Planting, harvesting, conservation, selection of the spring shallot: In February and March, this is the time to start growing shallots. It is planted on a mound or flat, with plants purchased or from its own harvest, better adapted from year to year…
Shallots are among the first plantations at the beginning of the year to be planted in the vegetable garden. Armed with gloves, because the ground is cold at this time of year, planting is very simple: you will probably have the pleasure of obtaining an average of 7 new shallots for a small shallot planted, and all that, without much effort. interview. But you have to make a few choices, like:
- decide whether to install them on a mound or at ground level.
- test several varieties to choose the one that best suits your garden.
- keep the small shallots from the previous harvest to plant or eat everything.
To note : You can also grow shallots in pots to take advantage of their aromatic foliage.
When to plant shallots?
Spring shallots are planted in the ground during the months of February and March, and even possibly, until mid-April.
No need to absolutely rush at the beginning of February, what you need above all is to choose in this period, the moment when the earth is easy to work: neither frozen by frost, nor too sticky because of a recent rain.
It is estimated thatit takes an average of 5 months for them to complete their vegetative cycle in the ground: then they rest and you get shallots to keep.
Of course, we can also harvest it earlier, “green”, as needed in the kitchen.
To note : there are varieties of winter shallots, such as the variety Griselle, for example, to be planted in autumn and whose culture works well in regions that have mild winters. But if you want shallots to eat in winter, you need spring shallots.
Choose your shallot variety(ies)
New garden, new experiences: the choice of varieties is completely empirical. We plant several of them, and we select those that go well. It may take several years to define the preferred variety or varieties in terms of taste, productivity or robustness. These criteria depend on the variety of course, but also how this variety responds to the qualities of your soil, how it adapts.
One tip though: you can find out what local vegetable gardeners are planting, if there are any.
When buying the shallot seedling, there is no need to choose shallots that are too large in size: they could have been “pushed” too much.
Choose to make your own plants
There is always pleasure in testing a new variety that you buy, but there is also pleasure in gaining autonomy by making your own plants.
Just sort them in February or March on your healthy harvest if you have enough left: you get the rather small (but not tiny) shallot bulbs.
Advantage : if you have enough to pick your next plants, that strain has done well. It’s a simple way to select the right variety for your soil.
Then, although this shallot reproduces only vegetatively, it adapts to your garden year after year, through epigeneticsan ability that plants have to adapt at the individual level, by activating + or – certain genes depending on environmental factors.
Preparing the land for the shallots
Shallots like loose, well-worked soil. On the other hand, the excesses of nitrogen, therefore the too rich grounds make them swell and make them more fragile with the diseases. In addition, too “pushed”, they will be more difficult to keep.
loose soil: the earth is worked and refined so that the new roots find their way easily and quickly.
manure : shallots should not be planted in soil that is too rich in nitrogen or that has just been manured. If you bring compost or manure every year on your vegetable garden, leave an unenriched part for the shallot, onion and garlic.
On the other hand, an area amended the previous year for cucurbits or tomatoes or any other nitrogen-intensive crops will make very good soil for your shallots this year.
Mounds or no mounds?
In very rainy spring climatesor when the soil is heavy, shallots that hate standing in water are best grown on small mounds of soil, 5 to 10 cm high and 20/25 cm wide.
However, we have to adapt to climate change: now as gardeners, we sometimes have to deal with spring droughts or excessive heat from May/June, which overheats the mounds. Are these mounds still marked?
We can plan to cultivate half of it on a mound and the other at ground level, and deal with all eventualities.
The shallots are pressed into the loose soil by hand, so that the neck of the bulb is flush.
On the line, they are spaced at least 15 cm apart.
THE rows are spaced 20 to 30 cm apart.
They do not need to be watered when planting and theoretically not really during their growth, unless there is an exceptional spring drought.
It is out of the question to binary deep in the rows of shallots: do not disturb their roots. At most, you can pass the skimmer on the surface (2/3 cm deep, max) at least 10 cm on each side of the row. The little plants genre speedwell, chickweed or shaggy cardamines do not hinder the growth of shallots, on the other hand, moving the soil around their roots does harm them.
Harvest and conservation
You can harvest shallots in green, punctually and as needed. Their leaves are also eaten then and it is very good. But you will get more production by letting them finish growing.
The harvest which allows them to be preserved until the following year is generally done in July., when the leaves begin to turn yellow. It’s quite satisfying to pluck the shallot heads by hand. If there are still a few green leaves left, they are left to finish drying, placed on the ground.
These qualitative shallots, not too pushed, keep well in a fairly dry and cool room in winter : a cellar, a garage, an attic. They must be contained in a ventilated container: crate or wicker basket.
Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by www.aujardin.info.
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