Chives: healthy greens or pretty flowers? Both!

Schnitt-onion is a very interesting plant: it can be simultaneously considered as a vegetable, supplying early vitamins to the table, and as a decorative one, decorating the garden with beautiful flowers. Culture is not required to be planted annually. It grows for many years and requires minimal maintenance.

Plant description

Wild chives are found in many countries in the wild and can be found in river valleys and well-moistened meadows, where there is no extreme frost. In the garden, it is most often grown in the countries of Indochina, the USA, European countries, it is also popular in our country. As a healing and ornamental plant, this onion has been cultivated since the 16th century, and for use in food it has been grown relatively recently.

The chives have many names, for example, speed, chisel, sibulet. It is also called Siberian onion, because it is often found beyond the Urals, and in German, chives means "cut onion". When they say “winter bush onion” or “restaurant”, they also have chives.

Chives - and a supplier of fresh herbs, and decoration of the garden

Chives - perennial herbaceous plant. But in gardens, it is grown in various ways: both as a perennial culture, and planting again every 1 or 2 years. The underground part consists of small false bulbs of oblong shape (up to 20 pieces per plant). They are colored purple-red (in some varieties brownish-white) and end with a short rhizome. The main roots that extend from the bottom are similar to white threads and can penetrate deeper into the soil to a distance of 0.5 m.

Bright green leaves look like very thin tubules: their width is 2–5 mm, length is up to 45–50 cm. In the second year after planting, a flower arrow forms from each bulb, which blooms annually in a perennial culture. In a 3-4-year-old bush, the number of stems can reach hundreds, and the number of inflorescences in the form of voluminous balls of white or purple shades is huge. The flowers bloom in late spring and remain until August, after which a lot of seeds are formed in the umbrellas, which turn black in late summer.

Chives flowers are not only beautiful, they are also wonderful honey plants

There are two subspecies of this plant: alpine (or Russian) and Siberian. In Russian, stalk formation proceeds more intensively, the bushes contain a large number of delicate leaves, which immediately begin to grow quickly after cutting. Siberian onions form larger and coarser leaves; its branching is somewhat weaker. Both subspecies are very frost-resistant, but Siberian in this regard differs in a positive way, almost never freezing out. During the growing season, leaves of adult onions withstand negative temperatures up to -6–8ºС, young seedlings - up to -3–4ºС.

Using chives

Chives, chives, have almost the same taste as the heads of ordinary onions, but they are almost never eaten. This onion is grown for the sake of tender and fragrant greens, which is added to soups, salads, pies.

The stalks of chives are not only tasty, but also very useful, because they contain numerous trace elements:

  • selenium,
  • zinc,
  • manganese,
  • volatile
  • amino acids (arginine, histidine, methionine, etc.).

Useful properties of chives:

  • improves appetite;
  • normalizes the activity of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • has a positive effect on the functioning of the kidneys, liver, cardiovascular system;
  • serves as an excellent tool for the prevention of colds and various infections.

Onions play a role in the garden: it is a honey plant, repels the carrot fly, helps in the fight against fungal diseases of many plants.

Video: growing and using chives

Varieties of chives

About two dozen varieties of chives are listed in the State Register of the Russian Federation. The most popular of them:

  • Bohemia. The variety can be grown in one place for up to 5 years. The first leaves in spring can be cut 3 weeks after the growing season begins. The taste of the leaves is semi-sharp. Productivity in the second year of plant life is up to 200 g of greenery from the bush. The variety is resistant to disease.

    Bohemia - one of the earliest varieties

  • Honey plant. From the beginning of the growth of leaves to their mass collection, it takes up to 3 months, but selective cutting is possible throughout the summer. The taste of dark green leaves, covered with a wax coating, peninsular. Moderately resistant to peronosporosis.

    Medonos variety is not early to ripen, but it has excellent taste

  • Chemal. High-yielding variety, from 1 m2 they collect up to 7 kg of spicy herbs. The maximum mass of leaves from one plant is about 600 g, their color is green, the wax coating is moderate. In case of adverse conditions, the variety is severely affected by downy mildew.

    Chemal - one of the highest yielding varieties of chives

  • Spring. About a month passes from the beginning of leaf growth to harvest. The bush is quite tall, powerful, the leaves are erect, the wax coating is weak. The taste is slightly sharp. Productivity for full 3-4 cuts reaches 6 kg / m2. The variety is characterized by high winter hardiness.

    Spring onion variety resists frosts well

  • Crocus is an early ripening variety: the first cut is possible already 2 weeks after the start of leaf growth. The color of the leaves is dark green, the wax coating is medium. Productivity is low, and after 3-4 years it drops sharply. The variety is valued for a very early harvest of excellent taste and resistance to spring frost.

Outdoor landing

Chives can be grown both by sowing seeds directly into the garden, and through seedlings. They begin to cook it in March, when the leaves reach a height of about 10 cm and favorable weather, they plant it in the garden. However, if there is no need to get an early spring crop directly in the first year, they do not do this: onions intended for cultivation in the garden for several years are sown immediately in unprotected soil.

Site selection and soil preparation

Chives can be planted in the garden after almost any vegetable plant: it is not picky about its predecessors. He himself, like all types of onions, likes to grow next to carrots: these crops help each other, mutually repelling pests. An early harvest of greens can only be obtained in well-lit beds. On the other hand, onion leaves coarsen faster in the sun, so penumbra will be a compromise for chives.

The bed is prepared in the fall. Since this onion is usually planted for more than one year, it is especially important when digging carefully to remove the rhizomes of perennial weeds. Sand is added to heavy clay soils, humus or compost, as well as wood ash to any soils. Norms are normal: about a bucket and 0.5 liters per 1 m2, respectively.

In the absence of organic matter, superphosphate and any potassium salt can be added to the soil (although this is not the best option), and in the spring, shortly before sowing, add 15–20 g of ammonium nitrate or urea.

How to cook planting material

Anyone who grows chives for more than a year is usually stocked with their seeds, which is easy to do in the fall. They can also be bought at the store.

Chives are usually slightly smaller than onions, but they are handled exactly the same.

Seeds will sprout and dry, but this process can be accelerated. To do this, they are poured with not too cold water and left for a day, periodically (3-4 times during this time) changing the water. After soaking, the seeds are laid out on any fabric or paper towel and allowed to dry to flowability, after which they are sown.

Sowing seeds

Usually chives are sown in the garden in spring, but autumn (winter) sowing is also possible. In the latter case, the seeds are sown dry to a depth of 2 cm, and mulched from above with a thick layer of sawdust or fallen leaves. It is necessary to do this immediately before the onset of frost. In the spring, the mulch can be shoveled, and the seeds will soon sprout. However, spring sowing is most often used.

In the middle lane it is more convenient to sow at the very end of April, in the southern regions early. Onions are sown in pre-prepared grooves, which are watered from a watering can without a strainer. The depth of planting is about 1 cm. The sowing pattern is convenient for the gardener: they make several rows in the garden or just one.

Many lovers plant a little chives, only "for the first time."

The scheme also depends on how long the bed is organized. If we are talking about one year, it is advisable to grow seedlings and plant them tightly, for example, according to the scheme of 15 x 5 cm. If the main crop is harvested in the second year, and plantings are eliminated, the seeds are sown more freely. The distance between the rows is maintained at about 30 cm. In the rows, you often have to sow: germination in the seeds of chives is not too good.

Shoots appear after 1-1.5 weeks (depending on variety and weather). After the formation of 1-2 leaves, they are thinned out, leaving a distance in the row of 8–10 cm. After the second thinning (when the bushes to be removed can already be transplanted), the distance is 15–20 cm. If the onion is supposed to linger at this place 3-5 years, then between the bushes should be 25-30 cm; in this case, the row spacing can be increased to 40-50 cm.

Four bushes of chives, which grow in the garden, have not been touching for seven years, only occasionally watering. In early spring, we eat greens with pleasure, and then the time comes for other vitamin plants, somehow the chives are forgotten. Since he almost does not receive care, he does not grow much.

Onion Care

Schnitt onions are undemanding to growing conditions. With long-term cultivation, for example, loosening and weeding are required only in the first 1-2 years, and then the onion grows so that it forms a dense turf that it itself begins to suppress weeds.

Onions, of course, will tolerate weeds, but it is better to destroy them in the first time in time

But onion requires a lot of water, although it can withstand short-term complete drying of the soil. The amount of moisture is "satiety", but not until waterlogging. This onion is often watered and abundantly, because in case of drying out the soil, the taste of the leaves deteriorates sharply. If for some reason this is allowed, you will have to sacrifice part of the crop: cut the foliage and water the garden well, then feed and water again.

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Fertilizing, like water, should not be spared. Everything is used: mullein infusions (1:10) or bird droppings (1:20), wood ash (scatter a glass per 1 m2), and mineral fertilizers.

The frequency of top dressing depends on the condition of the soil, but nevertheless, if the cutting of greens is carried out in bulk (everything that has grown on the plants at once), then after each cut, top dressing is highly desirable.

Transfer

If the chives are left for the third year and beyond, you can think about transplanting it. Otherwise, due to the growth of planting and depletion of the soil, productivity may begin to decline. When transplanting, they simply divide the bushes, and this can be done almost at any time of the year, but it is better in the fall or spring. Before the operation, the garden is very well watered.

Having dug up a bush with a shovel or pitchfork, it is completely removed from the ground. The division is possible into any number of parts, but it is better if in each of them there will be at least 8-10 bulbs. Separated fragments are immediately planted at the same depth in a new place, observing a distance between them of about 30 cm, and well watered.

If the yard is autumn and frosts are expected soon, it is better to mulch plantings with peat or humus.

Growing from seeds at home

In the absence of a garden, you can grow several bushes of chives, even at home, on a windowsill or balcony. Seeds for this are prepared in the usual way, although a growth stimulant solution (for example, Epina) can be added to accelerate germination.

How to sow onions at home:

  1. A loose substrate, including sand, humus and turf ground, is poured into a drawer about 20 cm deep.
  2. Having outlined sowing grooves and spilling them well with water, the seeds are laid to a depth of 1.5 cm every 2–2.5 cm.
  3. Sprinkling the seeds with a substrate, sprayed with water from a spray bottle and cover the box with glass or film.

Any containers suitable for home grown chives

At room temperature, seedlings appear after 6-8 days. After that, you need to remove the glass and place the box on a sunny windowsill with a temperature of no higher than 18 ° C. At elevated temperatures (more than 23 ° C), the leaves grow quickly, but not as “vigorous”.

You may need to organize additional lighting if the daylight hours are less than 12 hours.

Water the onions at home often, but little by little. Depending on the nature of the soil, it may be necessary to arrange drainage and make holes in the bottom of the box. With the onset of hot days, the amount of water will have to greatly increase. Its temperature does not play a big role, but it should not be very cold. It is desirable that the relative humidity in the room be at least 70%.

The onion will not have enough nutrients contained in the soil for a short time, so you need to take care of feeding, otherwise the leaves will be pale and small. Twice a month, plantings are watered with a solution of any complex fertilizer prepared according to the instructions for it.

It is difficult to recommend the use of organic fertilizers at home, but now in stores you can find extracts from them that are practically odorless: this is perhaps the best choice, although not the cheapest one.

Two months after the first seedlings appear, it is already possible to start cutting leaves: perhaps only selectively, and not entirely. How much time at home will grow chives, depends on caring for it and the ability to maintain the required temperature and lighting in the winter.

How to propagate chives

The easiest way to propagate is dividing the bush. It is best to divide the plant at the age of 2–4 years: at this time it is in force, and when the uterine bush is broken, a large number of daughter parts can be obtained immediately. The best time for this is spring (no later than the rapid growth of foliage begins) or the very beginning of autumn.

The plant is carefully dug up and cut off leaves and roots: respectively, to a length of about 15 and 5-7 cm. The bush is usually easily broken by hands, sometimes you need to help with a knife. In each of the received parts, at least 4–5 bulbs must be left. Fragments are planted according to the usual scheme and well watered.

Reproduction by seeds is more laborious, but it rejuvenates plants. Seeds are harvested in late summer or early fall as they mature. If there is a danger that the umbrellas will collapse, they can be put on temporary gauze covers. Seeds are not stored for long: already in the third year, their germination is extremely small. Therefore, it is better to sow them the next year.

Video: chives propagation by dividing the bush

Diseases and Pests

Schnitt-onion is very rarely sick, more often it is visited by insects. In this case, the main pests are slightly different from those that damage the usual onions.

For chives, only two diseases are really dangerous:

  • Downy mildew (or peronosporosis). It affects absolutely all parts of the plant. Solid green spots appear on the green leaves and arrows, on which ordinary garden dust accumulates. The leaves dry quickly, and then the whole plant dies.

    Powdery mildew - a very dangerous disease that can kill plants

  • Onion rust. Irregular yellow-orange spots appear on the leaves, as a result of which they lose their commercial quality. As a result of this, the whole plant is weakened, the total yield is reduced.

    Rust can significantly reduce chives

Among the most dangerous pests of chives:

  • Onion leaf beetle - rattle. This beetle is up to 7 mm long, oblong in shape, orange-red in color. Like most garden plant pests, its larvae are most harmful (their color is dirty yellow). They gnaw through the leaves, then settle inside them. As a result, nothing may remain of the crop.

    A beautiful rattle can leave a gardener without an onion crop

  • Tobacco thrips. The insect has a size of less than 1 mm, color from yellow to brown. Larvae are light. Arid weather contributes to the spread of the pest. Both the thrips themselves and their larvae harm the leaves: silver spots remain after them, merging in the event of severe damage. As a result, the leaves turn yellow and dry out.

    The smallest thrips larvae eat onions both inside and out

  • Onion crypto-scavenger - a representative of weevils about 2.5 mm in size, gray or almost black in color, with a pronounced proboscis. Pests are both the weevil itself and its larvae. Damage to the leaves by the bug looks like frequent injections, by larvae - like oblong stripes. The crypto-hopper does not destroy the whole plant, but significantly reduces the yield.

    Onion crypto-scavenger - a typical weevil, gnawing onions with its proboscis

Treatment and Prevention

As a disease prevention, the preliminary processing of planting material helps a little: heating the seeds for 10 minutes in hot water (not higher than 50 ° C) and keeping the onions when dividing the bush for several hours in the sun. If some disease has overtaken the plants, first of all, you should not spare the already grown leaves: they must be cut off and those that are unfit for food, bury or burn. First, you can spill the soil with a solution of sodium chloride (5%), then with clean water, and then - depending on the situation: you may need complete disinfection with the transfer of plantings to a new place.

Do not grow onions in one place for many years. It is constantly necessary to destroy any weeds, since many pests primarily settle on them. Leaves should not be left in the winter: at the end of the season, the entire aerial part must be cut off.

Simple agents, such as a decoction of tobacco with laundry soap (they are sprayed with plants) or materials soaked with creosote (they are placed next to the garden), repel pests well.

The use of chemical protective agents on perennial bows is extremely undesirable, but at the first signs of peronosporosis, treatment with 1% Bordeaux liquid can be carried out. However, it does not stick well to onion leaves due to wax coating, so about 50 g of any soap in a bucket of liquid should be added to the solution.

Harvesting and storage

Depending on the need, you can periodically cut several onion feathers or almost all of the aerial parts at once (a full cut is practiced 2 to 4 times per season). Cutting is justified when the leaves reach a height of 25–40 cm. The last time the crop is removed no later than mid-September. If arrows are not needed to obtain seeds, they are also consumed with leaves at a young age.

When harvesting, very short feathers are left on the plants

The most delicious greens are just cut. But if you need to save it, they do it in closed bags or containers made of polyethylene in the refrigerator. Shelf life - no more than 2 weeks. Longer - only in the freezer or in dried form.

Schnitt-bow decorates the garden with delicate thin leaves and beautiful flowers. If you do not regret the whole garden for him, he will provide the owner with delicate vitamin greens, which arrive at the table before many other vegetables and continue to delight until the fall. Care for this onion is minimal, so it is becoming increasingly popular.

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