Garlic Mustard is a member of the cabbage family, Brassica. It is therefore related to the white cabbage, red cabbage and Brussels sprouts. When the leaves of this plant are rubbed between the fingers, a distinct onion-like odour reminiscent of garlic is released. That is why this plant got its name Look without Garlic. It is, however, not related to garlic or onion. The flowers and roots of this plant have the same smell. It is a 1 or 2-year-old plant that, according to some sources, is also perennial. It blooms from April to June.
It has beautiful white flowers which are also edible and look good in a colourful salad. This plant prefers moist, shady soil with sufficient nutrition. For example, in forests, near streams, rivers and ponds and along forest paths. This plant has spread across Europe, Western Asia and North America. It is very popular with bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects. It is a valuable plant for the orange tip tits and the lesser spotted white. Use this plant in the kitchen as a replacement for garlic and onion. Hardy biennial.
edible flower, edible flowers
Indoor sowing: beginning of March - end of April
Outdoor sowing: May - July
Germination: 8 - 30 days
Germination temp.: 15 - 25 °C
Sowing depth: ½ - 1 cm
Plant distance: 30 cm
Plant position: full sun with some shade
Days till harvest: 60 - 70
Sow indoors in trays filled with moist potting soil and put the trays in a warm room or a propagator, from the beginning of March till the end of April. Sow shallow and sparingly and cover the seeds with a layer of soil. Chives is a dark germinator, it needs dark to germinate. It can help with germination to put the propagator in a dark room. Keep the temperature as even as possible to aid the germination. Don't let the temperature drop during the nights. After about 8 - 30 days the seedlings appear. Transplant the seedlings to seperate pots, when they're large enough to handle. Put the plants outdoors, to their permanent plot, from the middle of May, when there's no longer any danger of frosts. Keep the plants 30 cm apart. Put Chives on a sunny plot with some shade and free draining soil. Keep the soil moist, because Chives shouldn't dry out.
Sow outdoors from May, when there's no longer any danger of nightfrost. Sow on a sunny plot with some shade and free draining soil. Keep the soil moist, because Chives shouldn't dry out. Cover the seeds with a layer of soil, because Chives is a dark germinator. Keep moist and weedfree. Thin the seedlings, when they're large enough to handle, to 30 cm.
Cut the required amount of Chives, but leave approx 3 cm from the ground up standing, to grow on. You can grow a small amount of seeds in large pots for use in your kitchen. Put these pots in a not too sunny window-sill. Chives can suffer from a disease called "rust".