I have some shallot
bulbs to plant but I don't know whether I should divide them into
individual bulbs first, or plant each entire bulb as one.
is quite a degree of confusion over the identity of something called
a 'shallot', but I will try to be helpful. In New Zealand we often
use the terms shallot and spring onion interchangeably. Both are
members of the genus Allium (which includes leeks, onions
and garlic), with true shallots being members of the 'Aggregata'
group of A. cepa (which includes the common onion) and true
spring onions being members of the species A. fistulosum.
However, we can also call small onions (A. cepa) spring onions
as well and the shallot can also be known as A. ascalonicum!
Anyway, assuming you
have true shallot bulbs (and even if you have something else), here
is what you do. First of all, you divide the bulb into individual
bulbils (little bulbs). Then you plant them in autumn (May onwards)
or spring, in well-drained rich soil, but not where you have grown
onions, garlic or leeks before (otherwise your shallots will get
nasty diseases). Do not plant them too deeply. Once your bulbils
have established, keep them well-fed with nitrogenous fertilizers
and well watered if the soil gets dry. Closer to harvest time lay
off the nitrogen.
You can sometime grow
shallots from seed, and you can usually get spring onion seedlings
from most garden centres. Whatever the identity of your 'shallots',
good luck with them.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH