Shallots - another amazing allium, coveted by professional and amateur chefs alike! Shallots are part of a group of alliums known as multiplier onions. This group is defined by plants that produce two or more bulbs per plant. Growing shallots is easy and doesn’t take up much space. They’re tasty and beautiful,and we think everyone should grow them. Read on to find out how!
When you order shallots from Sow True Seed you’ll receive a bag of just that - shallots! Just like you would see in the grocery store. Except these shallots are not treated with chemicals like many grocery store shallots and are tested for disease.
Shallots prefer well-draining soil high in organic matter in an area with full sun. Heavy clay soils may be best suited for raised bed gardening. If a soil test shows a phosphorus deficiency, amend with bone meal to promote healthy roots and large bulbs.
Shallots are traditionally planted in the fall and are overwintered to give the roots a head start before spring. Shallots benefit from vernalization, which is an exposure to freezing temperatures. This will result in better bulb development. Plant your shallots 3-4 weeks before the first frost, around the same time as garlic. Space the cloves 6-8 inches apart in rows 10-12 inches apart. Plant the shallots 2-3 inches deep with the root end down and pointy end up. You want to have the soft top sticking out of the ground just a little bit.
Caring for Shallots
After you have planted the shallots, water and cover with about 2” of mulch to protect them from the cold. Water over the winter if your area is in a drought, but don’t over water as it may cause rot and disease.
Shallots are harvested in the summer when the green tops turn brown and dry up. Lift your shallots out of the ground gently, with a garden fork. Avoid bruising them as damaged bulbs won’t keep. Dry them in a shady place in your garden or in a dry place - garages work great! If any of the shallots' skin isn’t completely developed, eat them immediately as they will not store well. Pick the more favorable shallots to save for next year’s seed. These should be the largest shallots without any blemishes and well formed skins. They will keep well in a cool, dry place.