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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).

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Although popular, braiding garlic bulbs to hang in the kitchen for their ornamental value is not the best way to preserve the wonderful flavor of this cooking essential. Here’s a way to store garlic that not only retains flavor but actually improves it!
    Peeling garlic cloves can be bothersome if you only need one clove at a time. Instead, peel the whole bulb, and then store the extra cloves in a jar filled with olive oil. The garlic will stay fresh for months in the oil, and you can even use the flavored oil for salad dressings and sauces.
    Use a decorative jar, some ribbon and a sprig of fresh spruce or pine for a creative holiday gift!