Growing, Drying And Using Homemade Chives

This article explains how to grow, dry and use chives that you can grow in your garden or in a sunny window in your home.

Chives are a perennial herb that can be planted outdoors in your garden or inside in a flower pot or similar container on your kitchen counter. Because they are a perennial, they will come up again each year without replanting. They are a very good source of vitamins and are an excellent source of iron and calcium.

To plant your chives in your garden, choose a spot that receives full sun. Sow the seeds as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. The seeds should be planted about an inch apart in rows that are about one foot apart. Keep the soil damp until the chives come up.

When planted in your garden Chives can actually repel pests such as aphids, spider mites and Japanese beetles.

By planting your chives next to carrots or tomatoes in your garden, they can improve the flavor of these vegetables. This is why chives are sometimes known as a companion vegetable. Another use for chives in your garden involves making a tea from the chives and applying the tea to cucumber plants to prevent downy mildew.

To plant your chives indoors, choose a spot in a sunny window to keep the chives as they grow. Plant the seeds in a flower pot or similar container. Fill the pot with a rich potting soil. Place seeds in the soil and cover with about ½ inch of soil. Keep watered until the plants come up. If you choose to start your chives indoors you will be able to enjoy them all winter too.

About six weeks after planting your chives you will be able to harvest and enjoy them. Cut the chives with scissors close to the ground. The more you harvest the chives, the more the chives will produce.

Chives lose a lot of flavor when they are dried, but they can be dried in a couple of different ways for later use. Chives can be successfully dried in a dehydrator. Use the lowest temperature available on your dehydrator. After the chives are completely dried out, store in a sandwich bag or storage container until ready to use.

Chives can also be dried in the oven. Place on a cookie sheet in the oven in a single layer. Bake the chives at one hundred degrees for about 4 ½ hours. After the chives are completely dried out, remove from the oven and cool completely. Store the dried chives in a sandwich bag until ready to use.

Chives can also be air dried. Place the chives in a single layer and allow to air dry for several days. Store the chives in a sandwich bag for later use.

Chives can also be frozen for later use. To prepare the chives for the freezer, wash the chives, chop into small pieces and place in a freezer bag. Keep the chives frozen until ready to use.

There are many ways to use chives in your recipes.

Use in salads, on baked potatoes, in your scrambled eggs, in soups and dressings, or anywhere you want a nice mild onion flavor.

© High Speed Ventures 2011