Is your chives plant ready for seed harvest? How do you know?
Passing by them on your way to the rosemary on a gorgeous April day, the sunshine high and bright, the breeze brisk but temperate, you notice your chives plant flowers have some dark seed-looking things perched within them. The chives flowers have long since lost their bloom (a good sign you’re on your way to seed production), but now what?
“Begin by plucking” is my motto. I pluck those old buds right off the stem and head indoors. Shaking the black dots off the petals, I gather them into a pile on my counter and run a quick search of the internet for confirmation. Small black bean-shaped seeds. I look at the computer image, look at my seeds. Yep, that’s exactly what I had in my hot little hands! But they’re actually flat. At least to my aging eyes it appears that they’re flat.
Well, by golly, it’s time to march back outside and harvest the rest of them! Excited gardeners are full of energy and exuberance–we don’t wait for nuthin’! Especially when it comes to harvest. However, remember the brisk April wind I mentioned? Harvesting chives seeds is best done on days with minimal wind. Of course it is.
But fear not, enthusiastic gardener! You work quickly and meticulously snipping and collecting, depositing into your homemade seed packet. These babies are valuable! You love your chives, don’t you?
Of course you do. Label your packet and hold them until it’s time to plant chives again. If you’re planting indoors, plant chives seeds in the dark at about 60-70F. Once they sprout, move them into the light. If planting outdoors, wait until threat of frost has passed and sow in the ground. Keep in mind they prefer warm rich light soil and lots of sun. By the way, it’s helpful to know that you don’t have to wait until your chives go to seed. You can divide your plants into clumps and replant as a method of increasing the “chives love.” Just be sure that each small plant has about 10-12 buds on it.