Shallot, grow it from seed to harvest

Shallot, Allium ascalonicum

Shallot is both easy to grow and delicious in cooking.

Summary of Shallot facts

NameAllium ascalonicum
Family – Alliaceae
Type – vegetable

Height – 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm)
Exposure – full sun

Soil: light, drained  –  Flowering: summer  –  Harvest: July and August

Caring for shallot from planting to harvest won’t burden you in any way while guaranteeing you excellent results.

Planting and sowing shallot

Shallot is a perennial, but in cooler climates it is grown as an annual.

There, it disappears in winter and will only rarely reappear the following year.

Shallot is should be planted during waning moon for best results.

From small shallot bulbs

Shallot growing healthilyBulb planting is possible all winter long if your soil allows for it, i.e., it mustn’t stay damp. Raised gardening is an excellent way to ensure this.

If you expect heavy rain and high residual soil moisture, wait for the end of winter, even until March and April to plant your bulbs.

  • Firstly, prepare the soil by breaking it up to make it as soft as possible.
  • Prefer poor and well drained soil.
  • For clay soil in particular, adding sand can help.
  • Plant the “baby” bulbs and let the tip just barely stick out.
  • Mulch in winter with loose, airy material to ensure that freezing won’t damage its growth.
  • Space rows by more or less 8 inches (20 cm) (6 inches (15 cm) for smaller varieties).

Sowing shallot from seed

Not so common but also perfectly possible, you may sow your shallot from seed.

  • You can start sowing in a sheltered place as early as March.
  • Sowing isn’t the easiest and quickest way to grow shallots: better plant from bulbs.

Harvesting shallot

Shallot freshly pulled from the garden soil
Harvesting shallot

Upon harvesting, in July, pull out the bunches and dry them in the sun in a breezy place for two to three days. Using a grelinette makes the job really easy.

  • After that, you can bring them indoors in a dry, ventilated and rather cool spot.

Take note that gray shallots, although the most common variety, only keep until mid-December.

If you hope to keep your shallots all winter long, prefer Jersey shallots which have a pinkish hue and taste just as good.

All there is to know about shallot

Raised garden bed with shallot and potatoShallot is part of the same family as onion, and is a staple of French cuisine thanks to its delicate refined taste.

A spice vegetable, it complements dishes and sauces that strive to make it into the “fine dining” category, both raw and cooked.

Shallot has rather high vitamin C and B levels, as well as trace elements and antioxidants. It is among the alliums that support treatments against cancer and other imbalances of the human body.

The best shallot varieties are…

Shallot varieties… gray shallots, considered to be the “original” shallots. They are sought after for their taste which is deemed, by Chefs, more delicate than that of pink shallots.

  • Gray shallot – ‘Griselle’, ‘Grisor’
  • Pink shallot – ‘Bretor’, ‘Delvad’, ‘Jermor’, ‘Ronde de Jersey’, ‘Pesandor’, ‘Rondeline’

Smart tip about shallot

Shallot has very high magnesium content, grow it and boost your health status!

Images: CC BY 2.0: Chris Penny, Tim Parkinson; Pixabay: Andrew Martin; Public Domain: Terri Bateman; shutterstock: Catherine Murray