'Red Sun' Organic Shallots (20-45mm)
Character: High yielding shallot with very uniform bulbs. Mild flavour, ideal for salads. One of the best red-skinned varieties, it produces bumper crops of crisp, white fleshed bulbs with a really good flavour for cooking, salads or pickling. Good storage variety. Shallots are bulb-shaped, with copper, reddish, or gray skin. They look like a small, elongated onion, but have a milder flavour with a hint of garlic.
From the outside, a shallot looks a bit like a misshapen red onion, but once you peel it, you will see that instead of rings, it divides into cloves like garlic does. Small shallot bulbs will have two to three individual cloves and large shallots can have up to six cloves. Each clove is flat on one side and rounded on the other.
Planting: March / May Harvesting: August / September.
A member of the onion family, but formed more like garlic than onions. Shallots are valued for their mild onion flavor, and can be used in the same manner as onions. A shallot looks like a small, elongated onion with a copper, reddish, or gray skin. When peeled, shallots separate into into cloves like garlic.
The flavour of a shallot is much milder and sweeter than that of an onion, so if a recipe specifies shallots, substituting onions won't give the same results. Their lower water content means they need to be cooked more gently than onions.
There are about 35 shallots in a kilo.
- Plants are undemanding and can be grown in any well-drained, fertile soil in a sunny position. They need a long growing period but can be interplanted with faster-growing crops.
- Add up to two bucketfuls of manure or garden compost before planting or rake in a moderate dressing of any general purpose fertiliser.
- Plant shallot sets 25cm apart in rows 45cm apart from February to end of March. Gently push them into soft, well-worked soil so that the tip is just showing and firm the soil around them.
- Can be planted through black weed suppressing membrane to ease weed control and avoid the need to hoe.
- Water if the weather is dry and remove any flower spikes as soon as they are seen.
- Birds can be a problem lifting the sets; covering with net will prevent this.
- Onion downy mildew – This is a fungal disease that damages foliage and bulbs, resulting in poor yields. It is a particular problem in damp conditions.
- Remedy - Make sure there is plenty of light and air around plants by sowing or planting at correct spacing and by regular weeding. Avoid overhead watering if possible. Infected leaves can be removed. Spray plants with Herfomyc ( This is a biological crop care product for agriculture) It stimulates and strengthens the plants and makes them less susceptible to pests and diseases. It is effective against any fungus on herbaceous plants. Also acts as a foliar feed so will strengthen the plant as well.
- Crop Rotation - to prevent lots of different soil diseases, rotate your vegetable families each season.
- Shallots are ready to harvest when the foliage starts to turn yellow in July. Lift the bulb clusters with a hand fork, separate them and allow to dry. Shallots can be stored in trays or bags in a frost free place
Shallots have nothing to do with "The Lady of Shalott" - a ballad by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson . One of the poet's best-known works, its vivid medieval romanticism and symbolism inspired many painters, especially the Pre-Raphaelites and their followers.