How to grow garlic chives
Allium tuberosum does best in light, fertile soil with plenty of organic matter, but will grow readily in most soils. Full sun is preferred, although they will grow in light shade.
They are tougher than chives ( Allium
schoenoprasum), surviving through the heaviest frosts. They are also taller, and have tuberous roots rather than bulblets like chives. These long roots do best in built-up beds with good drainage and soil depth.
However, you need a little more patience as garlic chives are slower growing than ordinary chives, and it doesn’t pay to hurry them along.
I have grown them from seed, but they can be unreliable if the seed is not fresh, and they take forever to get to size. Four or five-year old clumps can be divided and this is the quickest way to propagate them.
Whether you go for seed or division-grown, plants need to establish before your start picking. Flower stems on young plants should be removed, allowing plants to build up strength. This also avoids selfseeding, reported to be a problem (although personally I have found chives to be the more prolific).
Once planted, it’s easy to forget about garlic chives in the garden. Like garlic, they don’t compete well and soon get smothered in weeds without regular weeding. They are best kept mulched if you don’t want to lose them.
Plants will survive considerable drought, but if stressed they become tougher in texture and stronger flavoured. For the best flavour, you want to keep the plants evenly moist. When watering, water thoroughly to encourage deep rooting.
If you are serious about using garlic chives, it is better to grow several plants due to their lower production. What I’ve found is once you catch the flavour, you will want more than one plant.