Gardening through the Seasons with Margaret Finch

Hello Gardeners 
As a keen gardener usually even in some of the worst weather conditions there’s still 
jobs to achieve outside but it’s a gale blowing today -plants don’t keep still for pruning 
making the tasks difficult, but very luckily my Shallots have arrived.
They  have self -isolated for a week and today is the perfect time to’ pot ‘them up.
This is a great way to get ahead giving them a good early start and helps if your ground
is not ready.
As the photo shows, I ‘pot’ them up in multi -purpose compost in 9cm pots pushing bulbs in about 1 inch firming in, watering and placing in a cold greenhouse they will take a few weeks to shoot hopefully can be planted out in March when well rooted.
If you prefer to plant bulbs directly outside, plant into well worked ground about 10 inches /25cm apart with rows 16inches /40cm wide. When planting bulbs directly into the ground, push down an inch, firming in well, to avoid birds pulling them up, covering them with fleece will also help until shooting. A sunny site is preferable and watering if dry will help to swell bulbs. Keep weed free and cut out any flower stems.
They should produce 8/10 more Shallots around the Mother Shallot. Lift in July when foliage goes yellow and dies back allow to dry storing in a light frost-free place.
They are easy to grow with lots of rewards and good yields with very little pests. Onion white rot will make leaves go yellow when in full growth with a white fluffy fungus attaching to the roots, destroy these as there is no cure.
My favourite varieties Golden Gourmet yields well good for pickling and Jermor a French
Banana Shallot copper coloured skin brilliant for cooking. Both store well and last better
than Onions and don’t make you cry so much when peeling in the Kitchen!
Buy now and enjoy Gardening 
Margaret Finch

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