Garden Lifestyle

Chives for the Winter

There's not may things that I won't sprinkle my onion-y snippets over.

Grow chives in containers indoors for the winter.   Photo by Esther Gibbons under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.

I love chives on almost everything I make for dinner. Seriously, there’s not many things that I wont sprinkle my onion-y snippets over. Although Nor Cal drops into the freezing temperatures more often than people realize, it’s still fairly mild compared to the icy winter places like Minnesota. So, the chives in my herb garden produce well into the winter. That said, I like to have a container of them on my porch for easy access during the cold months.

The cool think about chives is that they not only are they a hardy little herb, but they actually thrive in a container-condo. If you’re living in a zone that freezes over, you can keep them for the kitchen through fall and sometimes the whole winter by digging up a clump and planting them into a pot. Bring the container to the back porch under the over-hang or awning. If you decide to leave them outdoors and temps hit rock bottom, the chives will just go to sleep and lie dormant until they poke their skinny heads back up in spring. 

If you live in an area where Old Man Winter is serious and takes no hostages, no worries; bring the container indoors and set it in a window that lets in the winter sun. Water your indoor chives on a fairly regular basis (they don’t like to be completely dry). While they’re still producing for you, give them a little fertilizer about once a month – or pour some compost or manure tea over them in place of watering. Don’t go crazy with keeping track on a calendar or anything – chives aren’t big feeders.

When you want to harvest some tasty greens, just use a small pair of scissors and give them a good haircut. The plant will soon replace the harvested green shoots with more for your culinary pleasure.


Garlic Chive and Rice Salad

More about chives:
How to Grow Chives
More Harbingers of Spring: Chives
Chives are a Must-Have in the Kitchen Garden
Chives in the Kitchen
Chives are Easy and Tasty

Chive recipes:
• Garlic Chive and Rice Salad
• Chive Butter

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