This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol4", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
The Shallot (Allium ascalonicwm) is a native of Ascalon in Palestine. It is closely related to the Onion, but is milder in flavour. The true Shallot, which has rather long grey-skinned bulbs, is rarely seen. Its place has been usurped by the Jersey or Russian variety, which has coppery-red-skinned bulbs, somewhat irregular in shape. Shallots are usually raised from the cloves or offsets of the parent bulbs, but they may be raised from seed in the same way as Onions. The cloves are planted about February, in rows 9 in. to 1 ft. apart, and from 6 to 9 in. in the rows, and are left half-exposed. There is an old saying that Shallots should be planted on the shortest day and harvested on the longest day. and no doubt this can be done in the milder parts of the kingdom. In good rich soil, kept clean by hoeing, excellent crops may be secured - from 25 to 30 tons per acre, although 15 tons would be perhaps nearer the usual yield. Even this at £10 per ton is by no means to be despised if a sale can be found for the bulbs.