It is worth growing some herbs in your home garden. Chives are one of the most popular herbs available for you to grow at home. You can easily plant chives and take good care of them. Every year you will fall in love with the return that you can get.
What are Chives?
Chives contain flavorful and fragrant leaves. They are quite delicious and filled with nutritional properties. Rabbits and deer tend to eat chives alone. The flowers of chives are a perfect nectar source available for pollinators who are looking forward to pollinating edible crops. Hence, you can grow them in your home garden without keeping a second thought in mind. In this article, we will share the steps with you on how to harvest chives from your garden.
What is the best time for harvesting chives?
You need to wait until the best time to proceed with harvesting chives. Otherwise, you will be limiting the further growth of the plant. In other words, you will be reducing the total number of leaves that you can harvest in the future.
One of the most important things to keep in mind here is that chives have a long harvesting period. You will be able to see how the tiny, green-colored spikes pop out of the soil within spring. When these leaves reach around 4 inches in length, you can proceed with harvesting. However, you should make sure that you are taking good care of the plant during its growing season. Then you can continue to harvest chives during the first frost of the fall. If you calculate, you will see that there’s a waiting period of around 8 months for harvesting.
How to harvest chives?
When you are harvesting chives, you should be careful not to restrict new growth. That’s mainly because the young leaves of chives are flavorful and tender. Hence, you need to have a strong idea of how to harvest chives. Then you will be able to stimulate new growth of the plants as well. Here are a few useful tips that you can follow at the time of harvesting chives.
Remove the leaves completely
One of the biggest mistakes that people do when they are harvesting chives is that they tend to snip off only the tip. Instead of doing that, you should remove the entire leaf. In fact, you should be careful to remove the leaf all the way down from the soil line. Then you can create an ideal environment for the new growth of leaves.
Pruning the plants
Pruning the plants is another important thing that you need to do. This is something that you should do after the plant blooms and the flowers fade out. There are pruners you can purchase from the market to proceed with pruning. If you don’t have a pair of pruners, you may even think about using a hedge shear that has a long blade. Pruning is a proven method available to stimulate the growth of leaves. Moreover, it will help you to overcome the old leaves that deliver a woody taste.
Harvesting chives with your hands
The most popular method available to harvest chives is to use your hands. It is something that you can easily do without a struggle. On the other hand, you will be able to harvest chives whenever you need them. This ensures that you have access to fresh chives at any given time.
You can easily pinch off the chive leaves as well. All you have to do is to use the forefinger and the thumb to get the work done. You may grab a small number of leaves that are located near the base of the plant. Then you can follow a quick snapping motion in order to remove the leaves with your wrist. When you do this, you will not be hurting the plant as well. However, you should also be careful not to pull the leaves in an upward direction. If you do this, you might tug the plant out of the soil. Instead of pulling the plant, you should snap the leaves sideways in order to break them.
In case you intend only to harvest a few leaves, you may think about pinching them off by keeping them in between the index finger and thumbnail. Then you can harvest a couple of leaves at a given time. For most instances, you can do this as you don’t want more than a couple of chives for preparing your recipes.
Harvesting chives with the help of an herb snip
Another method available for harvesting chives would be to use an herb snip. Some people tend to harvest chives during the fall so that they can keep them preserved for winter. If you have similar intentions, you may think about following this method. It will help you to harvest a bunch of leaves at a time without going through any struggles. However, you should also be careful to harvest chives before you can see flower buds.
It is possible for you to use an herb snip and harvest the entire plant at a given time. However, you should not do it more than two times. That’s because you should allow enough time for the plant to recover. Otherwise, you will not be able to get it to photosynthesize for the remaining period of the growing season.
With the help of an herb snip, you may cut the leaves from the base of the plant. Then you will be able to get the maximum harvest. You may also think about using a ponytail holder at the base of the leaves to make your life easy.
Now you have a clear picture of how to proceed with harvesting chives. It is up to you to take a look at these different methods and figure out the best method to harvest. Make sure that you carefully follow the shared steps to harvest chive leaves without causing any damages to the planet.