Thursday 27 August 2009

Shallots of Little Onions

At the weekend we pulled up all our onions and shallots. The leaves had all drooped and started to turn yellow. Garden Girl and I heaved them out of the ground, with squeals of excitement from Garden Girl whenever one of them turned out to be red. Garden Boy meanwhile went backwards and forwards carrying them from the raised bed to the tray I had left on the lawn. We were a well oiled machine and the task was completed in no time.

I then plaited together the onion leaves so we could hang the onions up to dry. Garden Girl watched this with considerable interest having had a young girl from a nearby tent plait her hair while we were camping. She announced that the onions looked very pretty, just like her, and then joined me in separating the shallot bulbs.

Garden Boy, having enjoyed carrying things backwards and forwards, continued his task with businesslike determination only this time he was depositing shallots in secret hiding places all around the garden.Garden Girl and I adopted to play chase there and then, rather treasure hunt later and eventually, but with more exercise than I had anticipated, the onions and shallots were ready for drying.

I was really pleased with the shallot crop and I will definitely be growing more next year. I am not quite as convinced by the onions. A few grew to be about the size of a medium onion but most were quite small and as they started out from sets rather then seeds, this was a little bit disappointing. We also lost a few onions early in the season when the hot weather caused them to bolt. Maybe we could try another variety or else just use the extra space for more shallots.  Can anyone recommend an easy to grow onion variety?


  1. Shallots do well for me too, but bigger onions not so much. Have you tried leeks? They are the best of all and glorious in the kitchen.

  2. Hi June

    I planted loads of leeks in early May but they currently look very spindly and weak. I am not sure how they are supposed to look at this time of year but I am just hoping they will bulk out over time.