A shallot bulb growing in our root crop bed
Shallots are one of those vegetables that often gets incorrectly named.
A lot of green grocers sell spring onions under the name shallots; even
though they're quite different. Same onion family, just a different vegetable.
Shallots are a bit of a cross on first impressions between an onion and
garlic. It forms garlic-like cloves and has a mild onion taste often sought
after by chefs.
We've recently harvested our first ever attempt at growing shallots.
If we can successfully grow them anybody can!
Shallots are grown at different times of the year depending on your
climate. In cooler gardens plant out your shallot cloves in spring,
and set them out in autumn (fall) if you've got a mild winter climate.
They love sunny well drained beds.
Try to add a little lime to the soil before planting
Shallots prefer soil manured last season. Otherwise use mushroom
compost. Don't dig in manure or blood and bone if you're about to
In a 4 bed rotation system shallots
are grown with carrots, onions, leeks, garlic, parsnips and other
Most gardeners propagate shallots from the previous season's cloves.
You can also try growing it from seed.
Pop them into a seed raising mix, transplanting them a month or so
later when green leaves start shooting, or directly sow them.
If growing from cloves make sure its plate points down. Try planting
it about an inch deep (2-3 cms) and about two inched apart (5 cms).
Being from the onion family shallots generally don't have any pest
Around 4 months after planting a clove, or longer by seed, your shallot
leaves will start withering and go yellow-brown.
Harvest a couple of weeks later and try to avoid watering them.
Carefully lift the bulbs, leaving them in a dry place for a while
(anywhere from a week to 3 weeks depending on where you hear it).
Store them in a cool, dry place.
17 November, 2008
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