Shallots are an easy, low-maintenance vegetable to grow in your backyard. Here is a complete guide on What shallots are, the Different Varieties of Shallots and How to Plant and Harvest Shallots. – Gro Indoor
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Planting & Growing Shallots

by Kunal Khatri 09 Apr 2023

Planting & Growing Shallots

Shallots are delicious nutrients packed vegetables that you can easily grow in your backyard. The best part is that you can grow this vegetable all year round. Often confused with Onions, Shallots contain more antioxidants per serving than an onion. It also is packed with other minerals such as Potassium, Folates, and Vitamin A, making it very healthy for consumption. Use them as a substitute for Onions if you like a sweeter and more subtle flavor in your food. Add them to your salad or sauces to enjoy its unique flavor.

Continue reading if you want to know more about how you can grow these delicious bulbs right in your backyard. Following is an extensive guide that will help you with everything you need to know about growing shallots.

What Are Shallots, And Where Do They Come From?

Although Shallots have existed even during biblical times, they were first introduced to Europeans in the 12th Century.

As mentioned, they are commonly confused with onions, but the truth is that they do not even belong to the same species as onions. The confusion may be justified because they look pretty similar; however, Shallots are much sweeter when it comes to the taste. There are many theories about the origination of Shallots Some suggesting it was first grown somewhere in Asia.

Shallots work as a great substitute for onion or even garlic, as they do not cause intense breath when eaten, and they are pretty easy to grow even for a beginner.

Now that we have discussed what shallots are and where they come from. Let's discuss the different types of Shallots you can grow

What Are Shallots, And What are the Different Types Of Shallots?

More than 500 different types of shallots exist in the world. Each type has its unique flavor, and some even have a unique appearance. However, since it is impossible to get into all 500 of its type, we will discuss a few more popular ones. French reds: These shallots often have a reddish hue on the surface French grays: These have a grayish coloration on the surface Brown shallots: These brown-colored shallots are also called potato onions, and they have a milder, more garlicky flavor to them. Dutch yellow: The Dutch shallots have creamy yellow flesh and taste more like an onion than other shallot types. The bulbs of this type are smaller than the other varieties. Ambition: Ambition shallots have large, tear-drop shaped bulbs and have a very mild onion flavor

Now that we have discussed the more popular types of shallots, let us find out how much time it would take for you to grow them.

How Long does It Take To Grow Shallots?

One of the reasons people love growing shallots is that they do not take very long to grow. An average shallot will typically take around 60-120 days to grow into a full-sized bulb. Shallots can be grown all year round if you have the right equipment, but it is important to notice that they are a cool-season vegetable, meaning they grow best six to eight weeks before the last average frost date.

Grow your shallots next fall or spring by planting the cloves directly into the ground, as you would do with garlic. Shallot cloves remain dormant is temperatures around 30-50 degrees but can grow in higher temperatures (90 degrees) Unfortunately, as shallots typically do not produce seeds, you cannot save seeds from one growing season for the next one.

A Step By Step Guide To Growing Shallots

Ideally, shallots should be grown in zone 4-10, but you can grow them in warmer zones by giving them a few hours in the shade every day. Now let us get into how you can get started with the planting:

Choosing between a container and a raised bed is up to your personal preference. A raised bed is placed directly on the ground on top of piled soil, making it a better choice if drainage is an issue for you. On the other hand, containers can be moved around, allowing you to protect your plants from severe weather and pests. You can grow shallots in a container very easily, provided your soil is well-amended. Whichever you choose to go with, you can prepare them by filling them with loose, well-draining soil. You may even add the organic matter of your choice to boost the growth.

Here is how you should prepare your shallots for planting

  1. Peel the outer papery cover of the shallots.
  2. Separate the bulb into separate cloves.
  3. Position the clove in a way that leaves the pointed tip visible above the soil surface.
  4. Make sure the soil is loose enough to allow the bulbs to push it out as they grow.
  5. Plant each clove at least 5-6 inches away from each other to ensure proper growth.

Once you have planted the clove in the soil, you need to take proper care of it till it grows into a full-sized shallot. You can do this by:

  1. Protect your plant by layering it with mulch. This step is really necessary for colder zones to protect your shallots from frost but can be skipped in warmer 9-10 zones. However, even in warmer zones, there is no harm in layering mulch around as it protects your shallot from weeds.
  2. Ensure that your Shallots are getting adequate water. You can do this by watering them at least an inch every week. You have to be careful that the soil remains moist without there being areas of pooled water.
  3. Fertilizing your shallots is unnecessary, but you may go ahead with one containing a decent percentage of nitrogen every month. Similarly, you can use aged-manure or worm casting as well.
  4. Shallots do not need to be pruned. However, if you want, you can harvest the leaves for consumption. Be careful you do not remove any stems, as that would inhibit the growth of the shallots.
  5. Watch out for any signs of a possible pest attack while you wait for your shallots to grow. You should specifically look out for onion flies, as they tend to be very destructive. Keep pests at bay by introducing beneficial nematodes near your plant.
  6. Diseases such as Downey Mildew may also destroy your shallots. Ensure proper watering techniques and neem oil to protect your cloves.

Now that your shallots have grown to the best of their potential, the time has come to harvest them finally. You can tell a shallot is ready to be harvested when the green tops become yellow and limp. To harvest your shallots, carefully loosen the soil around each bulb and remove them from the ground. They have shallow roots, which makes the whole process a whole lot easier. Once you have harvested the shallots, please place them in a tray to dry off and then move them to a cool and dry room.

Storing Shallots is pretty simple; you can keep them fresh for weeks by placing them in a cool and dry room. You can also choose to freeze-dry or dehydrate them. A freeze-dry or dehydrated shallot stays fresh for over six months. Just make sure the shallot's outer cover remains attached if you plan to store them for longer than a few days.

Are Your Shallots Too Small?

So you were successful in growing your shallot, but are they too small? The chances are that your shallots were too small that you did not water them enough. Either that or the soil that you used lacks some of the nutrients required to ensure proper growth. You can tackle that problem by using the appropriate fertilizer. You also have to consider that shallots do not grow as big as onions, especially varieties such as Odetta's White shallots that are considerably smaller than the other types of shallots.

How Can Groindoor Help You In Growing Shallots?

We hope reading this guide got you excited at the prospects of growing your shallots. has everything you may need when growing shallots, from fertilizers to a container: We have got you covered! So, what are you waiting for? Grab your shovel and get planting!

May 4th 2021
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