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Organic Shallot/Potato Onion Growing Guide

Shallot

Planting:

Separate shallot sets into individual shallots.  Some shallots will not easily separate and should be left intact rather than tearing into the ‘flesh’ of the shallot. Smaller cloves generally produce larger but fewer sets, and larger cloves generally produce smaller but more sets.

Shallots are similar to garlic and onions in that they prefer a loose, well-worked, loamy soil with good drainage.  French Grey shallots should be planted in late fall and are tolerant of heavy frosts.  Dutch Red shallots can be planted early in the spring or late Fall. In the Spring, they can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked and should be planted early enough to have several weeks of cool temperatures while rooting.  

Plant shallots 8 inches apart, just below the surface of the soil.  Cover lightly with about ½ inch of well packed soil.  Water deeply so water is at root level and not around the bulb. If flower stalks form, cut them off at the base.

Harvest:

Begin to taper off water as leaves turn brown.  Shallots are ready to harvest when they have fallen over and the leaves are mostly brown.  Spread the bulbs out in a shady area to dry for several weeks before clipping the tops and roots. For best storage, keep in a cool and dark place with moderate humidity.  Dutch Red shallots store very well, often a full 12 months, and French Grey shallots store 3-5 months.

Potato Onion

Planting:

Separate potato onion sets into individual bulbs.

Potato onions are similar to shallots in that they prefer a loose, well-worked, loamy soil with good drainage.  Potato onions can be planted early in the spring or late Fall. For Fall planting it is ideal to get them in the ground several weeks before the ground freezes solid. In the Spring, they can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked and should be planted early enough to have several weeks of cool temperatures while rooting.  

Plant potato onions 8 inches apart, just below the surface of the soil.  Cover lightly with about ½ inch of well packed soil.  Water deeply so water is at root level and not around the bulb. If flower stalks form, cut them off at the base.

Harvest:

Begin to taper off water as leaves turn brown.  Potato onions are ready to harvest when they have fallen over and the leaves are mostly brown.  Spread the bulbs out in a shady area to dry for several weeks before clipping the tops and roots. For best storage, keep in a cool, dry and dark place with moderate humidity.  When stored in proper conditions they can last up to 18 months!