Planting Shallots in the Garden
On this week’s episode, Travis is planting shallots with the Hoss Wheel Hoe. Since shallots are Alliums, that means they are related to garlic and onions. Unlike onions, the shallots are planted in sets which is like an immature bulb that we plant and they will multiply out similar to bunching onions. Once they start multiplying they can make anywhere from 8 to 10 shallots in a bunch from each one of the little sets. The ideal planting space for shallot is 6 inches apart along the vegetable garden. After marking off where the rows are going to lay, Travis takes the Double Wheel Hoe and creates a shallot planting furrow. When it comes to shallot planting, he took a pipe and cut it to the perfect length so he could easily drop his sets down the pipe to the desired planting spot while he was walking along the row. Similar to other crops, shallots are heavy feeders and require plenty of water and fertilizer. Shallots should be given at least 1 inch of water per week for best results in the garden. Travis recommends fertilizing with a complete fertilizer like our 20-20-20 initially to promote root development and then switching to nitrogen and sulfur-based fertilizer like our Ammonium Sulfate. When it comes to harvesting shallots, they are ready when the majority of the tops begin to bend and collapse in the vegetable. You simply pull the shallots from the soil and allow them to “cure” in the sun for a couple of days. Once the shallots are cured they should be placed in a cool, dry area that is well-ventilated such as a basement or pole barn. Most shallots can be stored for up to five months in a proper storage area after harvesting.
Travis has four different shallot varieties to try out in the garden. The first shallot variety is an elongated type known as Banana which is similar to our Roderique Shallot Set. These shallots are usually two to three inches long at maturity and consist of copper skin with a crisp white flesh interior. Another elongated type shallot is the Monique Shallot which is a semi-long variety that has excellent disease-resistance and storage life. This shallot variety has rust-colored skin with light pink flesh and produces bulbs that can grow as large as three inches. The last shallot variety is a traditional round bulb that is known as Ambition. This is another variety that has excellent storage life and excellent flavor profiles.