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Growing Shallots, also Eschalots

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    P           P      

(Best months for growing Shallots in USA - Zone 5a regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Plant small bulblets, with stem just showing above ground. Best planted at soil temperatures between 46°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 6 - 8 inches apart
  • Harvest in 12-15 weeks. Keep a few for your next planting.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Lemon Balm, Borage, Carrots, Beets, Silverbeet, Lettuce, Amaranth
  • Avoid growing close to: Peas, Beans

Your comments and tips

06 Jan 16, Prometheus (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Jelenka, I am also a first-time grower and hence not an expert... I would say though that what you have is either simply a natural genetic mutation or duplication - sort of like how you will sometimes find the embryo of a baby capsicum inside a larger one. I have no idea whether it could be replanted successfully but I would suggest using the biggest / healthiest bulbs for that task. There is no problem with eating them when they are young, but if you wait until 3/4 of the tops have dried and fallen over you will get huge bulbs in optimal conditions. You can also use the tops as spring onions - they are excellent!
04 Jan 16, Prometheus (Australia - temperate climate)
I've just grown my first crop of French shallots in a container, and would like to share a few tips / some advice from research and experience. French shallots are quite expensive if you buy the bulbs from a nursery or somewhere similar, though this can sometimes be worth it if you can find a unique or interesting variety. For mass plantings though, it's best to source the individual bulbs from a greengrocer or even supermarket. 15-20cm is a good spacing but I would err on the side of being more spacious if you wish to have larger bulbs - Klaus Leitenberger recommends 1 foot (30 cm) between bulbs. With soil fertility, probably the most important thing is to have plenty of rich organic compost. If you are using chemical fertiliser, eg. in a container, a regular feeding of balanced fertiliser with trace elements would work best, but be wary of fertilisers that are too high in nitrogen. This site recommends an Autumn planting for my climate, which is probably the best time of year overall, but I have found that an August / September planting for a Summer harvest also works fine - we have had weather from - 2 up to 42 C and they handled these fluctuations without stunting or disease setting in. The shallots are ready to harvest when about 3/4 of the plant looks dead / dying, the tops have yellowed and most have fallen over. Avoid the temptation to harvest too early, as they tend to swell at the end of their growth cycle. After harvesting, you just need to remove any large clumps of soil with your hands or a light amount of water, and then leave in a dry, full sun location for about a week. Some periods of light rain shouldn't worry you but if heavy rain is expected, you will need to move them to a dry and well-ventilated location. They are then good to store and use in the kitchen for at least a few weeks. French shallots are probably one of the easiest, tastiest and highest value crops you can grow in your home garden (I have seen them commonly in supermarkets for around $14 per kilo, sometimes higher). Like garlic, you get a large head from just planting a single bulb. If you are looking for recipes, they are used mostly in French and Indonesian cuisine (especially in French onion soup, which is divine with their inclusion). Happy gardening, P.
27 May 16, Mohan (Australia - temperate climate)
Thanks a lot. Great upload, good guidance. What trace elements are important for good bulb growth
01 Jan 16, Gary (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Do I keep the small bulbs for next years planting ? when I do I harvest the shallots ?
04 Jan 16, Prometheus (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Gary, yes you certainly can keep the bulbs for next year's planting. The bigger cloves are best for this (you only need a single clove to get an entire bulb / head, like garlic; it's quite magical). Shallots should be harvested once 75%-80% of the tops have browned and fallen over (most of the plant above the soil will look dead). Do be patient, as they tend to swell in size at the very end of their growth cycle and will be smaller if you harvest too soon. Just pull or lightly wash off any large clumps of soil and leave in full sun to dry for about a week. They are then ready to use and should keep for at least a few weeks, if not longer depending on variety. Hope you enjoy your harvest - they are a wonderful vegetable to grow.
31 Dec 15, (Australia - temperate climate)
Have just harvested my 2nd crop. The original ones were from Coles supermarket vegetable section. Good luck
07 Dec 15, Sean (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
These are from holland though so not sure if they are radiated. (woolies url here)/store/prod/Food/Food/Fruit-Vegetables-Salads/Fresh-Vegetables/Other-Speciality/French-Shallots-500g/_/A-6009182207966
04 Oct 15, Dan (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Thanks for the gardening help, tips, and reminders. Very helpful.
21 Jun 15, Brian (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Elaine, Shallots do not have prominent bulb on the end where Spring Onions do. Never seen Golden ones but if from Bunnings...Best of luck.
12 Jun 15, Elaine Beard (Australia - temperate climate)
I also purchased from Bunnings,Golden Shallots. Am hoping they will do okay as they really are expensive.Oh well, I am a learner at this gardening thing. Why on earth we mix them up with spring onions I shall never understand. :)))
Showing 21 - 30 of 116 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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