Ever since I started writing this blog I have become much more aware of what is happening in the garden.  I think that this is a product of both; taking more photos and via that process examining the plants in more detail, but it is also that I’m thinking more about how they work so I can write about them.  One plant I have been particularly fascinated with are my shallots.  Interestingly my most viewed page is also about growing shallots (and onions) so apparently I’m not the only one in interested in these alliums.

I planted my shallots out in May after growing them on in pots first.  If you are planting shallots simply plant the bulb in the ground with its top poking out from the soil (as in the picture below).   They like lime but need little in the way of fertiliser.

Since I planted them they have slowly dividing, picking up the pace on this front since the weather got a bit warmer in September.


I find it fascinating how they have two or three baby shallots inside a skin and those babies get fatter and fatter eventually splitting the skin and shedding it much like a snake would.  I love how they form layer upon layer with the new growth coming from the centre.

They are really great to look at in the garden but I do hope they form bulbs soon though, my supply of crispy fried shallots is running low.

This entry was posted in Alliums - Onions, Leeks, Garlic, Summer Harvesting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Shallots

  1. L says:

    Mine failed 🙁 They went to see without forming bulbs. I have no luck with onions, but I hope yours is better.

    • Liz says:

      Shame! My onions are barely the diameter of spring onions at the moment so thats not looking too good – these look better but so far bulb less – we shall see. My father grows them every year and his haven’t formed bulbs yet either and he is calm so I too will adopt Zen like qualities and try to stop being soooo impatient……

  2. Ours were great this year – we also bought some shallot seeds but never got round to planting them. Taking photographs does make you look closer – sometimes after taking the photo as the camera focuses on such a small area and picks up what you miss with the naked eye. It’s amazing how many photos of flower shave some sort of bug there too that I didn’t spot!

    • Liz says:

      I know exactly what you mean – there was a moth on the underside of a pumpkin leaf that I photographed yesterday that I only noticed when looking back at the photo. How long before harvest did your shallots develop bulbs?

  3. We started the sets off in pots in the greenhouse in February, planted out in April and harvested in August. The seeds would have taken much longer I expect if we had sown them – maybe next year. I would imaging things would be a bit faster in your climate.

    • Liz says:

      Funnily enough I think they are slower in our climate – I think because they seem to respond to day length rather than warmth. These have been in the ground for 6 months already after a couple of months in pots. Being nearer the equator than you our day length is a lot shorter – although it is getting longer now we are heading towards summer.

  4. Robin says:

    I only tried to grow them one time and they rotted over the winter. It was strange since the potato onions and garlic did fine that year. I am planning to try again next year once we are moved in to the new location for the Community Garden.

    • Liz says:

      I find that different parts of the garden do definitely seem to attract different amounts of water – and hold it for differing amounts of time – even with my raised beds I’ve noticed this happening – I guess it depends how much compsot I’ve put where and what I’ve grown in different areas.

  5. Mark Willis says:

    I have tried shallots a couple of times, but they didn’t do well in my garden. They only produced some very tiny bulbs before the foliage died down. Certainly not worth the space they took up. Maybe the ph of my soil is wrong for them.
    We all love the photos of your veg, so keep on blogging, please!

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Mark – I’m enjoying blogging – gives me a good excuse to take photos and to get my children to try new meals………Shame your shallots didn’t work out – who knows whether these will bulb but they are still very green so there is still time…..

  6. Frogdancer says:

    Never grown (or indeed used) shallots. I grow lots of spring onions and use them instead of “real” onions in cooking when they get big and juicy. Yesterday, though, I pulled out a white onion that I had growing in a big pot with sunflowers. Came in handy for the chicken casserole.

    • Liz says:

      Very impressed with the idea of a white onion – my attempts at growing onions have been a universal failure to date – although I do have a few still in that may??? do something. I cook a lot of curries which you really need proper onions for so I will perservere….until I get really bored on the endevour….

  7. Veggiegobbler says:

    Maybe I’ll give them a go… but I don’t feel confident of success. I can’t manage onions and my garlic this year doesn’t look good – again. Leeks work for me though. Thanks for the pics and info.

    • Liz says:

      I like growing leeks – I am a bit worried about my garlic this year – it has been quite wet and I’m a bit concerned the bulbs may be rotting – at least one has but then the others I’ve pulled have been OK – I’ll give them a couple more weeks to develop and then pull them I think.

  8. Leanne says:

    I’m with L, mine all went to seed. I noticed this morning that my leeks are doing the same. Lovely photos as always. Good luck with them.

  9. Hello there! I LOVE the images. This is such a cool endeavor. I have this massive interest in gardening, but I’ve never ended up growing anything. I always buy stuff from nurseries and take care of simple flowering plants. You inspire me so much!

    • Liz says:

      Thanks for visiting – glad you enjoyed the photos – gardening is easy which is not to say that everything works out but I find if you plant the right plant at the right time in the right place it usually goes well and is hugely rewarding.

  10. Rick says:

    We planted shallots this fall for the first time. We are excited to see how they do in our garden. Only about 8 months left till we know!!

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