GROWING SHALLOTS

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O So Savary…

PLANTING: Shallots may be planted in spring (for fall harvest) or in fall (for harvest the following summer). Prepare the soil; shallots grow best in a light loam rich in organic matter and plant nutrients, but are more forgiving of Indiana soil than regular bulbing onions.  Choose a sunny location. Good drainage and adequate moisture are important.  Bulbs will be very small in infertile soil. Plant 4”-6” apart, in rows 18” apart.  Plant the top (the point) of the bulb just below the surface of the soil.  Don’t plant too deep!

GROWING: In the spring, side dress the rows with fertilizer for best results.  Use all purpose fertilizer, poultry manure or cottonseed meal.  When bulbing begins, pull back the mulch or soil covering the bulbs, so they will form on the surface and have dry skins. Keep the beds carefully cultivated; shallots have shallow roots and do not compete well with weeds! Shallot tops make delicious scallions, but don’t snip off too many or you will get smaller and fewer bulbs.  Stop watering once the bulbs start forming. 

HARVESTING: Harvest when most of the tops have browned and fallen over.  Loosen the soil with a spading fork, and lift the bulbs.  Be careful not to bruise or tear the skin.   Each shallot planted will yield 5-10 more bulbs, which will grow up around the original one. Air dry the bulbs, with their tops still attached, for 2-3 weeks until the tops have completely shriveled.  Then cut the tops off, 1” from the bulb.  Spread bulbs on wire racks in the shade for 2-3 months, and then replant or store for winter.

STORING: Store shallots in mesh bags with good air circulation. Temperatures of 50° are ideal.