How to plant shallots in the garden

Many people prefer to plant shallots instead of onions due to the delicate flavor they add to the most varied culinary preparations. Learn how to plant shallots in the garden and give your dishes an exclusive touch of the flavors of “Nouvelle Cuisine”.

The origin of shallots

Shallots have the scientific name of Allium ascalonicum and, like garlic and onions , belong to the family of Lilacs. It is a bulbous plant that is originally from Central Asia and its name comes from Ascalão, a Palestinian city. During the 11th century, with the First Crusade, the shallot was taken to the European Continent, namely to France and there it completely revolutionized French cuisine in the preparation of the most luxurious and refined meals.  

The constitution of a shallot

Despite being from the same family as onions and garlic, the shallot offers a sweeter and more pleasant taste than the others. It is a vegetable that has oval bulbs that are edible and very tasty. Its physiognomy has a green stem with long, thin and cylindrical leaves (usually one per bulb) and purple flowers. The shallot bulbs are white on the inside and purple on the outside and are all tied together, similar to the teeth of a garlic head. The green leaves that are attached to the shallot and that appear above the ground are known as chives and these, in turn, are widely used in salads, especially in summer, as they combine very well with cucumbers and tomatoes .

The best time to plant shallots

Shallots are a perennial plant that can reach two meters in height. It is a very productive and easy to grow vegetable and that is why it should be part of your vegetable garden or vegetable garden . This is a vegetable that adapts to any type of climate, however, the best time to plant shallots occurs in January in the driest regions or in early spring, after the fall of winter frosts, in the most humid regions. On the other hand, you should keep in mind that shallots, like lemons , need many hours of sun exposure so that they can grow in a healthy and natural way.

Soil preparation for shallot cultivation

Shallots, like onions, do not do well in dry, heavy soils and that is why their cultivation requires a soil with a pH of 6 to 6.8 and well drained. The soil must be neutral, rich in organic matter and must not have been recently fertilized, as this exceeds its nitrogen levels. Like leek , shallot cultivation requires a soil with a lot of phosphorus and potassium. In this sense, you should use organic fertilizers or a cover of plant roots with soil, manure or straw, so that the soil is as fertile as possible and has all the necessary nutrients for the development of shallots.

How to plant shallots

To plant shallots correctly in your vegetable garden or vegetable garden, you must follow the following steps:

Purchasing shallot seeds: you should go to a specialty store or a seed store to purchase the shallot seeds that you are going to plant in your vegetable garden. On the other hand, if you have already grown shallots in the previous year, you can take advantage of the thicker bulbs of that same crop and start a new planting.

Open cultivation rows: you must open shallow trenches in your garden and place the seeds or shallot bulbs that you will use in your plantation. The number of ditches to be used is up to you, as this depends on your needs and the space you have free.

Place the seeds or bulbs on the ground: the seeds or bulbs must be placed one centimeter inside the soil and must be spaced between them at a distance of 10 to 15 centimeters.

Regular watering: shallots have thin and delicate roots and need regular watering so that the soil does not become dry. Make sure that weeds do not grow in the space between plants, as they hinder the growth of shallots and spoil your crop.

The harvest of shallots

Shallot harvesting, as well as garlic, is usually done in June and July, but it depends on the type of climate that is felt in your region. One of the best ways to check whether or not the shallots are ready to be harvested is to observe the color of their leaves. As soon as the leaves of the shallots become yellowish in color, this means that they are ready to be removed from the earth.

When harvesting, you must pay the utmost attention not to tie and pull the leaves of the shallots in order to uproot them. Instead, use a small shovel or fork that allows you to remove the shallot from the inside of the earth without damaging its leaves.

Subsequently, the shallots should be dried for a maximum period of one month, before storing them in net bags hanging in a dry and cool place.

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