A few Qs, growing and harvesting chives, onion and garlic.

2 months ago

This is my first time: I started onion and garlic chives from seed and planted them in clumps in my garden. They get about 4-5 hours of afternoon sun. I started the seeds very late and only planted them in the ground in mid July. I didnt think any of this work but the plants look like they are doing well and the clumps are fattening and growing tall.

On the right is the onion chives and the left the garlic chives. (I had to put up chicken wire to continue on the path of non violence. There is a family of skunks living somewhere on my property. They viciously dig up everything I plant and tear it to pieces. I usually go inside around 8:30pm and new plants are dug out and destroyed by 9:30pm.)

a) I hear conflicting information. Some sources say just leave them alone the first year. This makes sense. Other sources say make sure to cut back to 1 or 2 inches 4 times in the first growing season. Should I cut back or not this season? Does harvesting actually make the clumps grow better, bushier?

b) In the second season when the chives will be able to flower, should one wait for them to flower before harvesting? I mean if you want to see the flowers? Will harvesting take energy away from flowering? Or is there a narrow window of time for flowering and if you harvest then the plants wont be able to flower at all that season?

c) How low do you cut for the best grow back? I see YT videos where the chive leaves are cut almost 2 inches from the ground and others where the cut at nearly ground level so you are getting some of the stiff white vegetative part. I suppose all of these ways will work but is there a best way that keeps the clumps vigorous and healthy?

d) Some of the leaves and a few of the entire clumps are floppy. What makes them flop? Is there something I can do about it?

Many Thanks!!

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