Answer

Growing Chives Indoors

Question

Can I grow chives inside over the winter in Iowa? If so how? I tried it last year with no luck. It would be so nice to have them year round! Thank you!
M. Odekirk

Answer

Not all herbs do well indoors, but given the right conditions chives are actually quite easy to grow in our homes.

Just before the first frost transplant some from your garden into a container. Use a soil that is well draining and rich in organic matter, a good commercial potting soil should be sufficient.

Place your chives in a south or east facing window that receives at least 5 to 8 hours sunlight. Fluorescent lights are a good alternative to natural light. Hang the lights 6 inches above the plant and leave on for 14 hours a day.

Your chives shouldn't need feeding, but if they begin to look puny apply a liquid, all purpose 5-10-5 fertilizer diluted to half the recommend strength. This can be done every 4 to 6 weeks.

When harvesting always cut leaves at the base, snipping off the top weakens the plant. And never completely denude the plant. It needs some foliage to keep going.

Flower stems should be cut back at soil level as soon as the blooms begin to fade. This will prevent the plant from going to seed and encourages it to produce more tasty foliage for seasoning omelets, soups and potatoes!
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