Shallot advice sought

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by LuvsGreen, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. LuvsGreen

    LuvsGreen Member

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    Location:
    Western Illinois
    First of all, I'm in zone 5B, west-central Illinois. I'm looking for advice about when to plant shallots. I've been growing garlic successfully for years and I plant them in the fall. I've grown onions and I plant them in the spring. Our local purveyor of allium sets has them available in the spring but not in the fall so I've ordered seed garlic on the internet but mostly use cloves from my own harvest.

    I'm very confused about when to best plant shallots in my area. I bought some from our local purveyor but they are not in good shape--rather mushy and damp. When I tried the internet, most sites are sold out and do not have any available at this time. I managed to find one site to order from so I'll be planting soon. However, would it be better to have planted them in the fall? Do they winter over as nicely as garlic? And finally, as I understand it, they should be planted no deeper than they are high, so that the tips are barely covered or even poke out of the ground a bit?

    Thanks for your help.
    Traudi
     
  2. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Dunbar area
    I don't know about planting sets, but I have grown them from seeds for the last two years, buying the seed from Thompson and Morgan - which sells in the US too - and yesterday I planted this year's crop. From seed, they grow just like onions, so I assume that the same is true of sets. In fact I have always thought that they are just a type of onion.
     
  3. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Howdy Traudi,
    I'm in central Alberta, zone 3. I have been planting shallots and garlic since 1983. I always seed both in late August (Edmonton Area). Never had any problem. Return is at least 10:1, often more. Late August maybe too early for you. I think a month before permanent freeze up is a good rule of thumb to go with. I also plant mine fairly deep - the top is an inch below ground level.
    I have also kept sets in the fridge to plant in spring. Also worked but the tops did not go down as early and harvesting was delayed by almost a month. Yield was about the same as fall planting.
    In the mid 1990's I tried planting with true seeds in spring. Although I harvested good crop from true seeds, I prefer using sets and have abandoned using seeds.
    You asked if shallots are as hardy as garlic. From my experience, it is much hardier. I placed some garlic and shallots in a Coleman cooler in my unheated garage. In spring, all the garlic were liquified but not a single shallot froze to death. Lowest air temperature recorded was minus 30C for that winter.
    Peace
    Thean
     
  4. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Dunbar area
    What memories the phrase "permanent freeze up" brings!

    Like, why I left Alberta 30-odd years ago after a few decades of unendurable cold.

    Anyway, enough reminiscing. Time to put on my walking shorts and go out for a stroll by the sea.
     
  5. LuvsGreen

    LuvsGreen Member

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    Location:
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    Thank you both for responding. Heck, if they'll survive in Alberta they surely will be OK in my area. In fact, the bigger problem for this area is the constant freeze/thaw cycle throughout the winter. Sounds like I can plant the same time I plant the garlic. Thean, that's a darn good return you get. I'll be planting just a few this week to see how it goes I'll definitely be ordering sets for a fall planting. In fact, I think I'll start a new raised bed just for the shallots. Thanks again!!
    Traudi
     
  6. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Having spent 4 years in Urbana I can tell you that the weather there is only marginally better than Calgary's - although much better than Edmonton's.
     

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