How to Grow Shallots, Potatoes and Onions in Pots


In containers, shallots, potatoes, and onions may be grown by anybody who has access to a sunny deck, patio, or other outside space. Shallots are perennial plants; the most common variety is the red shallot (Allium cepa var. aggregatum), which grows in plant hardiness zones 2 through 9 according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, some people believe that the taste of grey shallots (Allium oschaninii), which are hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8, is superior. Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are considered annuals, although onions (Allium cepa) are technically biennials but are often treated as annuals when cultivated. When grown in containers, shallots, potatoes, and onions have different maintenance requirements than other vegetables.

Potting Soil and Containers

Growing shallots, potatoes, and onions in containers requires a potting soil that drains well and containers that have holes in the bottom for excess water to escape. This information comes from the University of Kentucky. Traditional garden soil is not an appropriate medium for planting in containers. You may cultivate shallots, potatoes, and onions in a commercial potting soil mix that is free-draining, or you can prepare your own by combining one part sterilised garden soil, one part perlite, and one part sphagnum peat moss in equal parts.

To sterilise the soil for your garden, place it in a glass pan and place it in the microwave for fifteen to twenty seconds. Add one and a half cups of dolomitic limestone and one and a quarter cups of super phosphate to one bushel of handmade potting soil. The best container size for shallot cultivation is one that is at least one foot broad and six inches deep. Onions may also be grown in the same size pot, however potatoes need to be grown in pots that are at least 15 gallons and around 24 inches tall. Onions can be grown in the same size pot as potatoes. Clay, plastic, metal, or a kind of wood that is resistant to rotting, such as redwood or cedar, may be used in the construction of the containers.

Shallots in Pots

According to Cornell University, shallots do best when grown in containers that get full light and are kept in dry circumstances. The ideal way to cultivate shallots is to do it inside, in containers, at a location that gets at least six hours of sunshine every day. Leave a distance of 6 inches between each shallot. If the container is broad enough to grow plants in rows, then you should leave 10 inches of space between each row.

When the soil is dry to a depth of one inch, the shallots need to be watered. Slowly pour water over the top of the soil until it reaches the drainage holes and then cease pouring the water. Shallots need around 1 inch of water per week on average, but in really hot and dry circumstances, plants may require irrigation on a daily basis.

Shallots should be fertilised beginning in the early spring and continuing until the bulbs begin to expand. Apply a liquid fertiliser product with the ratio of one half teaspoon per two gallons of water once every week. The product should have the 24-8-16 ratio. If you are using a different product, you should dilute it at a rate that is twice as strong as what the manufacturer recommends. You may save tiny shallots for use in the harvest the following year.

Potatoes in Containers

When potatoes are grown in pots, more layers of potting soil are added as the plants continue to develop. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, the potato has two primary requirements in order to thrive: open space and enough of sunlight. Place three to four potato seedlings that are about the size of eggs on top of a layer of potting soil that is between three and four inches thick, and then put another two inches of potting soil over them. Until the soil surface is dry to a depth of one inch, water the potato plants by carefully pouring water over the soil until it runs through the drainage holes. Water the potato plants again when the soil surface is completely dry.

Apply fertiliser after the potato shoots have grown to a height of six inches. Mix one half of a teaspoon of a liquid organic fertiliser with six cups of water, and then pour the resulting solution over the top of the soil. The potato shoots should be covered with a layer of potting soil that is three inches thick. When the shoots reach a height of six inches, apply an equal quantity of more fertiliser solution and potting soil to the growing medium. Stop adding potting soil when it is about 2 inches below the lip of the container. When the potato plants have produced flowers, new potatoes are available for harvesting. Mature potatoes, on the other hand, may be harvested once the shoots have withered away.

Growing Onions in Containers

When given consistent amounts of water and food, onions may thrive when grown in containers. Place the container in an area that receives direct sunlight, and leave a distance of 2 inches between each onion. When the top layer of the potting soil becomes dry, give the pots a gradual application of water and continue doing so until it seeps through the drainage holes.

The Texas A&M University Extension Service suggests applying a nitrogen-rich fertiliser to onions once every two to three weeks as a feeding regimen. Once the neck begins to get pliable, the school of higher learning recommends that you discontinue the use of the fertiliser. You have the option of picking green onions to use in cooking or allowing the onions to mature into bulbs. When the leaves have withered and fallen off, bulb onions are prepared for harvesting.