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How to plant and cultivate shallots?

How to plant and cultivate shallots?

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Characteristics of the shallot

  • Type: vegetable plant
  • Height: up to 60cm
  • Desired exposure: sunny
  • Type of soil: well drained, sandy
  • Foliage: obsolete
  • Interview : easy
  • Sanitizing: no
  • Diseases: downy mildew, botrytis
  • Varieties: Polumor, Rondeline, Delvad, Longor

Origins and characteristics of shallots

The shallot is believed to have originated in Central Asia, where there are still a large number of species.

shallots is a bulbous plant belonging to the Amaryllidaceae family (which used to be called the Liliaceae). It is a vegetable plant generally used as a condiment. It has also been at the heart of French gastronomy for a long time.

Although cultivated annually for the consumption of its bulb, the latter initially makes it a perennial plant. Above the bulb stand hollow cylindrical leaves measuring between 20 and 30 cm which can be used as chives.

Very close to the onion, shallot is distinguished by its production of multiple bulbs while the onion produces only one. From a taste point of view, the shallot is more marked than the onion.

It is a condiment appreciated for its effect on the cardiovascular system: it improves blood fluidity and maintains a low sugar level. Rich in minerals and trace elements, the shallot participates in elimination functions, thanks to its laxative action. However, it is very well tolerated by the body.

Shallot plantation

shallots likes light, drained and well exposed soils. Avoid planting it in heavy soil or soaked with moisture. If the soil is clay, cultivate it on small mounds of 10cm high in order to obtain better drainage.

This neighbor of the onion is planted, according to the varieties, from October to December or from April to May in a perfectly drained soil, and if possible when the moon decreases. The planting of the bulb shallot is done head to the sky at about 2 centimeters deep. We must leave 10 centimeters between two bulbs and 30 between two rows.

As with all bulbs that spend the winter in the ground, there is no need to water when planting.

Cultivation and maintenance of shallots

Caring for the shallot is pretty easy. However, it is necessary to monitor excess drought and the risk of disease. Warning: the shallot does not support the addition of compost or any other manure. Hoeing from the ground to the foot is however very useful, especially in spring and autumn, just like regular weeding.

Watering the shallot only necessary in case of severe drought as this vegetable plant hates excessive humidity and has low water requirements. Most of the time, it is satisfied with natural watering, namely rain.

Harvest of shallots

There are two ways to harvest the shallot: green or dry.

  • For the green harvest: the plants are uprooted as soon as the bulb is formed. The first green stems can be harvested one or two months after emergence.
  • For dry harvest: bulbs take 90 to 120 days to form, depending on the variety. The gray shallot is harvested in June, the rose in July. Tear off the tufts when the leaves are dry, and let them dry in the sun for 3 to 4 days. Shelter them in case of rain.

The shallot will then keep for several months in a ventilated, cool and dry place. The main varieties found in France are thegray shallot, more fragrant, reddish brown shallot and pink shallot. However, be careful not to confuse the shallot with the shallot, also called "chicken leg shallot" which, in reality, is an onion.

Shallot diseases

To avoid diseases transmitted by the bulb, it is recommended to opt for planting certified plants in your vegetable patch. Some diseases can affect the shallot plantation

  • Mildew: it thrives in humid conditions. The main symptom is the appearance of a purplish-gray down on the leaves, which then dry out quickly. If feet are affected, spray Bordeaux mixture to avoid spreading.
  • The onion fly: this fly lays its larva near the collar. Its larva then penetrates into the roots, causing yellowing and wilting of the leaves, then of the interior of the rotten bulb. Then uproot the affected plants. And wait 3 years before growing shallots, onions or even leeks on the same land.

Consumption of shallots

Bulbs, raw or cooked, are eaten with raw vegetables or in salads. A shallot sauce has no equal in magnifying meat and its accompaniments.


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