To have some fresh chives ready for a delicious soup, dip, or baked potatoes is amazing, especially if it is fresh from your garden. Whether you slice, snip, or chop your chives, their mild flavor is a must in any kitchen. Chives are fast and easy to grow, and with a few steps, you can have their delicious aroma in your salad within a few weeks.
How to Plant Chives in Pots or Containers
- Chive Seeds
- Small Stones
- Clear Plastic Wrap or Film
- Pot or Container with Drain Holes
- Watering Can
To get the process of planting chives ready, you will need chive seeds, a pot or container, some compost, and a few minutes of your time. You will need clear plastic wrap or film to cover the pot or container and a watering can and scissors to open the chive seed packet.
If you are unsure what season to plant your chives in, you can find all the necessary information on the back of the packet.
Step 1. Get a Pot or Container With Drain Holes
The success of planting chives is to use the correct pot or container. The pot or container you use does not have to be a specific size, but if it is your first-time planting chives, try not to go too big and keep it manageable.
When you buy a pot or container, preferably get one about ten inches deep, and be sure that it has drainage holes at the bottom. If you have a pot or container but do not have drainage holes, make some on the bottom about an inch apart. Please do not make the holes too big; otherwise, the potting soil will fall through and make a mess, and you will end up with no soil in your pot or container.
Step 2. Cover Drain Holes With Stones
As an extra save guard from preventing your potting soil from falling through the drain holes when you water it, you must place stones over it. You mustn't use too big stones because they will take up unnecessary space, and you need ample space for the potting soil.
Step 3. Fill Pot or Container With Compost
Like any greens, chives need proper soil with enough fertilizer to provide them with the necessary nutrients. The soil must be fluffy to ensure ample drainage but stays moist enough for the seeds to absorb the nutrients to give your chives the ideal soil. A good compost will be ideal, and it already has the necessary elements to ensure the best growing environment for your chives.
Fill the pot or container with the compost by covering the stones and gently pushing them with your fingers to secure them over the holes. Do not push too hard because it will compress the compost and make it difficult for excess water to pass through and drain through the holes.
You can fill the rest of the pot or container with the stones covered with compost. As you put the compost in the container or pot, if you find any lumps, break them between your finger so that the compost is loose and fluffy.
Step 4. Gently Compress the Compost in the Pot or Container
Air pockets in the compost will cause the level to drop when you add water, and to avoid it from happening, lightly press down the compost to remove any air pockets. Consider how much space you want to leaf for when you water it, and as you lightly press it, the compost level will drop.
Please do not push it too hard to avoid the compost creating a compressed seal that will prevent the water from draining. Suppose you notice that when you lightly push the compost, your soil level is too low; add a bit more and lightly press it until you get the desired level. Later in the steps, you will add a thin layer of compost, so leave space for that.
Step 5. Add Water to the Compost in Pot or Container
Chive seeds are very small, and it takes very little to loosen them or to wash them away, and that is why you must wet the compost before you plant the chive seeds.
Get your watering can and fill it with water. Use a bucket or waterproof container if you do not have a watering can. Water the compost, but do not concentrate the water's flow on one spot because it will create a hole, and you need a flat area for the chive seeds.
Pour the water in a circular motion from outside the pot's rim to the center to avoid a hole and get all the compost wet.
Step 6. Remove Chive Seed From Its Packet
As previously mentioned, chive seeds are very small, and when you remove them from their sealed packet, take care not to let them fall because it may be difficult to find them on the ground.
Shake the chive seed packet, so all the seeds lie at the bottom. Some packets have an easy tear mark, but if it does not carefully cut a thin portion of the packet at the top with a scissor. Gently open the cut portion of the packet and empty the seeds into your hand.
If you are scared that it may drop when you empty the seed packet, consider doing it over a white piece of paper so that if it falls, it will fall onto the paper, and you will easily see it.
Step 7. Sprinkle Chive Seeds Over Compost
With the compost wet and the chive seeds ready, you must sprinkle it on top of the compost. Try to cover the whole compost area, not just empty all the seeds in one spot. When you sprinkle the seeds, try to get them evenly spread but if possible, avoid sprinkling any seeds right against the edge.
Step 8. Cover Chive Seeds With a Thin Layer of Compost
You cannot leave the chive seeds exposed, and it needs to get a protective layer of compost. Take a hand full of compost and gently put a thin layer over the seeds to cover it. Ensure that the compost layer is not too thick because the seeds will struggle to push their leaves through if it is heavily covered.
Take a marker, write chives on a label, and wedge them into the compost. You may have other greens in pots or containers, and a label will help you identify them.
Step 9. Cover Pot or Container With Clear Plastic Wrap/Film
Cover the pot or container with a thin layer of clear plastic film or wrap and keep it warm. Heat will extract the water from the compost, and the plastic wrap or film will cause it to condensate and prevent the moisture from escaping. Retaining the moisture is important for the germinating process.
Step 10. Place Pot or Container in Warm Space
With the seeds covered underneath the compost protection blanket and enough water, it is ready to germinate. Keep the pot or container wrapped and warm while the seeds germinate; after a week, you should see it sprouting, and then you can remove the plastic wrap or film.
Step 11. Harvest Your Chives
Once the chive sprouts and you removed the plastic wrap or film, the hard work is done, and it only needs to be kept in a warm place and watered regularly. The leaves grow rapidly and produce beautiful, healthy chives within a few weeks.
When the leaves are nice and thick and about six inches high, it is ready for their first harvesting. Get your scissor and cut the chives for your next dish. When you cut the chives, you will likely want some again in a week or two. If you want the plant to give you another harvest, quickly consider leaving about an inch of the chive leaves to promote further growth.
As long as you water the plant regularly, keep it in a warm place, and do not harvest the leaves too short, its stems will regrow, and you will have some more chives for your next dish.