Shallots are one of the delicacies in our cuisine that are simple to grow. I have noticed in forums online that some people substitute onions or green onions for shallots in recipes simply because shallots often cost 10x more than onions by weight. But shallots are incredibly simple to grow, probably even easier than onions, so that's an absurd thought in my mind.
|Planting Time: OCT (in central Maryland)|
Harvest Time: JUL (in central Maryland)
Shallots grow just like garlic in many ways, as they're in the same family. Shallots are sowed in the fall, about 6" apart and 2-3" deep, pointy side up. I would suggest planting on the same day as garlic, and I plant them in the same bed. They should be mulched to withstand the winter, which I do with straw.
I don't fertilize shallots much. What I have read is that some wood ashes will be fine. Wood ashes are about 0-1-3 as far as fertilizer goes (clemson.edu)
Store as you would onions or garlic - dry in a dry, cool area, and they'll keep a few months, but not as long as garlic. Shallots tend to rot much more quickly, and I find that even trying to keep them from July to October (picking time to planting time for the next year) is a chore.
Matt's Garden Notes:
2012-13: Started shallots in OCT 2012, covered with straw soon thereafter. Uncovered late MAR 2013. Picked first mid-JUN 2013, definitely not fully mature yet. Harvesting done by mid -JUL. Some never got bigger than a single garlic clove, others were some of the larger shallots I've ever had.
Recipes using Shallots: