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Growing Shallots, also Eschalots

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

(Best months for growing Shallots in Australia - tropical regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Plant small bulblets, with stem just showing above ground. Best planted at soil temperatures between 8°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 15 - 20 cm 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
  • "Tree Onions" (commons.wikimedia.org - Liez - CC BY 3.0)

Shallots are grown from small bulbs kept from the main plant. Once they are established, you can keep your supply going indefinitely by saving a few bulblets each year.

A type of small mild multiplying onion, popular in French cooking.

Tree onions or 'walking onions' produce bulbs at the top of the stem.

Shallots are not spring onions and are quite different to the green bunching "Eschallots" (Allium fistulosum) which, just to confuse us, are also called shallots in Eastern Australia.

They are more like garlic in their growth as they form a clump of bulbs at the base of the stem.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Shallots

Use in any recipe instead of onions
Can be cooked whole, braised gently with other vegetables.
Sometimes pickled.

Your comments and tips

13 Aug 18, eileen burkitt (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I would like to grow shallot onions, where can I buy seeds or seedlings, please advise thank you
14 Aug 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Shallots are grown from bulbs generally. Where do you live? I have some and live near Bundaberg..
29 Jun 18, Jean (Australia - temperate climate)
I have just purchased some shallot bulbs which I want to plant in the garden beds. Just recent;y I smothered the garden beds in dried chicken manure hoping to fertilise the soil for spring planting. My instructions say "enrich soil with a low nitrogen fertiliser". Would this soil now be too rich in nitrogen? What would be a low nitrogen fertiliser that I could buy?
02 Jul 18, Mike L (Australia - temperate climate)
Depends how rich the soil was before you put the chicken manure on. Either rake some of it away from where you are going to plant the bulbs, it not dug in already. Or dig the manure in a couple of times to spread it throughout the soil profile. I like to give my shallots a bit of a hit with fertiliser to make them strong (and produce good big bulbs for planting next year for the ones I keep).
16 Jun 18, Claire (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
What time of year should I plant shallot seeds. I am in Canterbury
18 Jun 18, Mike L (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You found this web site. You put in your climate zone and looked up shallots. Shallots are generally grown from bulbs. I have never tried from seeds because the bulbs are so easy.. Maybe you are talking about spring onions.
19 Jun 18, kate (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Mike, I noticed that too. Some states call spring onions shallots, even though they're two different things. Can be very confusing. Maybe try French shallots or Golden shallots? Not sure what they call actual shallots.
20 Jun 18, Mike L (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Type into google "shallot bulbs" go to the " Images of shallot bulbs". Look through the different photos. The photos where there a bunch of bulbs stuck together are what I believe are shallots. They are the kind I have been growing for 37 years and my mother for probably 25 years before that. A lot of the photos they look like they are single plant bulb. Yes there is a difference for eshallots, shallots, spring onions, French shallots. Hope you work out when is the best time to plant. I live Bundy Qld and I can grow shallots all year.
03 Aug 18, Stacey (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi Mike, I also live in Bundy, I am about to plant some shallot sets that I purchased from the nursery. Some of the sets have a couple of bulbs joined toghether at the root base, like a bulb of garlic has individual cloves within the whole bulb. Do I separate these to only plant one little bulb, or do I leave them joined together and plant as is? Thanks for your time, Stacey
08 Aug 17, Peter (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi thank you for you advice very informative for us beginners . My wife and I are now retirees and are getting into the veggies and live it we are growing onions of all types for the first time shallots with no bulb having great results so we have planted bought from retailer golden shallots it has 3 thick stems coming from base massive leaves do they fall over like normal onions when they are due to be harvested ? as we don't know when they are ready thank you again peter Oran Park nsw
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