Growing Shallots

What You May Want to Know About Growing Shallots

Growing shallots can be a wonderful experience if you do it correctly.  Having fresh, home grown shallots can make your food more enjoyable and add great flavor to your food dishes.  There are a few things that you will want to keep in mind about growing shallots correctly.  You want them to be taken care of correctly so they can thrive and add a different taste to your meals.  Shallots are a cousin of the onion and they have a sweeter, milder flavor.  Do not let that full you though because they can still bring a tear to your eye when you slice them to prepare them for use.  However, the younger the shallot is, the milder it will be.  The older and more mature the shallot is, the more likely it will taste like a regular onion.  Sometimes shallots can be pickled and other times they be a full appetizer.  Actually, in Asian cultures they are sliced and deep fried and added as a condiment to many meals.

You can generally buy shallots at your local grocery store year round.  However, they prime time to purchase and use them in between April and August.  When you are selecting a shallot you buy you should make sure that they are firm and heavy for their size.  They should not have any soft spots either.  Shallots that are sprouting are generally a sign of old age and should not be purchased.

What is very interesting about shallots is that they are very expensive to buy at the store when you compare them to the price of regular onions.  However, many people may not know that they are actually very easy to grow and they do not take up much space in your garden.  Therefore, these may be a wonderful addition, even if you do not have a lot of space.  Also, you can take part of the shallots you grew in your garden and replant them.  This will continue to give you a fresh supply of shallots at your disposal.  Once you harvest you shallots, they can be stored for up to six months.

You will want to begin the growing process by planting them six to eight inches apart.  You will want the root scar to face down and the pointed end facing up.  You do not wan to plant them very far in the ground either.  When you finally cover them up you will want the top of the shallot to be just below the top surface of the soil.  Even though it sounds awkward, you will want to plant them in the fall.  Surprisingly, they do not have a difficult time surviving in the winter months.  By growing shallots in the fall, they will be ready for harvest the following summer.  You do not need to worry about any type of special soil either.  Just make sure that they remain watered.

People that enjoy cooking may like using shallots rather than onions because of the sweet flavor they tend to contribute to your meal.  However, when you go to buy a shallot and see the price compared to a regular onion you probably turn to the trusted, plain onion.  Do not let the price be a deterrent any longer.  As you can see there are many benefits to growing shallots in your own home or garden.  The ease of this process has also been explored.  If you enjoy cooking and are willing to put a little bit of effort into the process, growing shallots can be a wonderful thing to do.