Growing Onion Chive Seeds
Name: Onion Chives/Allium Schoenoprasum
Other Names: Wild Onion Chives, Common Chives
Days to Maturity: 60 days from seed
Light Preference: Full sun
Hardiness Zones: 3 – 10
Plant Spacing: 8 – 10 inches apart
Soil Preference: Well-drained, fertile
Plant Height: 12 inches
Uses: Flower garden, herb garden, culinary, container
Flowers June to July. Leaves are edible raw, cooked or dried for later use. Leaves have a mild onion flavor and are great in salads, soups, rice dishes, and more! Will continue to produce through early winter.
Quick Guide for Growing Chives from Seed
- Plant chives in early spring 4-6 weeks before the last frost. They’re a wonderful option to use as a perennial garden border among flowers or in a culinary container garden.
- Space chives 8-12 inches apart in an area that receives full sun and has nutrient-rich, well-drained soil.
- Give your native soil a nutrient boost by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter. Consider a premium bagged potting mix for growing in containers.
- Check soil weekly and water when the top inch of soil becomes dry.
- Encourage better blooms and leaf production by regularly feeding with a water-soluble plant food.
- Harvest leaves once they are large enough to eat. The flowers are also edible.
Chives are not only great for culinary flavoring, but also provide the following medicinal benefits:
- Mighty cancer fighter: Lutein and zeaxanthin, are known to protect one from lung and mouth cancers. Chives are also rich in fiber, and this helps to prevent colon cancer. And like other members of the family, chives also contain allicin, an important antioxidant known to help prevent breast cancer. Studies have shown that chives can help prevent prostate cancer as well.
- Protect the heart: The allicin in chives is an organosulfur and is known to help lower the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) but also increases good cholesterol levels (HDL cholesterol). Allicin releases nitric oxide in the bloodstream, which reduces the stiffness of the blood vessels as well as blood pressure. And the quercetin in chives reduces the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
- Improve bone health: Chives contain vitamin K, a nutrient quite important for the bones. This vitamin helps maintain bone integrity and density.
- Help the digestive system: Chives help the body get rid of the harmful bacteria, yeast, and fungi in your intestinal tract that might otherwise hamper your digestion. The antibacterial properties of chives can help eliminate at least 30 strains of salmonella (which can cause intestinal distress).
- Detoxify the body: Though there is limited research on this, certain sources say that the presence of chlorophyll and vitamin K in chives helps keep the blood clean. The minerals in chives might neutralize the toxins in the body. The antibacterial properties of chives might also aid the detoxification process.
- Boost immunity: The numerous phytochemicals in chives can boost your immune system.
- Boost vision: This benefit should be attributed to the lutein and zeaxanthin in chives, which reduce oxidative stress in the eyes and boost vision health. They also slow down the development of cataracts. Chives also contain quercetin, which, as per studies can help preserve vision in patients with macular degeneration.
- Are beneficial during pregnancy: Chives are rich sources of folate, and we don’t have to stress the importance of folate during pregnancy. Folate helps in the brain development of the fetus – it also aids cell division and DNA synthesis. Folic acid also helps to prevent birth defects, especially in the baby’s brain and spinal cord.
- Enhance sleep and mood: Chives are good sources of choline, which is one important nutrient that aids proper sleep.
- Have excellent antimicrobial properties: Chives have excellent antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic properties.
- Boost skin health: Chives are a good source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that boosts skin radiance and health. It also can help treat acne while the vitamin C possesses antioxidant properties that offer anti-aging benefits. It can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, some of the most prominent signs of aging.