As a gardener, you may have chives in your garden. It is an excellent idea because you can use the leaves for a variety of purposes.
Nevertheless, because you may want to plant other crops besides it, you would like to know the extent of its growth.
Thus, you may ponder, “how tall does chives grow?” All varieties of chives can grow to be about 12 inches which are about 30cm long. However, you can harvest your chives when the plant is just 6 inches tall. This is because once the plant grows up to 6 inches, it has reached maturity. But it may still grow as tall as 12-16 inches.
Chives can grow to be about 16 inches tall and spread across 12 inches. Although that is the growth potential of chives, you can begin to harvest your plant as soon as the early leaves are 3-4 inches long.
Thus, when planting your chives, keeping the bulbs at least 6 inches apart is essential, so the plants don’t crowd around each other. Also, make sure to space your chives evenly, preferably 6-12 inches apart.
Proper spacing is essential to prevent the plants from packing too closely around each other. When chives are too close together, the plants will not get enough sunlight, water, heat, and nutrients.
Although chives are relatively low maintenance, the proper spacing will ensure optimal plant health. Do not crowd your chives too close together; otherwise, the chives don’t get enough air, light, and water.
Although it is best to have a large area for chives, if they get too large, you can start simply; when planting your chives, divide them by digging out and replanting a portion of them somewhere else.
Other factors affect the size, growth of chives, such as;
- Overwatering or underwatering
- The high salt content in the water used for irrigation.
- Grown weeds
- Pest Infestation
- Inadequate exposure to sunlight
You can do the following to maximize the growth potential of your chives.
1. Chives thrive in full sunlight well-drained soil rich in organic matter. The quality of the soil and quantity of the sun determines how large and fast chives will grow, both outdoors and indoors.
2. Chives thrive in rich soil conditions. With good soil, your chives will grow very large, very fast.
As such, you can boost your soul by using compost manure or old organic manure. Or other rich organic matter. Also, use some mulch to protect your plants.
3. Water is also a factor in the growth of chives. Once the chives are getting enough water, you have solved 30% of your garden problems.
So, check your garden weekly to make sure the soil your chives are growing on is moist. You should remember to water the ground if the top inch is dry.
4. Chives can grow and thrive without external inputs; however, in some cases, the environment, soil, and weather are not good enough for the chive to thrive.
As such, you should use external fertilizers to maximize the growth potential of chives.
5. So not fertilize in the first season, but you can use organic fertilizers in the second season.
Chives is a hardy perennial, and it regrows even more prominent every year. Therefore, it is wise to maintain a portion of the vegetable patch just for the chive plants.
Chives take about three months to reach maturity. Although the time chives require to grow is different, depending on whether you planted the seeds directly or transplanted.
Chives will generally grow 60 days after you seed them. But they will take a shorter 30-40 days to grow when they’re transplanted.
Since transplanted chives have already germinated, they take a shorter time to develop.
However, the chives generally reach maturity three months after being planted or transplanted. Several factors can slow down the growth of chives; some of them include.
1. Your chives may be growing slowly due to overwatering. The herb flourishes in moist and well-draining soil.
Whether the chives are planted on the bare earth or in pots, overwatering reduces the ground’s oxygen content, suffocating the roots.
Overwatering plants can also lead to bacterial growth and make the root rot.
2. Underwatering is also a factor that affects its growth. When chives do not get enough water, they can become stunted and lose their flavor.
3. The high salt content in water can affect the growth of chives. In addition, Saltwater can damage healthy chives.
So make sure to check the salt content of the water you use to water your chives. If white salt crusts appear on the soil, it means the water salinity is high.
You can also use a refractometer or a hydrometer to check the water salinity levels.
4. Lack of sunlight or insufficient sunlight is also a factor that affects the growth of chives. Chives are light-dependent herbs, and like all plants, they need sunlight to thrive.
Chives require 5-6 hours of sun for healthy growth.
5. Inadequate space can also affect the growth of chives. Although chives can adapt to small spaces, they need large areas to grow and thrive.
So if you’re growing chives in pots, make sure you report them when they become root-bound.
6. Chives will grow faster when you harvest them frequently. Always ensure to use a pair of scissors and cut them when they’re around 12 inches tall.
Cut chives close to the ground, but don’t pull them from the ground as that will destroy them.
However, your chives may proliferate, especially if they’re transplanted, but it is best to wait and begin picking them after they’ve been transplanted for at least 30 days.
And for seeded chives, it is best to wait for at least 60 days before harvesting.
Chives should be 6 inches or 15 cm tall before you harvest them. You must have planted the chives for a 20-30 day period before they reach that height.
After the first harvest, the plant has better produce in its second year. After that, you can keep picking more from your chives.
Although you can start to harvest your chives once they are about 6 inches tall, there are further considerations to Harvesting chives, you should also know when to Harvest chives?.
1. Chives won’t produce much during their first year of growth. However, the plants will generally hit their true potential during the second year. Then it will be better to harvest the plant, and you can even reap to ensure more from the plant.
2. You may also consider harvesting chives before the plants begin to flower. When you harvest, it also helps the plant to focus all its energy on promoting better growth.
Make sure that you don’t take too much from the chives when they’re only about 6 inches tall.
Although that is how tall they can grow before you start harvesting, they may die if you harvest too much at that stage.
Chives are perennials, and while they are several herb varieties, they all have similar growth patterns. The herb grows between 30-60 days, depending on whether it was seeded or transplanted.
The height of chives is usually 12-16 inches. Some varieties also grow to about 12 inches wide. Your chives will mostly grow to be 12 inches wide as well.
And they should be harvested when they’re at least 6 inches tall.