Growing Shallots for natural flavours enhancement in your daily meals is a great idea.
We had grown onions and garlics in the year 2008.
In early spring 2009 my husband bought the shallot sets to surprise me. He smiled and said to me that, I should plant something different.
He said: " I bought you something strong!".
Shallots look like little onions. Shallot bulb has stronger flavour than onions. We see often extra strong flavour pale grey skin shallots, and ordinary flavour brown skin shallots in the market.
Shallots are mostly used for food seasoning. Planting shallots is very easy and they need almost no care.
Shallots love a weed free, good rich, light drainage, moist growing bed. They love a sunny place; and they are always happy to share their growing bed with other vegetable plants.
You can get mini shallots set (picture 1) from the organic garden seeds supplier around late winter to early spring. It comes often with a 250 grams small brown paper bag.
One complete shallot bulb should be attached to many individual cloves like garlics. Each clove will grow into one complete bulb.
You can grow shallots in containers; if you have no garden space.
Grow shallots the best in early spring. Their growing cycles are similar to the garlics, but they grow much faster than garlic bulbs.
How to Sow Shallots
Shallots are grown in clumps and they are shallow-rooted. Sow them half an inch deep and 4 inch apart or 12 inches in row, points up to level with the ground surface.
You may rely on the rich earth worm compost as your whole year round organic fertilizers. In this way, you serve nothing more than the natural rain water from the sky. You may leave the plant to extract their own plant food and fertilisers.
You may harvest the leaves (picture 2) everyday throughout the growing season and harvest the complete bulbs when the bulbs are fully formed (picture 3); or until the leaves are dry and yellowish.
Harvest on a dry day. Pull out the entire plant (picture 4) with the help from a digging tool and let them dry for a few days in a dark cool place.
When dried, remove as much ground as possible, cut the leaves half an inch above (picture 5) the shallot bulbs and store in a dark cool and no moist place. They can last for a long long time.
From the year 2010 onwards; we grow shallots only in containers.