How to Plant Shallots

Shallots are bulb vegetables similar to garlic and onions. They are used to add flavor when cooking. You can plant shallots in your garden to have easy access and to avoid paying the high price of shallots at the supermarket.


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    Purchase shallot sets from your local gardening market. Shallot sets are bundles of shallot bulbs for planting. You should be able to purchase them anywhere you can purchase most gardening seeds. If you have problems locating shallots, try ordering them from an online gardening catalog.
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    Plant shallots in the fall. Plant them after the first frost in autumn. It is good for the shallots to be in the ground during the winter. They can survive the winter if you live in Zone 5 or warmer. If you live in a colder area, you will need to wait and plant the shallots in the early spring. When planting in the spring, plant the shallots as soon as the ground is unfrozen. You can determine which zone you live in by checking the Internet or by looking in garden catalogs.
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    Prepare the soil for planting. Shallots do not need special soils or special fertilizers. They will grow well in most soils. Loosen the soil with a garden tiller and prepare a row for planting. You can use a string guide to make a straight row. You may want to make individual holes in the ground to plant each shallot rather than making a row.
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    Set the shallot bulbs in the prepared row with the root end down and the top up. Place 1 bulb in each space. The top of the bulb should be barely covered with soil. You do not want to plant the shallot bulbs too deep in the ground.
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    Space each bulb about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) apart. The rows should be 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) apart when you plant the shallots.
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    Keep the area around the shallot sets free of weeds. This will help the shallots to grow.
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    Water the shallot bulbs after you plant them and when they are very dry. You do not want to water your shallots too much; they will rot. Shallots grow better in well drained soil. Some people even build the soil up in a bed before planting, so that the soil will drain.
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    Harvest the shallots in the early summer. You do not want the stalks to begin flowering, so harvest them before they flower.


  • There are different types of shallot sets. You may want to research the different varieties, so you know which kind you want to plant. Try to learn which varieties will grow best where you live.
  • Some gardeners recommend dusting freshly planted shallots with wood ashes. The wood ashes help to keep worms away from the shallots.
  • You can save back some of your bulbs from the summer harvest to replant in the fall. This will prevent having to purchase bulbs from a supplier.

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Categories: Growing Vegetables