London (change)
17 messages
19/06/2013 at 20:58

For the first time I'm growing shallots.  Never grown them before....never really thought I like them.

Thing is, how do I pick them?  Do I dig up a clump....I have 4 or 5 in each clump......and replace one to comtinue growing or what?  I know it's a common thing to grow and should know but I dont.  

19/06/2013 at 21:27

I've grown them before Verdun and just dug up each clump of 4-5, I didn't replant any that were part of the clumps but did have a few pots of successional plantings though. Don't know whether another clump would grow from a shallot that was already fully grown? 

19/06/2013 at 21:35

Hi V. I have always picked the clump as they are all ready at the same time. Like onions when the foliage collapses you should break the roots by easing up the clump and let it rest taking up the remaining goodness, and drying out ready for storage. You should be able to store dry. I use mine for cooking, rather than pickling them which in my book is a waste of a perfectly good vegetable. Otherwise why not just drink the vinegar?

19/06/2013 at 21:38

Not grown them either Verd but I'd have thought they would just be like onions? Are they grown differently from other members of onion family?

19/06/2013 at 22:37

Verdun, I lift the lot after the leaves have died back like WW.

Fairygirl: You plant one shallot from the previous year and it splits into several new shallots which grow outwards in a circle.  When you cut a mature shallot open, you can see there are several parts, a bit like a garlic bulb but not separated by skin into cloves.  Each part grows into a new bulb the next year:


19/06/2013 at 22:52

Bob - you learn something new every day! Fascinating. Never realised that's how they grew. 

19/06/2013 at 23:00

Looked at the link Bob. Didn't realise they were members of the lily family- hence the 'bulbil' type cloves-  rather than onion. Despite being an allium  

Very interesting - if confusing! 

19/06/2013 at 23:29

I grew shallots last year, not particularly good crop and, having a rather difficult year anyway I lost interest and must have left a few in the ground. This year they've grown with no help from me - along with some stray onions and garlic bulbs which seem to be determined to show me they can do it properly!

19/06/2013 at 23:53

Ok thanks folks.  Wasn't sure about them but its  pretty straightforward really .  Prefer onions really........grown well they are a show off crop.  In a good summer what veg looks better than ripening onions?

20/06/2013 at 07:37

Verd- tomatoes....

20/06/2013 at 09:02

Oh yes, Fairygirl.........tomatoes, of course!     Can't wait for mine.  Wand ok today?

20/06/2013 at 09:20

Verdun, I grown shallots but don't leave them to mature, I'm currently pulling up bulbs and eating them as spring onions. I find them much more reliable than spring onions from seed. I don't buy from GC, I buy them in Supermarket and just plant them. However the longer slender shallots from SM do not seem to grown. I've just put some more in as we eat a good few. 

20/06/2013 at 09:45

Be aware that some things from supermarkets are treated so that they do not sprout. It extends their storage/shelf life.

20/06/2013 at 09:53

I know it hasn't been done at SM but I imagine something has been done to Jersey R spuds. One year I thought I'd have a go at some in a potato tub for later in the year, but they wouldn't chit, or grow without sprouts. Me thinks must have, or they wouldn't remain exclusive to Jersey. Maybe wouldn't taste the same anyway not having Jersey soil.

Sometimes I do have daft ideas about growing things.

Sorry, nothing to do with shallots.

20/06/2013 at 10:42

oooh I wish I had a veggie plot I could grow onions and more in

20/06/2013 at 18:56

KEF, Jersey Royal seed potatoes can be bought as "International kidney", however you're quite right in that they don't taste as good as those grown in Jersey!  They used to use seaweed on the south-facing slopes to grow them in but I suspect that is a dieing practice.  Spuds do taste different depending on the soil - best bet is to keep trying different varieties each year until you find some that taste good when grown in your plot.  Anya are the best tasting in my garden.

21/06/2013 at 20:06

I find shallots more satisfying to grow than onions. Instead of one small onion growing into one big onion, you plant one shallot and get a whole bunch of them! And they're never cheap in the shops, unlike onions. I wait until the leaves start to die down, then I loosen the plants up and leave them lying on their sides (only if it's dry, otherwise they get spread out in the mini-greenhouse) until the tops dry and shrivel. Then they're ready to use and to store. I keep some for the next year's crops and use the rest.

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