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Topic-icon Shallott/Corn growing advice

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3 months 2 weeks ago #544835 by pilotstudent

Every year I plant a punnet of shallot seedlings and never once in 3 years have they been successful. Any advice for getting to them to go full term would be greatly appreciated. This year a small black mite attacked and wiped out the lot in the space of a few days, came out and noticed the leaves were covered in what look like tiny aphids but it was too late to do anything. Same thing has now appeared on my sweetcorn in a different area of the garden, so any advice to stop this spreading would also be appreciated.

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3 months 2 weeks ago #544838 by tonybaker

black aphids hate soapy water, real soap does the trick but you have to do it often.
I grow those trendy long shallots and initially had trouble getting seed so i got some shallots from supermarket and let them go to seed. Sow your seed in a tray about April and let them grow to 10cms. Plant out 10cms apart. They take longer to mature than normal onions. Save your own seed, it works much better.


5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, ducks, Kune Kune pigs, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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3 months 1 week ago #544919 by muri

Shallots should be planted in winter and harvested in summer, they like winter cold and moisture. If you are planting at the wrong season they might not work for you.

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3 months 1 week ago #544946 by pilotstudent

Thanks Muri, That could be my issue, I’ve always ended up planting around August/September when I’ve seen seedlings in the garden centre. You reckon try planting earlier (around the beginning of April?) instead?

I’ve come to the realisation in the last couple of years that the garden centre at my local mitre 10 can be a bit hit and miss in regards the seedlings they’ve got. They’ve had a few things that just look way too late in the season to get to maturity before the weather changes and kills them off

Last Edit: 3 months 1 week ago by pilotstudent.

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3 months 1 week ago #544953 by Anakei

I smile when I see the advice to go to your local garden centre and see what's in season. I worked at a garden centre and spent my time (quietly ) advising customers NOT to buy the tomato plants or corn in February !

With regards to the onions I have planted shallots and garlic in autumn, mid winter and in spring and it has made no difference to their failure due to rust. I have great success with red onions and spring onions but have just spent an hour hosing off blackfly off the spring onions.


Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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3 months 1 week ago #544957 by tonybaker

as I mentioned previously, sow seed in April in trays.
I use a Planet Junior with a plow blade to open a trench and lay the plants in, only just covering the roots. Then I use back of rake to bring a little soil over the roots and firm it with the head of the rake. It's quick and easy.
I have learned that rust is encouraged if you over water onions. Now I only water if there are signs of stress - but of course you have to water the young plants in for about a week.


5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, ducks, Kune Kune pigs, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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3 months 1 week ago #544962 by pilotstudent

Thanks for that advice Tony. I never have a lot of luck with the onion family from seed so usually buy seedlings but I might give that a go this year

Last Edit: 3 months 1 week ago by pilotstudent.

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3 months 1 week ago #544965 by tonybaker

Shallot seeds are hard to get but TradeMe has them
Just get some seed mix and a tray about 70mm deep, scatter seed and press it down. Water and keep covered for a few days.


5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, ducks, Kune Kune pigs, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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3 months 4 days ago #545029 by muri

Easiest is to buy shallots and plant them, even though they may look dried up, they will start growing when you plant. Thats how i plant mine, I dont bother with seeds or seedlings, I save enough each summer to plant in the following winter and leave some in the ground when they shrivel up in summer because they lack moisture, and they spring back when the growing conditions are right

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3 months 4 days ago #545033 by tonybaker

yes, this is how they do it in the UK, but here for me they usually go straight to seed?


5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, ducks, Kune Kune pigs, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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