Shallots - Key Growing Information

Three types of shallots with different characteristics, including earliness, flavor profile, and storage potential.


SCIENTIFIC NAME: Allium cepa var. aggregatum
CULTURE: Shallots require full sun and fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. Sandy loam soils are ideal; raised beds or raised rows are recommended for heavier soils to promote soil drainage. When planted at a closed spacing, shallots are more likely to form a single bulb.
DIRECT SEEDING: In April or early May, or as soon as the soil can be prepared in early spring, sow in a 2" wide band, about 2 seeds/in., 1/4- 1/2" deep, rows 12-18" apart. Thin to 1 1/2-2" apart for highest yields in fertile soil. Thin to 3-4" apart for larger shallots.
TRANSPLANTING: In short-season areas, sow seeds indoors in flats in late February to mid-March. Broadcast 1/2" apart and cover 1/4". Tops may be clipped to 5" tall. Transplant to the garden 4" apart, or sow 5 seeds in each cell of 1-1 1/2" diameter plug trays, thinning to 3 per cell. Transplant each cell 6" apart.
CULTIVATION: Keep shallots well weeded with shallow cultivation.
WATER: Shallots are shallow rooted and grow best with at least 1" per week of rain or irrigation, especially during the bulbing phase.
DISEASES: Adequate air circulation and crop rotation aids in reducing the risk of foliar disease
HARVEST: When necks become soft and tops are falling over, pull and sun-cure at least 2-7 days, depending on weather. Move to a protected location to finish drying.
STORAGE: When dry, clip off tops and roots and store in onion bags or shallow boxes at near freezing and 65-70% humidity.
DAY LENGTH: Like onions, all shallots are day length sensitive. Plant shallots as you would long-day onions.
DAYS TO MATURITY: From direct seeding; subtract 10-15 days if transplants are used.
AVG. DIRECT SEEDING RATE: 1 oz./25', 1M/50', 5M/250', 25M/1,250', 580M/acre @ 20 seeds/ft., in rows 18" apart.
TRANSPLANTS: Avg. 1 oz./4,900 plants, 1 lb./78,750.
SEED SPECS: SEEDS/LB.: 119,600-125,270 (Avg. 122,500).
PACKET: 250 seeds, sows 12' or makes 140 plants.