Garlic Chives in their 2nd year

tn_veggie_gardner(7)March 9, 2009

I have about 20-25 garlic chive "bulbs" (not sure if that's the correct term) that I want to plant again this year. Can I simply put them in whatever type of soil I decide roots down & water or is it more complex than that? Also, how are they with slightly cold weather (30's to 40's) as we may have some of that left here in TN. Please let me know. Thanks! - Steve

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Garlic chives are summer growing plants. They reproduce and spread by the black seeds that the white flowers produce. They like to be grown in small clusters. By late summer, the greens die out and then the flower stalks. I break the dead flower stalks off in early spring. There are not any true 'bulbs' in the soil, as they are mostly from root clusters. Two summers ago, I harvested about 50 or more of the black seeds, and replanted these nearby the ones already growing. Last summer they started to show up as thin blades of grass. This year they should be bigger. The name garlic grass or garlic chives are the same. The blades are not round, nor totally flat either, but are thicker and have a bump going on the full length of each blade. Nearby, I grow a wild onion, which produces the same size greens as regular chives. These grow from tiny pea sized onions. They are a winter loving plant and die out in summer. They produce a small round ball of bulbils as seed clusters. I break these off and crumble them in my fingers so they replant for the following year. I can go out right now, even in snow and harvest a bunch of my wild onions/chives.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 5:12PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

Dern...I thought I could grow from root system beneath soil. I'll probably just have to pick up some more seeds then. Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 6:09PM
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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

I've had the same clump of garlic chives for many years. I keep them in a pot. Here in the subtropics, they never die down, and can produce flowers all year round. If the pot becomes a bit tight for the clump, it's simply a matter of dividing the clump and replanting what has been removed. It's that easy,and I can get dozens of new clumps started with each repotting.

Mine have never self-seeded. In fact, I have found it to be a very well-behaved plant.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 3:43AM
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joannaw

Mine self-seed like mad. They're out in the garden, every year I have to dig up the volunteers or they'll take over.

Steve, if you want some seeds I'll be happy to send you some. I collected a bazillion of them in the fall that I won't be planting this year-- have been trying to give them to everyone I know (and, apparently, some folks that I don't).

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 11:43AM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

joannaw: That would be great! :) I'm going to give them a week or two to see if they do sprout/grow somehow from just the root masses & if not, then i'll plant your seeds. Let me know your e-mail & i'll send you my address. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 12:19PM
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joannaw

Oh, yeah, email would be helpful. :)

mywordjewelry [at] gmail dot com

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 7:43AM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

Guess what? After only three days of watering, I have two green sprouts sticking a half an inch or so above the soil...yay! :) So, I answered my own question. They do easily start from last years root cluster/bulb/whatever you want to call it. Joannaw: Thanks, i'll send you out an e-mail here in a bit.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 2:05PM
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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

Told ya so!!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 6:20PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

Now, every singe one of my garlic chive root masses from last year has sprouted...yay! They look awesome too...2-4 green strands per mass so far & some are 2-3 inches. The only thing i'm doing is giving them some warm water when the soil starts to dry out. I'm going to try and post a pic today or tomorrow of them.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 1:03PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

At a young age they look like thin blades of grass. After a couple of years of maturity, they get bigger and fatter leaves. When they get to that level they usually send up white flower clusters, that dees love. These are where the black seeds come from once the flowers die out. Mine remain outdoors in regular garden soil, right next to my wild onions.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 4:04PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

sweet...ks: Yea, I was wicked excited when they sprouted so quickly & easily from last years root clusters. =) Hopefully, in a year or two, i'll get the thicker flowering pieces. They were quite thick at the end of last year, so I imagine it shouldn't be too much longer.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 4:13PM
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gringojay

Try infusing garlic chive seeds in oil - use the oil.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 9:22PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I grow hard neck garlic and it has scapes that I cut off and pickle.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 10:34PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

Here's a close-up pic of about a third of my chives. This is after about only a week of watering them/starting them up again. They were dry root masses with dry/dead stems coming an inch or so out of dry soil before this for months! =)

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 1:16PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

NIce to see life springing back into dead looking plants. I just hope my grafted pluot tree will survive. It was in my cold garage since December and I wasn't able to plant it until the soil thawed and snow melted. Two weeks ago, we had a warm day, enough to dig. I took it out to plant it and noticed there were many green buds starting to show up. Also, it was bare root and the older roots had new 1 inch lonmg white roots starting to also emerge. Once it was planted outside, the next day the temps dropped back into the 20's and then we had a foot of snow. Checked it today and don't see any green buds anymore, only dead brown buds. I just hope it will survive, as it cost me over $60.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 4:14PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

Ooo...that sounds like an interesting tasty fruit. I hope that it survives, as well. If it had new root tips emerging, I would imagine it can survive one bad cold day. Instinct would tell me to try a hot water bath on the soil around it (but not too close) if it were me, but I no almost nothing about that type of tree, so i'm not sure. I want to do a fruit of some sorts this year, but would be limited to something that would fit on what will already be an overly crowded porch. :) I'm thinking strawberries or blueberries...not sure yet though.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 5:36PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

There is a minature peach tree that grows to only about 3 feet tall. It produces full sized peaches, and can be grown in a pot. Colonnade apple trees are also very narrow growers and can be potted. They grow short stubby limbs close to the tree trunk. My 3 apple colonnades are now 3 years old and not a single blossom yet. The Pluot I have has four grafted limbs of four types. Its the sweetest stone fruit of any kind. Its summer season is limited to only a few weeks in July. Look for them in supermarkets. Some are green/yellow skins, some red, and a few mixed with different color insides. When ripe they have a crunch almost like an apple, but are so sweet you can't believe the flavors! Most strawberries send out runners, blueberries are OK in big pots if they are the low bush types. They like highly acid soil. My dad planted 30+ high bush blues many years ago and some are so old now that they have no new limbs, only the old thick wood is left on some plants. Some old woody, leggy ones are ready to get cut down as they are not producing berries anymore.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 10:24PM
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joannaw

Glad you've had luck with the garlic chives! I had dug some of mine up last year, tossed them on top of a pot of soil hoping to be able to give them away, but never did and never bothered to plant them. Left them out through the summer heat and indoors through the winter with little watering. They're still alive! So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that yours have sprung back to life!

Really, gringo jay? Seeds in oil? I'll have to give it a try. I certainly have enough seeds to spare.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 10:30AM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

Thanks. =) I may have to stop by Lowe's or Home Depot this weekend to see if they have a seedling of one of those peach trees.

joanna: Yea, i'm quite excited. I imagine they will be the first thing I harvest this year as they're almost twice the size they were in the pic above due to two nice warm sunny days. =) My tomato plants are almost all sprouting their second sets of leaves and are looking quite green & healthy too. I am very thankful for these two nice days. The only slight issue i'm dealing with now is a tad of that white stringy fungus or whatever it is on top of one or two of my Juffy pellets with sprouting seeds. I set it outside w/o the cover so it will hopefully dry up the pellets enough to where the fungus goes away.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 1:19PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Sorry, no, you will not find the tiny peach trees at local stores. They are from reliable nurseries. I usually buy my fruit trees from Stark Bros. Two kinds of mini trees-

http://www.starkbros.com/access?action=product&productID=100339&collection=1

Here is a link that might be useful: Miniature peach tree

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 4:58PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

wow...cool...I browsed that site for a bit. It's pretty neat. I definitely would have room for one of the miniature peach trees.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 5:39PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Stark has some really good tree assortments too.

Forgot to mention that I don't use peat pots or Jiffy pellets when starting seeds indoors. I have never seen any commercial plants being sold in peat pots. I prefer to use regular plastic pots and a mix of the Gardens Alive Natural Beginnings along with some coir, and some Jiffy mix for seed starting. These are all sterile and don't seem to grow any mold on the surface of any kind. The mold you see might also be similar to what is seen on/in oak leaves when they are composted and about half way through the process. There, white mold is quite common and also beneficial.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 12:39AM
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maifleur01

Stark provides trees for many of the nurseries arround the country so you might look. Bonanza is another patio peach that has fruit. Some of the patio peaches have little or no peaches. One last year sold for fall color, sorry can't remember name, looks good but no fruit.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 12:53AM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

So, that stringy white spiderweb looking mold might actually be good for my seedlings? I've seen a tiny bit of it on two of my onion seedlings this week. It goes away if I leave the cover off for a few.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:56AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I only have clear covers on my trays while they also have heat mats underneath. Once the greens touch the 3 inch high domed lids, I remove them, as well as shut off the heat mats. The reason I use a clear cover is to help moisture stay inside. If I were to use heat mats alone, they would quickly dry out soil. Water only when the soil surface is dry. When I grow peppers and tomatoes, I usually wait until they start to droop, and then add water. It may be that the white is similar to the kind you see that a bean innoculent would create. I grow peas and beans and the innoculent is a freeze dried product that induces the soil around the roots to create a nitrogen fixing environment. My plants are grown indoors under 4' plant lights. I have the lights on a timer set to 18 hours per day. If the seed starting soil was not sterile to begin with, is hard to tell what that white stuff actually is. For starting onions from small sets, the addition of a little captan to the soil can help reduce things like damping off and basil rot.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 12:29PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

Yea, I pretty much use the same method you do, minus the heating pad. I have yet to have to water the peat pellets again since the initial watering about 8 days ago. The clear cover does help the moisture stay inside quite well.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 1:51PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

Here's an update. The things are growing great! =) Week 2...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 2:06PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Give them two years before any harvesting. They are quite thin right now and don't usually get to the big flat leaves until the second year. These do die out in fall, and will return in spring with larger looking sprouts.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 2:23PM
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wally_1936(8b)

Garlic Chives here in Texas do fine the next spring and if they have bare ground they will self seed and even in the lawn. They are quite hardy, here they are green all year long. The onion Chives are not as hardy. They will form a thick clump if left without being seperated from time to time. They need to be cut back if not used very often to produce a better flavor.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 11:12PM
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lilgtsvee_gmail_com

I planted chives last year from seed. They died down. This year I have much larger garlic or onion spring up. They don't sometimes come back bigger the next year do they? Or has a wild onion taken over my pot?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 6:56PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

They are a perennial. Second year perennial plants are usually larger and more robust than the first year ones grown from seed. I would suspect that your garlic chives have come back.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 4:33PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

Yes, they definitely come back. Mine are now 4 years old & looking quite robust already this year. =) Can see a pic of them on most recent post on my gardening blog below. Every 2 years or so, I add a few seeds to fill the empty spots where the squirrels or whatever has caused a few plants to not come back. Love them for salsa, etc. You get several bunches a year if you pick/cut them once they get a little over a foot tall before they flower.

- Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: Steve's Garden

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 9:22AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I have garlic chives for...I cannot remember how long.
I dont know where the name "chive"in GC comes from. These are not like ordinary chives. Instead of being tubular, they have LEEK like leaves. While leeks taste like onions. leeks get bigger, fatter wider, GCs stay the sam size. There is another Middle Eastern leek called TARE' that looks like GC, when a year old but they taste like very mild onions and they flower just like onions, but they would not propagate through bulbs.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 9:39AM
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greyandamy

I have this too, inherited when I moved here. I didn't really know what they were until last year ( I know regular chives). Like the regular chives, they just came back with a vengence this year (perennial, zone 6). Stupid question, but how do you use them? I mean, I guess "garlic chives" would mean chives (onion like) with garlic flavor? Sorry, just not familar with culinary use.

amy

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 11:33AM
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tracydr(9b)

Try them in an omelette or on baked potato. I use handfuls of them, chopped with scissors several times a week. I love mine and being in AZ, they are available in my garden all year! Very mild, too.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 12:04PM
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