Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer Grooming for the Chives

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum): Reproductive stage.

At this time of the year, chives shift growth and development from vegetative to reproductive phase.  Flowers develop and then seeds follow.  Although the flowers are very ornamental with lavender color, the plants stop producing leaves when their flowers come out.  

The young flowers are edible and make good additions to salads.  However, if you want the chives to continue producing green parts, trick the plant into thinking that flowering is over by trimming it down to remove the developing seeds. It is best to remove or trim the flowers off on or before they start to fade. This not only encourages renewed vegetative growth but it also prevents the spread of chives seeds all over the yard.   They can become perennial weeds if allowed to disperse in places where they are not welcome to grow. 

If your herb is planted in a pot, apply a small amount of complete fertilizer to replenish the nutrients that got washed out by frequent watering.

The chives were cut very close to the soil - about one inch was left.

Ten days after cutting back:  Vegetative stage.

Trim your chives for a continuous supply of this aromatic herb.

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