Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Growing shallots in container

We tried to grow shallot the first time this year and planted the shallot sets in May. The shallot sets that we ordered came in between medium to very small size sets. To get bigger shallots it is important to plant big size sets to ensure you get good size of shallot harvest. So when you harvest them remember to keep the big ones for next planting and use the rest for your cooking. Other than growing them in the ground soil, we also tried to grow them in container and see whether it grows well or not. We don't find any difference in growing them in container or on the ground soil. It is all much depend on the size of the sets were planted. Big sets bigger bulbs and small sets will resulted on small bulbs. So if you don't have much space, you can try growing them in containers since it takes almost 9 months to harvest them depending on your climate and location. The shallot variety we grow is matador.
Push in the shallot sets roughly this much into the soil and waited for it to sprout.
They sprout easily when the weather has cool down in fall.
Maybe leaving it in the fridge for few days can help it sprout?

After a few weeks later...
For more productivity in the garden since shallot will fill in that precious spot for sometime, don't forget to inter-plant with quick crop. For example we sowed some small globe radish type around the shallot and sowed some carrot seeds near the edge of the container. This vegetables is said to be good companion . Can you see some tiny carrot seedlings and some has not sprouted when the photo were taken.

How deep was our containers for growing shallot?
About 20cm deep.
Dragon carrots growing nicely together with shallot in the same container.
Shallots just starting to produce some bulbs.

Producing more shallot bulbs.
All the photos are from the same container to follow the shallot growing progress.

The right shallot plants are almost ready to be harvested and cured.

I am quite satisfied with my first time growing shallots. If I live in a suitable place to grow them I will certainly make sure I plant them every year. Big shallots harvest were from the right side shallot plants from photo above. There are more than 10 bulbs harvested from that plant. The small shallots were from small shallot sets planted on the ground soil. South-East Asian cooking uses shallots most frequently and that amount will probably only last me for 2~3weeks.

Shallots are commonly thinly sliced and fried crisply for garnishing dishes in Malaysia. You can easily find the ready-made fried shallots sold in shops in Malaysia. Shallot is one of the ingredient commonly use to make sambal belachan or dipping sauces for grilled fish. Shallot has very little calories that make it good for a person in diet by making his or her meal more appetising by using it as marinade. From my childhood memories, we rarely eat outside so it will be a special treat when we did that so satay was usually served accompanied with peanut sauce, rice cakes, cucumber slices and raw shallot slices.
What is your favourite shallot variety?

15 comments:

Mark Willis said...

Some beautiful photos here, Diana - especially the first one, so clear! I'm going to have another go at growing Shallots this year. I have tried it twice before and on both occasions I got a very disappointing yield. With more experience now, I'm determined to do better. I very much like the sound of the meal you describe at the end of your post!

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

We start our shallots in pots just to get them going and then plant them out which also seems to work. Must admit I now plant the bulbs deeper just covering them and that also works.

makcikmanggis said...

selalunya kami tanam bawang merah untuk daunya.Lain kali boleh cuba tanam dalam bekas seperti Diana .Boleh cuba walaupun mengambil masa yang sangat panjang..9 bulan..jika wanita hamil dah hampir bersalin hehe.

Hazel said...

Thankyou Diana. My sister gave me some shallots and I planted them. They are have made bulbs and I wasn't sure when to harvest them. i will do it tomorrow!

Daphne said...

I haven't grown shallots in ages. I so rarely use them. I think of them when I think of French cooking. I had no idea they were used so much in Malaysian cooking too.

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kitsapFG said...

I have had mixed results growing shallots and have not grown them in recent years but this post is making me wish I had them included in my garden plans for 2012! Your meal description at the end of the post sounds wonderful.

Why I garden... said...

Shallots are something I'm not growing (yet). But it's great to see yours and great to hear that they do well in containers!

Sunray Gardens said...

Great photos. Nicely planted with other things and still a nice crop in that space.
Cher Sunray Gardens

Liz said...

I like how you've interplanted the shallots with radish and carrots - I should do more of that. I grow shallots - I think most will be ready for harvest in about a week. I don't know what the varieties are but some are purple, some are large brown ones and some are the smaller brown ones. I love crispy fried shallots and usually make some (unless I can persuade my mum to do it for me).

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

wow, shallots also boleh tanam, amazing! I love fried shallots!

shaz said...

Wow! Such a great harvest. And good to know it can be grown in a container. By the way, forgot to wish you Selamat Tahun Baru!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Mark~Hope you have good result with shallot the next season.

Sue~That is a good idea growing them in pots first. We usually have to wait for empty spaces before we plant them but I did not think of starting them earlier in pots to be transplanted. Thanks for the tips.

Makcikmanggis~Tak sangka banyak nak bersabar nak tunggu bawang merah membesar. Masakan kita pula kerap sungguh pakai sebagai bahan asas.

Hazel~Hope you had fun harvesting your shallots. The shallot smell does stays on the finger longer than onion though;-).

Daphne~Shallot is one of the common basic ingredient in Malaysian cooking. Malaysia import lots of shallots from India.

Anonymous~Thank you for visiting.

KitsapFG~Maybe you can still squeeze in some shallots in your garden plan for 2012. I always made mistake by over-watering them.

Kelli~Maybe someday you will have a go at growing shallots. You probably have more cooler weather for them than ours.

Cher~Trying to get more harvest by squeezing in other veggies.

Liz~I can just eat newly made crispy fried shallots a lot like that as a snack.

Sonia~Probably the changes of day-length helps to grow shallot well.

Shaz~Yes, you can try growing them at your balcony. Selamat Tahun Baru to you too.

CathJ said...

So..this is how to plant shallots? Baru saya tahu..hve to try this :)

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

CathJ~ Lebih kurang macam ni menanamnya. Tapi lama betul nak tunggu hasilnya.