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Growing Tip No. 14

‘Planting Vegetable Plants at the right time for your area is crucial.  Make sure you check for the last frost date and watch the weather carefully before planting."

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Chives and Garlic Chives:

Chives and Garlic Chives are the easiest herbs to grow. They can be grown in pots, in the ground, in sun or mostly shade. They are part of the onion family but they do not form a bulb like garlic or even as green onions do. They stay slender and fine and have a nice mild flavor which can easily be used in cooking.

Chives grow in a clump like grass sending up new sprouts or shoots as they grow to maturity. They can get as large as 8-12" across at the base. Their water requirements are low but they can be in soil that is moist all the time. The roots of Chives are thick and sturdy.

Garlic chives are a slightly different version of the common or onion Chives with flat leaves instead of tube shaped and a more pronounced garlic scent. They are sometimes called Chinese Chives and are used primarily in Asian cooking. Pink flowers appear on the common Chives. Garlic chives have white flowers. They are also edible and can be used to garnish salads.

To harvest Chives, always cut across the plant, only 1/2" from the ground. This tells the plant that new sprouts need to be sent up and they will regrow within two weeks or so. You can cut only a portion of the leaves or cut off the whole plant. Any extra leaves can be snipped and stored in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.

For cooking, use Chives with cheeses, dips, salad dressings, potato salads, pasta salads, chicken and tuna salads, stuffed eggs and quiches, or on baked potatoes.

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