Friday, October 23, 2009


Chives are the smallest and the most delicately flavored species of the onion family. They are native to North America, Eastern and Asia, Europe but are commonly grown all over Europe. Chive plants grow in clumps and their round, hollow grass-like leaves grow eight to twenty inches in height. The plant has round, pink or purple-colored flowers that bloom in the months of June and July.

Chives are known for their subtle oniony flavor that makes them a popular addition in various cuisines. Typically, fresh chives are finely chopped and used in salads, sandwiches, and other such savory dishes. They go very well with potatoes, sour cream, cheese and egg recipes such as omelettes and scrambled eggs.

Chives have medicinal benefits similar to those of onion and garlic and are rich in vitamin A and C. Chives are known to help with improving indigestion and reducing blood pressure. Essential oil derived from Chives is known to have antibacterial

Chives contain sulphur compounds which give them their characteristic oniony flavor. Handling of Chives may cause allergic contact dermatitis and urticaria (hives).

The easiest and quickest way to grow Chives in your garden is to pull out a clump from an existing patch and plant it wherever you want to grow them. They can also be planted from seeds. Plant them directly in the garden in early spring or as late as 2 months before the first fall frost. They require rich and moist soil with a pH level ranging from 6 to 8. Ideally, Chives need full sun to flourish but can also sustain reasonably well in partial shade.

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