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A Guide to Growing Shallots

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Are you looking for a new and interesting crop to add to your garden? Try growing shallots! Here’s how.

Shallots, though not always common in the backyard garden, are a favorite of chefs, prized for their mildly sweet flavor and lovely color. There are a number of varieties of shallots, some with more of an onion flavor, and others slightly more garlicky. Some have golden skins, and others purple or red.

Like their cousins, onions and garlic, shallots are typically rather easy to grow, and their colorful bulbs and blue-green foliage will look striking in your garden beds or borders!

Shallots are often sold as “sets” for planting, similar to onions. For a summer harvest, plant in the fall after the first frost, but before winter temperatures arrive. Shallots like full sun and well-drained soil, and be sure to add plenty of compost.

Here is a handy guide to growing shallots in your garden:

1.) Separate Bulbs

Separate bulb clusters into individual bulbs and plant them about an inch deep, broad end down and pointed end up, so the tip of each bulb is just covered by soil.

2.) Space and Mulch

Space the bulbs 2 to 6 inches apart in rows about one foot apart. Mulch the planting with 6 inches of organic mulch, such as straw or chopped leaves…

3.) Water

Water to keep the soil evenly moist while shallots are actively growing. Cultivate around them carefully to prevent competition from weeds… To direct the plants’ energies into bulb formation, snip off flower stalks that form.

4.) Harvest

Fall-planted shallots should be ready for harvest in early to mid summer. Dig them when the leaves begin to yellow and fall over. Shake loose soil from the bulbs and spread them out in a single layer in a dark, dry, well-ventilated area to cure for up to a month before storing in cool, dry conditions.

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