Garlic Chives/Chinese Leek is one of the most gourmet crops in the world of microgreens. A crop of Garlic Chives looks like a bunch of miniature scallions - or perhaps miniature chives are more correct in this case. Either way - they are visually stunning and they have a mild Garlic flavour.
If you’re partial to a slight onion/garlic flavour and delicate greens on your baked potato, garlic chive microgreens are ideal. These simple monocots provide super-skinny micro chives that make any dish look – and taste – like a gourmet meal. Plus, it’s very simple to grow garlic chive microgreens at home…but they are a slow grower so patience is required!
Garlic Chive microgreens are really just very young Chive plants. They’re harvested right after the solitary cotyledon unfurls, which is much faster than waiting for the whole plant to mature. Once grown, a tray of garlic chives microgreens looks like a mat of bright green grass dotted with dark purple seed hulls. Each cotyledon is only 2-4 inches long, but they provide a fresh taste and a surprising amount of nutrients.
Garlic Chives will produce shoots that grow to a mature height of roughly 12 inches tall. Popularly used to flavour potatoes and salads, Garlic Chives are not only tasty but are also attractive as well. Each plant displays white coloured flowers atop slender stems/shoots. Flowering much later than traditional Chives, its Garlic twins will bloom within the heat of the summer months. The shoots, once cut will add a slight garlic & onion flavour to any dish that they are added to. The flowers also add a mild onion/garlic flavour and can be used as a garnish.
They can be grown as microgreen or sprouting seeds and are easy to grow, albeit they are a slow grower so patience is required! It is best to pre-soak seeds for 12 hours before sowing for sprouting seeds but this is not necessary for microgreens.
How to grow Garlic Chives/Chinese Leek Seeds:
Growing medium - e.g. Coir Compost
Garlic Chives/Chinese Leek Seeds
Culture For Growing Garlic Chives/Chinese Leek Seeds As Microgreens
- Plant 2-3 teaspoons of seed for a 5x5 tray on thoroughly moistened compost
- Cover your crop with another tray, or a plate - to keep light out and moisture in.
- Keep your compost moist by watering lightly as needed. Don't drench!
- Use Coconut Coir and you likely won't have to water at all after planting!
- When your plants have begun to show leaves, remove the cover and move your crop to a well-lit location.
- Harvest when the leaves are open and 2cm - 7cm tall (day 5-14).
- Cut just above the medium, with scissors or sharp knife.
Garlic Chives/Chinese Leek Seeds
Culture For Growing Garlic Chives/Chinese Leek Seeds As Sprouts
1. Make sure that the Sprouter is super clean and sterile.
2. Place the seeds in the bottom of the Sprouter (no grid tray in place).
3. Cover the seeds with tepid water. Stir the seeds to ensure that all the seeds get soaked, a vital process for smaller seeds. (Use water that is at room temperature, water that is either too hot or too cold can shock the seeds and also slow the germination process).
Don't put too much seed in the tray, allow the seed sufficient room to expand… insufficient space will lead to mould issues as air cannot circulate sufficiently.
4. After the initial soak of 8-12 hours, skim off any floating seeds, empty the water by using the grid tray, so that the seeds get caught in the grid, the seeds should be left damp and not swimming in water. Drain as much of the water as possible.
NOTE - if using small seeds then the Bamboo paper needs to be placed on top of the grid otherwise the seeds will fall through the grid tray!
5. Place grid tray with seeds in the Sprouter and cover with clear lid.
6. Rinse 2-3 times per day with room temperature water, by running water through the seeds on the grid tray. Use lots of water and if possible, rinse under high-pressure water. Drain as much of the water as possible.
7. Continue rinse cycle until harvest.
8. Harvest on day 6, when the leaves are open and most are green.
9. De-hull before refrigerating.
Hulls may be removed but they are not harmful to eat, removal helps to minimise spoilage in storage.
Did You Know?
We now stock growing essentials for Microgeen and Sprouting growers, you can find the full range HERE
Feeling daunted by the world of Microgreens and Sprouting and don't know where to start...then why not have a look at our starter kits for inspiration:
And don't forget to join our Microgreen Club and enjoy year-round benefits HERE