Fifteen rows of garlic each ten feet long with about 20 cloves per row are now in the ground, labeled, and mulched. This is much less than I usually plant but I’m not intending to sell any next year, just grow enough for myself and have enough good cloves for replanting. Between wet summers and diseases my once large stock of garlic varieties is reduced to just ten. Some of my favorites, German Red, Persian Star, Polish Hardneck, and Siberian, are completely gone having succumbed to a bulb rot last year that wiped out whole rows. These varieties made huge bulbs with big cloves. So now it is wait for winter and hope the snow cover is deep enough to keep the cold from the cloves I have planted.
Today I began planting the first of my four varieties of shallots. These are not true shallots or griselle (Allium oschaninii) but a variety of the common onion (Allium cepa) named Allium cepa var. aggregatum. The first shallot is round and red which I call it Round Red Shallot. The second one is reddish-yellow but elongate and I call this one Long Yellow-Red Shallot. The interior is a pale lavender color. I got both of these red shallots in a grocery store. The other two are yellow and round and are from bulbs I bought from seed retailers. One is called “Dutch Yellow Multiplier Onion” and the other simply “Yellow Multiplier Onion”. The Dutch Yellow bulbs are a little more lopsided than the Yellow Multiplier (sometimes called the “Potato Onion”). Both make clusters of small to medium-sized onion bulbs and are very prolific. The flavor of all four shallot varieties is mild when cooked. Yellow Multiplier will last up to a year in storage and still be good to eat. Not many onions can do that.
Like garlic, shallots and multiplier onions can be planted in the fall. I plant them the same way as garlic about four inches deep, six inches apart in the rows, and rows spaced a foot and half apart, cover with soil and mulch. When spring arrives and the ground thaws they will have a head start.