The Q&A Archives: shallots

Question: Can I plant shallots now? How deep and far apart? How will I know when they are ready to harvest?

Answer: You can plant your shallots now or in early spring, so long as the ground isn't frozen! Plant them 4" apart, 1-2" deep in rows 12-18" apart. As with other members of the onion family, it's important to keep the patch fairly weed-free,since they don't compete well. During the spring and summer, mulch the soil lightly to maintain moisture and aid in weed control. Harvest tops as substitutes for scallions if you like. You'll know they're ready to harvest when the leaves start to wither - pull them before the tops collapse, though. Then cure them in a dry, airy place for up to two weeks - that'll depend on humidity. Store them in net bags or braid them like garlic, and hang them in a cool, dry place. If you want, you can even plant some bulbs in a flower pot so you can enjoy the greens this winter. Eat and enjoy!

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