We’ve all been guilty of grabbing a bag of shallots or onion sets and letting them languish in the potting shed or greenhouse. It’s not too late to get your shallots in if you haven’t got round to it yet.
Plant your shallots in a block pattern with 20cm between each bulb. This is how you make the grid:
1st measure 10cm in from the outside of the bed (this is half the planting distance between the shallots and is the same rule for anything that you are planting. Lay down a stick and score along it.
Then measure 20cm up from your initial line and score a mark in the earth. Do this all along your bed.
Then repeat this process in the other direction and this will form your uniform grid pattern.
It is important to have regular measured spacing as the size of the shallots are influenced by the distance you plant them from one another.
Next plant your shallots.
The aim is to have them planted in a little depression so that their very tips are just in level with the top of the hole or ever so slightly protruding. If you bought blood fish and bone now is the time to sprinkle a pinch in each hole. And don’t forget to add a pinch of charged biochar too (find out more about our Biochar HERE ). This is a tried and tested method for my alliums. It really enhances deep rooting, making them more tolerant of drought and more disease resistant.
Then settle your shallot in and cover with soil so that the tip is just protruding. Make sure the base of the bulb has good contact with the soil.
If your soil is dry, water your shallots in.
Then be sure to check them regularly as naughty birds will see the tips sticking out of the soil and pull them out – so just poke them back in!
I always cover my onion and shallot beds with wire until they are established (netting or pea sticks work well too). This keeps the birds off and also stops this adorable lady enjoying this ready-made kitty litter tray!