“They’re onions,” he said. “No, they’re garlic,” she said.
Actually, they’re both right and that they are both wrong. Shallots, onions, and garlic are beats, an equivalent family, but none of them is an equivalent. Shallots taste like onions, but also a touch like garlic; their distinct flavor is somewhere in between, with qualities of both. And while shallots may look more like onions, under the skin the bulbs are divided into cloves, like garlic.
TYPES OF SHALLOTS
Chefs like French-Italian shallots (also called French Red), which they will use either dry or green. Popular varieties include Pikant, Ambition, Ed’s Red, and Picasso.
PLANTING AND CARING FOR SHALLOTS
You can start shallots from sets, from transplanted seedlings, or from direct-sown seeds. Many gardeners have the simplest success with sets, especially in cold climates. Like garlic, shallots sets (or cloves) are typically planted two-to-four weeks before the date for the primary fall frost. In climates where the bottom doesn’t freeze you’ll also plant shallots from mid-February to mid-March. Plant sets six-to-eight inches apart with the basis scar down. Unlike flower bulbs that you simply plant deep under the soil, shallot bulbs or sets are planted with their tops slightly below the surface of the soil.
Another way to grow shallots is to interplant them with spring greens. After you harvest the first greens the shallots will have any room to grow.
Shallots like well-drained soil that’s high in organic matter. an excessive amount of moisture within the soil will cause the shallots to rot. It’s best to not mulch around shallots. If you’ve got to mulch to regulate weeds, make certain to get rid of the mulch after the bulbs swell therefore the sun can ripen the bulbs.
SHALLOT PESTS AND DISEASES
Shallots are susceptible to bacterial and fungal diseases also as thrips and maggots. a method to attenuate damage is to avoid planting where shallots, onions, or garlic are grown in recent years.
You can harvest the green tops and use them like scallions or chives. Bulbs are mature once they are about one-quarter inch in diameter and therefore the leaves turn yellow and dry. Keep a supply of healthy bulbs to plant for next season and you’ll never need to buy another shallot again.