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Shallot ‘Zebrune’ is a heritage variety that has recently been revived. Torpedo shaped, with superbly coloured pinky-brown skin, it is very productive and has good resistance to bolting.
This type are often called ‘banana’ shallots in the cookbooks and are increasing in popularity for gourmet cooking. Zebrune produces a good yield of ‘easy to slice’ bulbs. They have an excellent eating quality with a mild and sweet flavour. Delicious when used either raw in salads or cooked with good-sized bulbs useful for storing. 90 days to maturity.
Sow onion seeds in modules in mid- to late winter and keep in the greenhouse at 10-16°C (50-60°F). Sow shallot seeds in late winter. Harden off before planting out in spring.
Although one plant per module is effective, growing three to four plants per module saves space. Sow five to six seeds per module and thin out if necessary, to three or four plants. When multi-seeded modules are planted out, the onions form a clump of bulbs.
Once the soil is drier and beginning to warm up, start sowing directly.
Sow onion seeds from late winter until mid-spring 1.3cm (½in) deep in rows 20cm (8in) apart. Thin out first to 5cm (2in) and later to 10cm (4in). Closer planting will result in more bulbs and a heavier crop, but smaller bulbs.
Sow shallots a little bit later from early- to mid-spring. Unlike shallot sets, seed-grown plants will only produce a single bulb. Thin out as required to 2.5-7.5cm (1-3in) apart.