Sunday, May 31, 2009

2009 Garlic and Shallots

I thought I’d show off my garlic and shallots since it looks like my best year thus far for growing them! I know that’s counting my chicks before the eggs hatch, because the real test will be when I harvest later in summer. However at this stage, they look the best I’ve grown yet.

Last fall I planted 5 varieties of garlic, and 2 varieties of shallots in newly dug and well-tilled beds amended with biochar, organic compost, worm castings, greensand, Azomite and CalPhos. The soil test indicated the NPK was fine if I planned a side dressing of fertilizer in spring. (I did.)

I planted Purple Striped Siberian, a mild hardneck, and Keeper, a hotter Creole hardneck that stores well. The Artichoke softnecks I planted are Red Toch from the Republic of Georgia, with mellow medium heat; Susanville, true garlic flavor but not hot, and a Turban Artichoke, Shantung Purple, which packs some serious heat if eaten raw.

The shallots I planted are French Red and Dutch Yellow. The French Red is quite popular with gourmet cooks; it has a rich flavor and pinkish bulbs. The Dutch Yellow shallots are a creamy-yellow and a bit more pungent flavor that mellows when cooked. The Dutch Yellow store much better than the French Red, and both produce bulbs 1-1/2” to 2” in diameter.

I normally grow leeks every year as well; I use a LOT of leeks in cooking and they are expensive to buy. Sadly, I neglected to order leek seedlings this year. I do have red and yellow onions just beyond and left of the shallots in the photo, so there will still be lots of alliums for my larder and for my recipes!


  1. i have garlic and leek envy! i have been so excited about my new raised beds and over the last week the trees have leafed out and i think i have too much shade. i am morning my garden before it has had much time to fail. i have a couple garlics that turned brown and shriveled and my onion tops are all falling over. but i am new to this so it could be something else?? i will just follow yours and compare! maybe i still have a chance.

  2. Don't give up! Your garlic and onions probably got a good start in the sun before the trees leafed out. What's your zone and when did you plant the onions?

  3. I'm trying shallots for the first time, wish I had ordered a lot more than I did. I split one off and re-planted them, not sure if I should have but they are growing.

  4. Khalil, I'm interested in knowing how the split-off ones grow. Please let me know? Thanks.


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