Wednesday 13 March 2013

Planting Shallots

On Sunday I planted my shallots. It wasn't a job that took a long time, since I only have 26 sets (aka bulbs). I just lightly dug over the planting site - in one of my raised beds - with a trowel and then pushed the sets in gently but firmly, until only the tips were showing. It's important that the base of the set should be fully in contact with the soil so that the roots can start sucking up moisture straight away. Then just draw up a little soil around the set so that it is all but covered.

Building on my experience from last year, I have spaced the shallots about 25cm apart. Last year I used a spacing of about 20cm and I think this may have restricted the shallots' growth a bit.

After planting, I covered the double row of shallots with two of my Longrow cloches, which when placed end-to-end are exactly the length of one of my raised beds. These cloches will protect the shallots from two major threats: weather and wildlife. We have had a return to Wintry weather, with snow, ice and bitterly cold wind, so the shallots will welcome the cloches, but perhaps more importantly the cloches will stop the blessed foxes / badgers from rooting around in the freshly-cultivated soil in their nightly search for worms. Once the shallots are well established, with a fair bit of green foliage, I will remove the cloches.

After planting 18 shallot sets under the cloches, I was left with 8 spares (the smallest ones). These I planted in two large pots, which are now under cover in the coldframe.

I will use them to replace any of the main crop that fail to develop, but once I'm happy that things are going ahead OK I will probably crop the foliage of these spares and use them in lieu of Spring Onions. I think the pots are too small to allow them to develop to maturity at such close spacing.

P.S. I'm working in London again this week, which means early starts and late returns home, plus increased levels of fatigue, so I'm not contributing much to the Blogging world at present. Also, we're off to France at the weekend to visit Fiona and Juan, so opportunities for gardening, photography and writing blogposts are going to be strictly limited for a while - and then the following weekend I'm off to Glasgow for a few days, so you may be hearing less from me than usual.


  1. Our shallots are starting life in modules to be transplanted later. have a nice break.

  2. I've planted my shallot and onions sets in modules as it's far too wet at the allotment at the moment. It should give them a head start. Enjoy the weekend with your family.

  3. I don't have a fox, but right now the squirrels are being very annoying. At first I thought it was one of the cats, but no just a squirrel digging up everything.

  4. I must plant shallots. Enjoy your jet setting over the next few weeks.

  5. I planted my shallots last October, 4 to a square foot or a spacing of about 15 cm. My first year for shallots so I will see if my spacing is too close. After last weeks 2 feet of snow, I haven't been able to visit the garden so I hope they survived our winter. Enjoy your travels, sounds wonderful.

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  7. I think that I will go for the pot, my veggie garden in the bush is a bit too wet for shallots I think...

  8. I've never tried growing shallots or onions but would love to give it a try. Have a nice time on your various adventures!


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