On shallots


There is nothing easier than planting shallots.  Seriously:  if you are all thumbs with tiny seeds, then you can reap immense personal satisfaction out of planting shallots.  The only problem I foresee is that it takes no time at all so that satisfaction may not last too long.

These are third-generation grocery-store shallots (really!).  They started spouting, so that told me it was time to plant them.  As you can see, they naturally divide for you; the bulbs usually do come in pairs.  Just pull them apart and stick them halfway into the ground.  They’ll sprout, then divide. You can harvest them, like all onions, when their tops die back/brown out.  If you plant them this spring, that should happen by August:  just keep your eyes on them.


I planted them between my greenhouse garlic.  Aren’t they pretty?  Some are up to their 8th leaf (of 10, where 10 means the scape (flower blossom) happens) so I am excited.

10 responses to “On shallots

  1. My organic shallot sets are store-bought progeny as well, descendants of a bagful I bought at the local co-op in 2006. You’re right. They couldn’t be easier. I’ve not interplanted them before, however. It seems like a great idea. Perhaps I’ll stick them in between rows of green onions that will be long gone by the time the shallots mature. A great post, thanks!

  2. How lovely those pictures are!

  3. So how many shallots do you get per shallot bulblet planted? Is it 2-for-1 or do they multiply further?

  4. I’m growing them from seed for the first time this year. I’m eager to see how they do for me. Lots and lots of onion family members in the garden this year. It was often the need for onions that drove me to the store last year. Fixin’ that hole this time around!

  5. if you plant shallot bulbs in the spring, will they be ready by the fall? I am in Upstate, NY. Thanks for your input.

  6. I’ve never grown shallots. I should give it a try. I usually stick to onions & garlic. I have such limited gardening space, perhaps when I liberate more lawn I’ll grow some.

  7. El, I just discovered your blog and can’t stop reading! I SHOULD be doing a host of other things, but nooooooo, here I sit, drooling all over the keyboard. I’ve wanted a greenhouse for years, but haven’t been able to talk my better half into it just yet, though I think he’s beginning to cave 🙂 And your shallots look lovely, too. I’ve got about 6.5 million of those to stick into the ground before too long. Just had some on a grilled veggie kabob and oooooh, were they ever sweet and yummy!

  8. I’m planting (autumn) shallots now and have planted a large bed of garlic. I have more garlic to plant and onion seed to sow…..autumn temperatures are generally good for garden work.

    Your greenhouses make me sigh!!! but you know, I now have the space for a glasshouse/greenhouse. See your plan for a world of glasshouses is taking shape. Thanks for all the great information and inspiration.

  9. Deborah, you’re welcome. Thanks for confirming my belief that they’re both super easy and can be held in perpetuity with a one-time purchase! Yeah I tend to interplant things that last a while next to things that won’t. That garlic will be gone quite soon 😉

    Thank you Christy!

    Safira, I ended up linking back to an earlier post I made to show you the somewhat enthusiastic divisions shallots can make. It can be one to ten, really!

    Kate, I have had poor luck with seeds…and sometimes I need some instant gratification 🙂 so planting bulbs it is! Anyway it’s right up your alley: one time purchase…. But I hear you on the whole precious-onion thing. I went through that two years ago and figured it out last year.

    Hiya Steve. I ended up adjusting my post to let you know what to expect: sorry I wasn’t terribly clear before; sometimes I write these things whilst undercaffeinated (not recommended). Let me know if you have more questions though okay?

    Blaithin, hi! So glad you’ve found it and you like it but I don’t know what to do about your motivation to do real work 🙂 Veggie kabobs sound fabulous. I love shallots so I always try to make room for them…

    Hi Nada! I am so glad to learn the new homestead has some FLAT space on it. How great you can plant lots of stuff now to germinate over the cold months; the only thing we can do that with is garlic, really. The greenhouses: what can I say, they can be life-changing so I am a bit of an evangelist about it all….

  10. Oh my god, I am going to try this! I use store bought green onions to replant and have green onions all season long for a small price; the shallots look like an equally awesome idea and I love them. Thanks for the post!

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