QUESTION: Can I plant shallots and garlic together? Can I just plant what I buy from the store? -Fred G.
ANSWER: If you are buying shallots and garlic for planting, it is better to source them from a farmers market than a grocery store, as you want varieties that are suited to the climate conditions in your area. Follow these easy instructions for planting shallots and garlic together in the same bed:
- Separate each garlic clove and shallot cluster from the heads, setting aside the larger cloves for planting.
- In a loose, well-draining, fertile soil, during the fall, plant both vegetables for a summer harvest, setting shallot bulbs root side down in small holes so that the top is even with the soil’s surface, spacing shallot bulbs five inches apart. Place garlic cloves root side down into a hole so that the tops are two inches below the soil’s surface, spacing each clove four to six inches apart. Water well after planting to help establish your newly planted bulbs.
- Lay out a thick layer of mulch for your garlic plantings but leave the shallot side of the bed mulch free, as the tender shoots of shallot seedlings will struggle to emerge through the mulch. Garlic seedlings will emerge through the mulch layer in the early spring.
- Once the baby plants emerge in the spring, feed them with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Mulch around shallot plants once they are five inches tall and provide both plants with consistent and even moisture by watering regularly.
- Harvest both garlic and shallots by hand so you don’t damage the bulbs and heads. Harvest in the summer when the leaves begin to yellow and die back. Cure plants for storage by hanging them in a shady spot with good air circulation.