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Old 04-07-2005, 06:47 AM   #1
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Growing shallots in your garden anyone?

I have really gotten into cooking with shallots and have suggested to my husband that he grow them in our garden for us. We are trying garlic that we planted last fall (a first for that and hope for success) and have also grown green onions, but never shallots. Have any of you tried this and how did you make out?

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Old 04-07-2005, 07:17 AM   #2
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I grow shallots every year, and get an abundant harvest, too!

Mind you, our climate in the UK may be different to yours?
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Old 04-07-2005, 10:00 PM   #3
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You don't say where you're from (or I'm missing something .... not unusual). Here in NW IL I bought a "set" of shallots to plant and it did spectacularly. The second year I separated the "cloves" remaining in the garden, replanted, and got a second crop from the same ones. The third year I think my soil compacted too much, and we had too much rain, so they were loose and rotted. This year I'll put organic material into the garden (to improve drainage and make it easier for them to spread out) and try again. But it certainly was worth the effort. I never tried them in FL or HI, but I do know that I had spectacular luck in FL growing onions as a winter crop, planting the sets in the late summer and harvesting as green onions through the winter and as whole onions as the hotter weather set in; I can't see why shallots wouldn't work that way. (Note: I don't know if shallots are "sets" like onions, or if the sections are "cloves" like garlic).
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Old 04-08-2005, 03:24 AM   #4
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Claire
The 'clue' is under my name.... ie I'm from Scotland!

I assumed you were American but haven't a clue where NWIL might be... Illinois, maybe?

We have a gardener who comes in once a week, and my husband is also out there most hours of daylight during the summer months.... they do all the planting, but I'm pretty sure the shallots come in 'sets' like onions rather than garlic bulbs.

We only garden organically. We have a large garden, mostly to flowers and orchard, but keep a small kitchen garden and I have a knot garden for herbs. I also have a soft fruits cage, with goosberries, blackberries, white and black currants, loganberries and raspberries. Very pretty in summer. I also have espaliered peaches on a south facing 150 year old wall. Most people find it incredible that peaches grow in Scotland, but on a sunny southfacing wall, in a real sun-trap like mine, they give a good number of fruits per season.

We don't grow a lot of veg - tomatoes, peppers, runner beans, onions, courgettees and french beans are probably the extent of it most years.
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Old 04-08-2005, 06:46 AM   #5
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I dont have much a yard for a big garden, but I do keep a nice fresh herb garden stocked up most of the year. All the classics, like basil, chives, parsely, tyme, rocket etc. etc. I'm lucky to live in a climate where they florish pretty much all year save a few months in winter.

I'd like to have a bigger garden. But I dont have the space or the time for upkeep.
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Old 04-09-2005, 05:08 PM   #6
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I didn't mean you, Ishbel, I know you're in Scotland! I meant Cats when I asked where!!! NW IL meant, as you surmised, northwestern Illinois. We're an oddity; a bizzare town that is set in a very rocky, vertical place in the middle of the great plains. If you were to visit our town you'd think you were in an old-west mining town; and you'd be right. Before the western US was settled, this WAS the western mining town. So a lot of guidelines in gardening books don't apply here, since it is a pocket of strange geology in the middle of the great plains. I'm a very lazy gardener with very small garden plots; one for herbs, one for tomatoes (both right near my kitchen door), then a small "everything else" plot. Most of my gardening experience is from Hawaii and Florida, in the latter I actually wrote a gardening column. But every time you move to a totaly new place, gardening becomes something ... well, totally new! It amazes me to be discussing gardening with someone in Scotland and someone in Australia. Ain't technology wonderful sometimes?
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Old 04-09-2005, 05:54 PM   #7
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Yes, you're right, Claire.. the internet has stretched ALL our horizons.

Thanks for the geography lesson, the only place I've visited in Illinois is Chicago - and that was many years ago, on a work-related matter.

We've lived in this house for a long time - and the garden had many trees and shrubs in it that we left in situ - and we are glad we did so as they continue to give us pleasure. A neighbour has a photograph of our garden, taken at the beginning of the 1900s, and anyone who saw it would recognise it as our garden today - the owners then laid out a number of the areas of the gardens, including the small orchard - but we have replaced a few of the fruit trees in our time here. I hope the next owner will continue the gardening, as it would be a real shame to let all the work go to wrack and ruin!
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Old 04-11-2005, 05:04 PM   #8
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Our house is 150 years old, and we've had a family over to visit it whose grandparents owned it at the turn of the century. I think only one tree is the same! It was fun to see where the vegetable garden, outhouse, flowers, etc, were in around 1900. I was very disappointed the new owners of the townhouse we sold in Hawaii would probably pave over our lovely tiny garden; and delighted when we sold our Florida house to a woman who immediately fell in love with my herb and vegetable garden and asked me to leave detailed notes so that she could maintain it. But I agree, even more than the house itself, what you put into the garden is a real living thing and hate the thought of it dying when you leave!
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Old 04-11-2005, 05:30 PM   #9
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Growing shallots is easy and definitely worth the effort, which isn't much. Here's a link to get you started!

http://members.optusnet.com.au/gavin...h/shallots.htm
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:04 PM   #10
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This is a reply for Claire. I wanted to let you know that we live in Delaware. At the end of this month, we will have been here for one year, previously having lived in NJ all our lives. In reading some of your additional notes on this topic, my husband and I agree with how it is kind of sad when you move leaving beautiful gardens. Our NJ home had several gardens, both for flowers and vegetables. We often wonder what the folks who bought our house there have done with what we had established over the 29 yrs. we owned the home. Lots of work and love, and, of course, anticipation every Spring went into that NJ yard. But, we are rapidly establishing our gardens around this home and, the hundreds of flower bulbs my husband put in last Fall, are blooming now, so it's exciting all over again.
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