A 3 minute read by Peter Worsp

Shallots as bulbs are available in store from May, and can be planted right through to spring. Seedlings are available right through spring.

  • A member of the onion family, similar to multiplying onions but smaller
  • Have a mild onion flavour and can be eaten fresh or cooked
  • Grow happily wherever onions will grow


  • Plant in a sunny position, with a well drained soil
  • Add compost and/or peat prior to planting
  • Apply all-purpose fertiliser at rate of 200gm/m2

How to Plant

  • Divide into single bulbs before planting
  • Press each bulb firmly into the soil, leave top ½ above the ground
  • Space 10cm apart, 25cm between rows
  • Each bulb will produce 6-12 new bulbs
  • Harvest when leaves wither back to the neck of bulb, in mid-summer
  • Store in a cool airy place, tied on strings or in string bags

When to Plant

  • Shallots are available in stores from May, and can be planted right through to spring

Where to Plant

  • Shallots can be planted in the vegetable garden provided they get a reasonable amount of sunshine each day
  • The soil should be fertile and free draining. Improve heavy soils by the addition of compost or peat
  • Shallots can also be grown in large troughs or containers
  • Use a good all-purpose plant food in the garden, and a slow release general fertiliser in pots and containers

Cooking with Shallots

  • Roast Shallots in their skins until soft then peel and eat with the meal
  • Sautee shallots gently, being careful not to burn as this can make them bitter
  • Use shallots in dishes where you are using wine
  • Three or four shallots can be substituted for one medium sized onion
  • Eating shallots will not give you bad breath as garlic does

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