Perennial Shallots...Garlic...Onions...
Answered by:Inge Poot
Question from: Paul Lauzière
Posted on: October 01, 2009

I was browsing through the catalogue and noticed a lot of garlic types and shallots...onions...etc are noted as PERENNIAL...

I can understand how this would work with Egyptian onions. I was wondering how it can work with shallots and garlic... if I pull up the shallot, how does it come back the next year? Do I leave part of the plant?

Please help asap as I intend to order some plants and their being perennial or not will affect my placement of them in different gardens...

You guessed right. You have to put part of the plant back into the soil after harvesting to have anything come up again next year. With shallots put back one bulb from every cluster you harvest, from garlic one clove from each cluster-or in all of them, choose the cluster that did best under your conditions and use it to replace as many of the ones you harvest as possible. The idea is that you are selecting plants that do best under your conditions and thus get a better harvest next year. But there is also the problem of constantly changing weather due to climate change and to hedge your bets it might be a good idea to keep some of as many different plants as possible in the hope that if next year the weather is quite different, some other plant will do better.

In onions we harvest the whole thing, so the fact that the plants are perennial only matters in onion types that take two years or more to mature. They will survive outdootrs just fine and if not harvested will come back every year, bloom and make a new bulb for next year.

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