Question: How do you propagate shallots? Can I do this easily? -Leslie W.
Answer: To propagate your shallots, first, dig them up when they are mature and the tops have yellowed and started to fall. In loose soil, shallots can be easily pulled up by hand. Each cluster is made up of several small bulbs, similar to a head of garlic. Shake the plants gently to remove soil from around the bulbs and brush off any dried soil that doesn’t come off from the shaking. Allow the freshly harvested shallots to dry in a shady spot for several hours.
Next, for hanging storage, put your dried shallots in a mesh or paper bag, or for regular storage, just layer them into a cardboard box and elevate the box from the floor to prevent moisture from building up in the bottom of the box. Store the bulbs in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight until planting time. Check the bulbs periodically for any signs of mold and discard any bulbs that have become soft or discolored as they can easily infect the entire crop of onions.
Divide the cluster of shallot bulbs into individual bulbs just before planting, as each bulb will produce a new cluster of shallots by harvest time. Plant each bulb one inch deep with the pointed end facing up, spaced six inches apart in rows. Space rows out one foot apart.
After planting, cover bulbs with soil and pack down with your hands to help secure the bulbs in the soil snugly. Water just enough to moisten the soil to the depth of the bulbs and keep it moist until you start to see green shoots sprouting up, which should appear within a week.
Mulch around the base of your shallot plants with an organic mulch like grass clippings, straw, or chopped leaves. Adding mulch will help conserve water, suppress weeds, and keep soil temperatures cool. Rainfall should supply plenty of water, but during especially dry periods, you may need to water deeply once per week.