Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are perennial herbs. They belong to the onion family called Alliaceae.
Chives are native to Europe and Asia. Today, chives have world domination, and they are grown for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Environment conditions for chives
pH- 5.8 to 7.0
Best Cultural Practices
Planting- Divide or direct seed
Spacing- 15*24 inches
Hardiness- Hardy crop
Kingdom- Plantae (Plants)
Sub-Kingdom- Tracheobionta (Vascular Plants)
Super-division- Spermatophyta (Seed Plants)
Division- Magnoliophyta (Flowering Plants)
Class- Liliopsida (Monocotyledons)
Family- Liliaceae (Lilly family)
Genus- Allium L (Onion)
Specie- Allium Schoenoprasum L. (Wild Chives).
Growing Chives in Gardens
Chives are a cool-season crop. It means that these herbs grow best during the spring and early fall seasons. Too hot and too freezing temperatures negatively affect the germination and growth of the herb.
Summer season hot temperature induces dormancy. It means plant biological activity goes near zero.
You can grow seeds of chives indoors during winter to get the harvest early in the spring. Chives seeds must be grown outdoors directly during spring, when the outside temperature is warm enough to support the seed and plant life.
We can get maximum germination and growth rate at 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.
Select such a spot that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of daily sunlight. Chives can still perform better in shades.
The soil must be rich in organic compounds and well-draining.
When the seedlings emerge from seeds, maintain a 4 to 6 inches distance in all directions between and among the plants.
Spacing in all directions reduces the chances of overcrowding afterward.
ChivesChives are hardy crops. It means that minimum care is required for optimum growth and production. Caring for chives in the garden
Chives are hardy crops. It means that minimum care is required for optimum growth and production.
Apply water to the field whenever the soil is less moist. Chives adore water to grow and thrive.
Fertilizers are part and parcel of chives. If the soil is low in nutrients level, then apply NPK fertilizers to the soil.
If you do not need seeds of chives, then pinch or prune off all the flowers from the chives.
Chives are too thin. How to make chives grow thicker?
Chives are perennial herbs that are grown for edible leaves and flowers. Sometimes in the garden, you may have noticed that chives are growing very thin. What are the common factors that make them grow thinner? What are the possible solutions to make them grow thicker?
We will go step by step. First, we will cover various reasons for chives growing thinner and possible solutions to make them grow thicker in the garden. The second section will cover final thoughts about chives and some bonus extra tips for chive's health and safety.
Let get started!
Why chives grow thin?
Following are the main environmental factors that make chives grow thinner.
• Over-Watering-Too much watering
• Insects, pests, and diseases
• Lack of sufficient sunlight
• Waterlogged soils
• Not fertilizing the soil properly or lack of nutrients
• Water Salinity
More or less the following factors also negatively affect thinking in the chives.
• Poor potting mixture
• Too hot and too freezing temperature
• Inaccurate pruning
Half knowledge is very dangerous. Therefore, I will discuss each factor in a bit of detail and potential solutions to make you understand how to make chives grow lustrous and thicker in your garden.
Chives adore water to grow and thrive, but sometimes gardeners intentionally or unintentionally over water their herb in pots and fields. This leads to thinning and doping of leaves.
You may be thinking right now how on earth overwatering causes thinning of your beloved chives in the garden?
• It leads to the reduction of gaseous exchange in the root section.
• A plentitude of water in the root section suffocates the roots, and the rate of water exchange between roots reduces substantially.
• A direct correlation exists between the oversupply of water to loss of vigor and the aroma of chives leaves.
• It promotes the spread of yellow and brown leaves, thus suppressing the rate of photosynthesis.
• In over-watered and wet soils, root rots are highly clear, thus making the chives grow thinner.
How to water the herb in the garden?
• Do not follow week-to-week guidelines to water the chives fields or pots.
• Watering conditions depend on many factors such as hot sunny days, frequent and infrequent rainfall, cool and foggy weather, and soil type.
• Periodically check the soil with fingers or toothpick, analyze it, if it is less moist or dry, consider watering if not then leave it.
• During the hot, bright, and summer season, you can water the chives fields every 8 to 10 days, but during rainfall or cool and foggy season supply water on demand.
2) Insects, Pests, and Diseases:
Various insects, pests, and diseases infect the chives in the garden, making the chives growing thinner.
• The most notable insects and pests infecting the chives in the field are black aphids, thrips, onion maggots, mealybugs, spiders, and mites.
• Damping-off disease, powdery mildews, pink root rot sometimes infect the herb.
• Insects are noteworthy such as black aphids and thrips because they suck the nutrients from the herb and in return spread bacterial and viral diseases.
• Always keep an eagle eye on insects, pests, and other diseases. These biological factors play a significant role in either making your chives thin or dead.
How to get rid of biological factors?
1. Use Plant Insects Traps: They are cheap and handy in controlling all the insects in the vicinity.
2. Choose the best insecticide to Spray: In case of severe insect infection, use horticultural oil, pyrethrins, or insecticidal soap available in the market. These insecticides are best at controlling the spread of aphids, thrips, and other notable pests of chives.
3. Tendency to hide in deep soil: During cool and freezing temperatures these insects hibernate in deep soils. Check the soil properly for their presence.
4. Jerking the leaves off: When the leaves insects’ infestation is not too severe you can simply jerk off the leaves to get of all the insects.
5. Organic Neem Oil: Most gardeners and growers opt for organic neem oil because it is natural, and it is very beneficial at removing any chances of insect infestation.
Lack of Sufficient Sunlight
Like all other plants, chives adore lots and lots of sunshine to grow and thrive. It is crucial to select such a spot in the garden where there is the availability of 6 to 8 hours of daily sunlight. The high rate of sunlight is directly proportional to the high rate of photosynthesis.
Sunlight insufficiency and growing the chives in the shade makes the chives thinner. Moreover, it leads to stunted growth.
How to provide sufficient sunlight to grow thicker chives?
• Select the best location by first observing your garden. Select the place that receives the maximum amount of sunlight daily.
• With indoor chives gardening, opt for south-facing windows to grow the herb in the pots. These windows receive maximum sunshine during the daytime.
• If the minimum sunlight demand is not met, then you can choose artificial photosynthetic bulbs as an alternative to natural light.
Soil type is the main determiner of the growth pattern of chives. Whether they may be thin or thin, it depends on the soil type you use in the garden. What are waterlogged soils? How they affect the growth and development of the herb?
• These soils are slowly draining soils. Such as clayey soils.
• They keep most of the water in the root section of the plant for a much longer period of time.
• Slow draining soils promote the development of root rot such as pink root rot. The formation of pink root rot in the root section is very detrimental to chives growing thick.
• The plant suffers heavily, thus making the chives thin.
How to avoid water-logging?
• To grow chives thicker in the garden, select high-draining soils.
• Grow the herb in loam soils. These soils do not retain much soil in the root section and are good draining.
• Loam soils are a mixture of sand, clay, and silt.
• Sand in the loam soil allows easy passage of water in the root section, a minimum percentage of clay in the loam soil helps to retain some moisture and silt allows the balancing of the soil structure for perfect growth and development of chives.
How to make loam soils at home?
To make loam soil at home you just need to mix less than 50% sand and less than 27% clay with silt between 30 to 50%.
Not fertilizing the soil properly.
Chives grow and thrive without an external supply of nutrients, but sometimes because of environmental issues plant suffer. In such a case, you must apply natural or industrial artificial fertilizers.
To grow chives thick, you just make sure to apply fertilizers at the right time and amount. Lack of nutrients in the soil leads to the following problems:
• Discoloration of leaves and stems
• Stunted growth of chives.
If your herb is suffering from the above problems, apply fertilizers in the right amount otherwise the herb will grow thin.
Water salinity is a high percentage of salt in irrigating water. Saline water is detrimental to the thickening of the chives. Salinity alone has the power to destroy your chives and other crops in the field.
How to avoid the salinity problem?
• Always use the tap water to irrigate your chives.
• Check the percentage of salinity with the help of a refractometer or hydrometer.
• If the chives soil is salt infected, then uproot it and sow the transplants somewhere else.
Poor Potting Mixture
Potting soil is a mixture of peat, sand, vermiculite, moss, perlite, and finely grounded bark, etc. The potting mixture is used in pots to grow a variety of herbs and vegetables. If the potting mixture is of poor quality, it will cause thin chives in the pots.
• Chives suffer in poor potting soil.
• Their growth and development get halted to a great extent.
• Disease and other infections affect chives.
To avoid poor development and growth of chives, use high standard potting soil or you can make it by yourself at home by mixing 1 part of peat moss or mature compost and 1 part of garden loam or topsoil with 1 part of clean builder’s sand or perlite.
Protect your chives from too hot, freezing, and frost conditions by bringing them inside the house. Do not let environmental conditions affect your growth and thinking of chives.
Cut down the chives to the ground during the late fall season. Chives are winter hardy and can withstand cool temperatures of late fall. Do not cut the chives during late winter or on the onset of frost.
How to make chives grow thicker? Final Thoughts.
Cultural Practices to make chives grow thicker in the garden.
• While growing chives from seeds make sure that the seeds are fresh, healthy, and free from any kind of infection or presence of fungal spore.
• Clean the seeds properly with tap water to remove all kinds of dirt.
• Maintain at least 2 inches of row-to-row distance and 1 inch distance between each plant.
• Spray water with a spray bottle to irrigate the seeds.
• We must maintain 60 to 70 degrees F temperature for the best growth and development of chive’s seeds in the pots.
• Soil pH must be around 6 to 7.
• Use water-soluble fertilizers every 6 weeks. Chives benefit from water-soluble fertilizer to grow thicker.
• Apply nitrogen and sulfur-based fertilizers. The nitrogen component will boost growth and sulfur will maintain the aroma and taste of chives.
• Give the chives partial shade during the hottest period of summer and early autumn.
Bonus tips to make chives thicker in the garden.
• Buy and use the best varieties in the market that are insects and pests resistant.
• If you want thick chives. You must by hook or by crook provide the best suitable growing medium in the garden.
• Maintain the temperature around 17 to 21 degrees C.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are my chives turning yellow in the garden?
Chives turn yellow in the garden because of old age effects. Later, the leaves fall off the herb. There is nothing you can do about it. If the whole herb has turned yellow, then you must cut or pull it out from the rest of the chives.
How do I revive my dying chives?
If the chives are dying, you should water them properly and apply nitrogen fertilizer to the soil. Prune off all the dry and infected branches of the chives.
Do chives require any special care for maximum production?
Chives are hardy crops they do not require any special care for maximum production. The only thing that matters is harvesting the leaves time and again for more production of the leaves.
Should I use seeds or seedlings to grow chives?
You can grow chives from seeds and seedlings. If you grow chives from the seeds, then you will be able to harvest the leaves within two months or 60 days.
Seeds usually take 80 to 90 days to produce the harvest.
What are the health benefits of chives?
Research on chives has shown that chives play a vital role in preventing cancer. These herbs are loaded with Vitamin K.
It plays an important role in preventing Osteoporosis. Moreover, chives are good for the memory functions of the brain.