It’s all about shallots today. I’m sharing the facts on planting shallots and a how-to guide.
Lately when I’ve been at the grocery store, I’ve been getting some sticker shock. Go-to items are slowly inching up in price, and when I walked over to the shallots basket, my eyes almost popped out of my head. Good thing I was wearing a mask because it was hiding at least half of my horrified look. They were clocking in at over $3 a pound, and to me, that’s cray cray too much money, especially for an ingredient I use often.
I use shallots in almost everything. Their flavor is amazing, and I can hide them easily. Sean and the kids turn their noses up at even the word onion, so the fact that I can mince shallots up and add them in without a single turned up nose, is a win. But in truths, they have a soft, more delicate flavor than onions; a little deeper and even has a hint of garlic flavor, without the heat. They’re delicious. Even fried.
For the seven years that I have had a garden, I have wanted to plant shallots and garlic. I’m not sure why I haven’t until now, but nonetheless I’m here now to share the facts and guide for planting shallots in the fall. And since their price is absurd, there’s no time like the present to start growing them. Luckily, my dear friend, Liselotte, gave me a bunch of shallots to plant, along with some stellar planting advice.
First, Let’s Talk About The Difference Between A Shallot And An Onion
The difference between a shallot and a yellow onion, let’s say, is that shallots have a delicate and sweet flavor with only a hint of sharpness, while onions bring a more intense heat. You can certainly substitute shallots for onions, just make sure that you use the same volume. One more thing, shallots are much easier to grow than onions.
The Facts About Planting Shallots
When Should You Plant Shallots?
Shallots should be planted 4-6 weeks out from the first intense frost. Here in the northeast, that’s right around now. Warmer areas of the country can hold off a couple/three weeks. They can be planted in the fall for an early summer harvest, or in early spring for a late summer, early fall harvest. Also, they are bi-annual. I’m going to do both, starting now, this fall.
What Kind Of Soil Does A Shallot Need To Grow?
Shallots need well-draining soil, along with compost and even some bone meal, or worm castings. Make sure you mix a good amount of compost into the soil, and then sprinkle the bone meal over top. Turn over soil with a garden rake. For best planting, make sure you have 7-9 inches of soil for a deep root system, and to over-winter properly.
How To Plant Shallots
Plant shallots 4-7 inches apart; 4 for smaller, 7 for larger. Plant the root system facing down, and the pointy part facing up. Cover with soil, making sure the pointy portion is slightly above the soil. Tip: You don’t want to plant too deep because the pressure of the compacted soil will keep the shallots from becoming a good size. So, again, make sure you have raked the bed where you’re planting and that the soil is well-draining.
Once The Shallots Are Planted, Now What?
Once the shallots are planted, add mulch over the top. I recommend dried leaves or even hay. Greens will pop up a couple inches, and that is fine. Just make sure to not mulch over the greens once they appear. Now, all you need to do is wait until spring.
Want to see how easy it is to plant shallots?