Correct way to harvest chives without killing the herb plant

I wanted to share this “harvest trivia” fact about chives: garlic and regular.

During HerbFest I have noticed that when I talk about “cutting chives” many people are surprised to learn that chives should not be cut from the top but from the bottom of the base of the plant.

Let’s say you’re making a baked potato and you only need a pinch of chives, so you don’t want to cut the entire stem, so you cut off the top to harvest only what you’re going to use. What you just did is kill the stem from where you cut to the ground, which is waste and also not good for the plant.

This is what you have to do…

  • Cut from the base the number of stems you need.
  • Now cut from the top of the harvested stems the amount you need tonight
  • Chop them, but don’t chop the rest of the chive stem or release the oils that you’re after for flavor and fragrance.
  • Take the remaining stems and put them in a freezer bag and put them in the freezer.
  • The next time you need scallions, remove the stems from the freezer and chop the ones that release the oil you had saved on the stem from not cutting them in the original harvest.

This process also encourages the chives to expand their base and you get more chives year after year.

It should also be remembered that chive flowers are edible flowers, but be careful eating chive flower with wavering garlic, as it has more garlic than garlic itself!

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