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Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.

Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Growing your own shallots from sets

Shallots are a great way to add a tasty and delicate flavour to your cooking, I use them in lots of different meals when the taste of onion would be too much for the dish as they are milder in flavour than onions. Shallots are also easy to caramelise and that is something I like to do sometimes when cooking.

Shallots are easy to grow so I think it it is worth finding the space to grow your own. There are different varieties of shallots available to buy as sets but the method of growing them is the same.

Unlike onion sets where each 'little onion' just grows into one large onion, each single shallot 'bulb' splits to produce several shallots in a clump that develops into (aprox 5-10)  shallots grow from the the single shallot 'bulb'.

To grow your own shallots.

Plant the shallot sets in March or early April.

You need to keep the area the shallots are growing free from weeds through out the time they are growing.

  • On the prepared  soil place the sets ('bulbs')  the correct distance apart according to the pack instructions.
  • Now firm the soil around them and leave just the tips of them showing.
It helps to prevent the birds from pulling them out of the soil (as soon as your back is turned ) if you trim of any long pieces of 'onion skin' of the top tips of the 'bulbs'.

  • If the weather is very dry water the area but other then that just keep the area weeded.
  • When the leaves of the shallots start to go yellowy (usually in July) and then they collapse you will know the crop is maturing.
The leaves will turn brown and you will then know that your crop of shallots is ready.

Leave the shallots to dry after harvesting, and then separate them and tidy them up by removing the straggly loose skin and roots.

Now you have a crop of home grown shallots to use for your cooking. Keep the shallots stored in a cool dry place until you use them.

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a healthy potato plant in flower

a healthy potato plant in flower
photo of potatoes in flower

home grown carrots.. grown from seed

home grown carrots.. grown from seed
photo of my first bunch of carrots 2009

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful
Home Grown Fruit can be made into delicious compote