Shallots are a must have crop for any kitchen garden. They’re easy to grow and their sweeter, milder flavour offers a delicious alternative to onions. Most gardeners grow them from sets which will form a bunch of up to eight new shallots - a more productive harvest, pound for pound, than growing onions!
A sunny spot with well drained soil is best. When digging over take out any perennial weed roots and improve the organic content by incorporating some Levington Organic Belnd Soil Conditioner. A sprinkling of a general plant food such as Miracle-Gro Gro Your Own Vegetables & Fruit Plant Food will ensure the crop is fed throughout the summer. Rake to a smooth friable surface.
Selecting the varieties to buy
Pesandor is a long French variety, Golden Gourmet produces larger, rounder bulbs and is derived from Dutch Yellow.
One set will multiply so that you will harvest a cluster of eight to a dozen shallots of a similar size to the original. Simply plant at the end of March or beginning of April.
Keep weeds under control and water only when the weather is really dry. Keep weeds under control throughout the growing season.
When the foliage start to turn yellow in August/September lift the bulbs and dry for 7 to 21 days under cover. Use bulbs first that are soft, damaged, spotted or have thick necks. The rest can be stored in an airy place in net bags, tights or tied to cord to make an onion rope. If the storage is dry, you may be able to keep over-winter for planting next spring.