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Shallots, French Red

Short Description

Used by great chefs to bring out the flavors of seafood, meats and vegetables.

Full Description

Prolific plants produce an abundance of 1-2" diameter bulbs that are sweet and similar to a green onion flavor. Very mild in flavor, never overpowering. French Red is naturally sweet and adds color to your favorite recipes.
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Item#: 69390U
Order: 1 lb.
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Product properties

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

120 days

Fruit Size The average size of the fruit produced by this product.

1-2 inches

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

6 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

12 inches

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Direct Sow

Plant Shipping Information

Plants begin shipping week of:

Mar 27, 2017

(Click here for Spring shipping schedule)


Item 69390U cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GU, HI, ID, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI, WA
See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state

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How To Direct Sow Seeds
Learn how to direct sow seeds from Burpee's expert horticulturist.
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Chef Ian Knauer Recipe-Beans with Green Goddess Herb Sauce
Chef Ian of the Farm Cooking School in Stockton New Jersey Prepares Green Beans with Green Goddness Herb Sauce.
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How to Sow

  • Sow in the North in early spring after danger of a heavy frost. In the Deep South, Gulf and Pacific Coast areas, sow from fall to early spring.
  • Choose a sunny location with loose, well-drained soil. Do not plant where members of the onion family were planted previously.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Sow thinly in rows 18 inches apart. Cover with ½ inch of fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
  • Thin to stand 2-4 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2 inches tall.

Planting Bulbs:

  • Plant as soon as possible after receiving bulbs, in spring or fall.
  • If you are unable to plant right away, store in a dry, cool, well ventilated, frost free location until you are able to plant.
  • Choose a sunny location with loose, well-drained soil. Do not plant where members of the onion family were planted previously.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones. Incorporate generous amounts of quality compost and a slow release fertilizer before planting.
  • Separate bulbs into individual cloves.
  • Make a shallow furrow 1-1 ½ inches deep and lightly press in cloves about 4 inches apart in rows 18 inches apart. Plant with the pointed side up and cover with 1 inch of fine soil.
  • Firm soil and water.

How to Grow

  • Transplants should show new growth after 4 weeks of 50 degree F weather.
  • Never let plants dry out; shallots are shallow rooted and very sensitive to dry conditions. Keep 6 inches of soil moist.
  • Side dress with fertilizer.
  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding.
  • Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • If immature shallots are desired, before complete bulb development, harvest and use immediately. Immature shallots are edible at any size but do not store well. In 30 days, greens may be harvested. In 45 days, green bulbs may be harvested.
  • In 90-120 days, mature shallot bulbs may be harvested.
  • When ¾ of the tops have fallen over, bend over those still standing to hasten drying. After all the tops are yellow, pull up plants with their clusters of bulbs attached, and allow them to dry in the sun for a few days. Look at the weather forecast and pick the driest days to do this.
  • Spread out in an airy place until the tops are completely dry, about 2-3 weeks.
  • Braid tops together or cut tops to 2 inches above the bulbs. Discard rotting bulbs. One rotting bulb will spoil the bunch.
  • Store in a dry, cool, well-ventilated space.
  • Shallots can also be made into a carmelized jam, or pickled.
Days To Maturity
120 days
Fruit Size
1-2 inches
Full Sun
6 inches
12 inches
Sow Method
Direct Sow
Planting Time
Fall, Spring
Sow Time
2-4 weeks BLF
3 inches
Life Cycle
Shallots, French Red is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 1.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A gourmet delight These are the shallots my Acadian grandmother grew in her garden. She called them "Des Echalotes." Planted in fall and harvested in early spring, they were usually preserved in a salt brine - eaten right out of the jar. The onion tails were cut and put in separate jars - also salted - often added to soups. For a couple of months each spring everyone had onion breathe!
Date published: 2016-08-22
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