Garlic Chives: Let the Harvest Begin

Garlic Chives (allium tuberosum) are one of those plants with which I have a love-hate relationship. I love the way that they look  in bloom and the way that their flowers help fill the gap between summer and autumn in the garden. But garlic chives are one of those plants that are not happy staying put. They spread themselves all around the landscape. Fortunately, they have culinary uses. (A rather pungent herb with a flavor akin to garlic and onions, garlic chives can be used in stir fries, soups, and stews.) Since mine are just on the verge of going to seed, for the past few days we’ve been yanking them out of the garden except the few spots where they are wanted. Then we’ve been sorting through it all, removing stems, roots, and damaged leaves, washing the healthy leaves, and putting them in the  oven to dry. Since the pilot lights in my ovens are always on, the ovens never cool below 110 degrees F. which makes them perfect for this use. Once the garlic chives are completely dried out, I will chop, bag, and store them in the freezer until ready to use. I find that herbs keep their color best this way. I’ve read that garlic chives lose their flavor once allowed to flower, however, to me they seem plenty flavorful; and besides, I just couldn’t let them take the space they have appropriated in my garden if I didn’t let those striking white clusters appear.

13 responses to “Garlic Chives: Let the Harvest Begin

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  2. Pingback: Chives | Urban Herbary

  3. Interesting. I’ve had these for a couple of years now and haven’t noticed them spreading. I’ll know to watch for that, though. My dog loves chives… I hope they’re good for her!

    • That’s lucky. Maybe you have a different variety? My regular chives – the purple blooming in the spring ones- stay put just fine. I harvested some of that yesterday too – much less aggressively.

  4. We have alot of this in one part of the garden, using it in the kitchen, part critter control (squirrels) and part of the garden landscape. They’re quite pretty when in full bloom.

    • Thank you for your comment, David. I didn’t know that squirrels avoid garlic chives. They sit in the trees and chatter at our dogs. Perhaps I need to string some garlic chives around the branches!

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