French Shallot Seeds
Quarter of a teaspoon of open pollinated seeds from our gardens for $3.50.
Shallots are a perennial but are commonly treated as annuals. French Shallots can be eaten raw, boiled, pickled, baked, or fried.
Seeds can be sown diretly when the soil starts to warm up. During winter is the time to prepare their bed. Shallots prefer deep, rich, friable, well drained soil with lots of good quality compost and slightly alkaline soil. Select a position that gets full sun. Seeds are sown at a depth of 1cm, leaving a gap of 30cm between each row. When large enough to handle, thin the onion seedlings to 10cm apart for medium sized bulbs, or slightly further apart if you want to let them grow a little larger.
You can start your seeds in a greenhouse or on a bright windowsill during the winter. Sow them in module trays using free-draining, seed sowing compost. Place the trays in a propagator or seal them inside a plastic bag at a temperature of 10-15C until after germination. Once germinated, grow on your seedlings in cool conditions until all risk of frost has passed and they’re large enough to plant outdoors.
It will be a few months before you can harvest your shallots. In the meantime, keep the area well weeded. Water but not often. Bulbs develop when temperatures have reached above 21C. The longer you leave the plants in, the bigger the bulbs will grow.
Harvest the shallots before they start to flower. Once harvested, spread bulbs on a wire screen in a cool, well-ventilated location. Be careful not to damage the bulbs as will cause them to rot. Cure (approx 3 weeks) in the shade before you separate the side bulbs. Store bulbs in a cool, dry place or hang up in open weave bags. Save the good-sized bulbs but not the largest, for re-planting.
However, I have dug my shallots on many occassions and cooked them straight away.
Shallots will store for up to 12 months.