of other plants.
Perhaps you have known Chives for a long time and use them as vegetables and ornamental crops. Share your comments about their medicinal use, cooking, and simple tips for growing this delicious vitamin vegetable.