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Well, hi! What’s going on? Who’s cooking what and how has it been since I left? Tell you what? No matter where I go and how pretty the place, there is absolutely no place like home. It is the best place on earth. What a relief it was to be back to all this old white and own bed. It was heaven! But guess what made me the happiest? My little garlic chive plant overflowing with flowers. I swear on garlic pods that I jumped like a little baby. What a welcome that was: it now rests beautifully in my old peanut butter jar. It’s important to snip the flowers for better growth of the chive plant- and man, was it heartbreaking- or I would have never.

I get so much joy out of seeing my plants flower and fruit: I actually clap my hands and jump and get the husband out of his nook to see my achievement. I’ll agree he finds it funny and I love him that he’ll throw in an advice or two. Oh you gotta listen to this. When I was adding compost to my plants last Saturday, I noticed a few tiny, green bulb like things in all of them. I rooted one out to find out that they are the tiny greens that appear on potatoes. Hahahahaha…the husband put them in. The day before he collected them off an old potato and asked me if they would turn into potato plants. I think I was doing something and said yes. Poor boy planted them. Its the boy in him that makes him my favorite person.

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I am still laughing.

Anyway, as you can see the girl has settled down and all with her bits and bobs and is doing her gardening too and she thinks she should talk about her successful chive growing process. Because its very complicated (not) and not (not) everyone can grow chive in their tiny apartment garden, she thinks its a good topic to talk about and share 😉

Garlic chive is one of my favorite. It’s not too strong in flavor like the usual ones we have. I had it first, incorporated in herb-butter, and slathered on a grilled Basa and it blew me floors. Once I came home, I did a little research to find out that it is also called Chinese Chives owing to its extensive use in Asian cuisine: Apparently Japanese Miso Soup is incomplete without these. ooh la la! This herb needs to make it to trumatter’s kitchen!

Unfortunately, not many grow garlic chive to eat here in India. It is not one of the common “Bhaji” or green that you’d find on a menu or even in day to day cooking. In my pursuit of eating conti & Chinese, I ended up buying a bottle of dried chives. Soaked it in warm water and incorporated in butter but nope: not a hint of the beautiful pungent garlicky taste.

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I heard from a friend that there is a big plant nursery in Vile Parle, Mumbai called Vriksha nursery which grows and sells exotic herbs. My next plan was to get home a plant. I went all the way to find out that they ran out of garlic chive but the owner was too kind to tell me how to grow them from garlic cloves and seeds. She is a wonderful woman, the owner of the nursery and she’d talk of chives like she is talking about her children. I love that. I love people who talks like that.

So I came home with a pack of seeds and followed her instruction to the T. Its just a bit of love and patience really: In 2 months you’ll be able to harvest your chives. Believe me you, since then I have had an unending supply of garlic chives: all you need to do to ensure it keeps on growing is snip the longer leaves and flowers. It’ll be heart breaking- everytime- to see the chives so short but trust me, in no time you’ll have an unending supply of garlic chive that you can incorporate in garlic butter, garlic infused oil, and dishes that call for a handful of it.

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Here’s What you’ll need to grow garlic chives in your apartment garden:

Chive seeds or 4-5 large garlic- peeled

Compost

Fertilizer (Neem based will do)

Potting soil

A tub

How to grow garlic chives or Chinese Chives at Home

If growing from Seeds

Before planting, incorporate 4 to 6 inches of well-composted organic matter. Apply 2 to 3 tablespoons of all-purpose fertilizer (16-16-8) per square foot of planting area. Work compost and fertilizer into the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Start sowing in spring and plant seed 1/4th inches deep and 4 cm apart.

Water thoroughly and give it full sun.

Your plant will be ready in a month and ready to harvest in 2.

If growing from cloves

Pack garlic pods with their narrow end up in a tumbler and cover it with enough water to just reach its base.

Give it full sun till green chives appear.

In a well composted and festilized soil plant your pods with shoots above the soil.

Give it full sun and water regularly.

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Harvest as soon as it flowers. On an average, you’ll need to harvest it every 30 days.

Enjoy your own homegrown organic chives.

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