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Shallots Gardening Guide

Sets received before planting time in your area can be stored in a dry, cool, airy, frost-free place until ready to plant.

Plant sets as early in spring as soil can be worked. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. Make a shallow furrow, 1-11/2" deep and lightly press in sets about 4" apart in rows 18" apart and cover with 1" of fine soil. Cultivate or mulch to control weeds and supply plenty of water during the growing season.

Harvesting and storage:

When about three-quarters of the tops have fallen over, bend over those still standing to hasten drying. After all tops are yellow, pull up plants with clusters of bulbs attached and allow them to dry in the sun for a few days. Then spread out in a well-ventilated place until tops are thoroughly dry (2-3 weeks). Braid tops together, or cut the tops off 1-2" above the bulbs. Store in a dry, cool, airy place. Shallots may also be pulled at the scallion stage (when pencil-thick to finger-thick).

Read the next Article: Seed Starting Part 2

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • There’s nothing like going into the garden in the middle of December to pull large, luscious parsnips for your holiday dinner. Wash and gently scrub the roots, then briefly steam them to make paring easier. With larger roots, remove the woody core and use only the tender outer flesh.

    To retain the parsnip's delightful, sweet flavor, don’t boil them as the sugar in the roots dissolves in water. Many people ruin the taste of parsnips by cooking them until they’re mushy and bland. The best way to prepare parsnips is to brown the slices in butter or sauté them in a little oil, keeping the heat low to lock in the flavors and avoid scorching the sugar in the flesh. Or simply bake them. If you want a simple side dish for Christmas dinner, steam parsnip slices with fresh peas until tender and serve drenched in melted butter. It’s so delicious, it’s almost decadent!