Banana Shallot (5 bulbs)
A happy cross between onions and a shallots which became naturalised in France in the 17th Century, banana shallots are often referred to as French Echalions and can be harvested in late summer and stored for several months, providing a fresh supply of delicious onions throughout the year.
Shallots grow in a very similar way to garlic – individual bulbs are planted into the soil, pointy end up, and just below the surface. If planted in early spring, shallots should be ready to harvest in around 3 months time. They will be slower if planted in autumn or winter, but they will help to extend your harvest. Each bulb produces around 5 – 8 bulbs. When planting, do not remove the papery skin. This protects the bulb throughout dormancy. Plant around 30cm apart in full sun. They prefer a rich, well-drained soil high in organic matter with a pH of 5.0-7.0. Remove any developing flower stalks to keep all energy being directed into developing lovely sweet bulbs. Keep away from dogs and cats as plants can be poisonous to these furry friends. Harvest in either early or late summer (depending on when you planted your bulbs), after the top yellows and begins to dry. Stop watering at this time. Pull each bulb from the soil and dry in a warm sheltered place for a couple of weeks. When the foliage is completely dry, it can be removed and the bulbs can be stored in a mesh bag in a cool, dry location. Bulbs can store for up to 6 months in ideal conditions.