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Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

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Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  iiiigardener on 6/16/2013, 12:19 pm

I harvested about 1/3 of my shallots today.  The French Red started dying back but it looks like my Dutch Red and Red Holland aren't quite there yet.

Here's my question:  when I dry them, should I separate each bulb so they dry quicker?  This variety seems to produce a lot of small bulbs.  You can find pictures here of my harvest and the ones still in the beds.  The clay pots are there to discourage cats (and bobcats) from doing their business until I replant the squares.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/93883804@N03/sets/72157634159554586/

What I find interesting is the harvest time.  I planted some of each variety of the bulbs in late October and those plants are much taller and producing much larger bulbs and they are still not quite ready (the tops haven't turned yellow yet.)  I planted additional French Red and Yellow Dutch in early March and the French Red completely died back at about 100 days from planting.  The Yellow Dutch from March aren't ready but aren't nearly as large as those I planted in October.


Last edited by iiiigardener on 6/16/2013, 12:21 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : picture needs fixing)
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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  camprn on 6/16/2013, 8:00 pm

Mine did the same thing the first year I planted them.
I have found that it takes shallots two full growing seasons to get to the large stage. Break apart the daughter bulbs and allow them to cure out of the sun, but in a well ventilated area. Save as many as you want to plant next season, the rest can go into the pantry. My guess is after next growing season you will have larger daughter bulbs.

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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  iiiigardener on 6/17/2013, 12:54 pm

Okay, I broke them apart to dry and got them inside (which is good because we got over an hour of rain this morning when it was 0% chance when I went to bed last night!) I'll save the largest of them for replanting. I plan to grown French Red, French Gray, and Holland Red this fall. I don't think I was too thrilled with the flavor of the Dutch Yellow compared to the others ones I grew. I planted enough of each of them that I was using each variety as green shallots through the late winter and spring. The flavor was great compared to green onions from the store. French Gray will be s new variety for me.

I guess what I am surprised about is how big the shallots are that I planted in the fall. Their shoots still haven't turned yellow but I am thinking that I will harvest them later this week as they seem pretty big. I don't want them to rot in the ground. The ones that I haven't harvested yet are the ones that sent up flowering stalks about three weeks ago. I had ten stalks divided between three different bunches. I cut them off as I don't intend to try to grow from seeds (would that even work?)

I'll take pictures of those shallots once they are harvested.
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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  camprn on 6/17/2013, 1:08 pm

Don't harvest them too early... the bulbs should kind of pop off the ground. If there is resistance in the roots when you give the plant a little tug, they are not ready for harvest.

Shallots don't usually go to seed.

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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  iiiigardener on 6/17/2013, 1:20 pm

If the tops die back, should you harvest at that point even if the roots aren't popping out?

I tracked the three plants that had the stalks and plan to use those first. I think I read that if they flower, the bulbs don't dry and keep well. We ended up eating the shoots (like scapes in garlic) in salads - it was mighty tasty. I figured trying to let them flower and then grow for seeds was probably best left for an experienced gardener. I have a lot of experience with herbs and flowers but this is my first year with veggies.

My shallot harvest is much better than my garlic. I have to experiment and find the best garlic for this part of Texas. I planted a variety of softneck and over half of them had distress bulbils which broke their stalks about two inches above the soil. About the same time, the rest of them died back and fell over. I harvested them all at that point but the heads are really small.
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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  camprn on 6/17/2013, 1:33 pm

Harvest only when the roots let go easily. The foliage may be done but the bulbs may still be growing if the roots hold onto the earth.

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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/14/2013, 4:54 pm

camprn wrote:Harvest only when the roots let go easily. The foliage may be done but the bulbs may still be growing if the roots hold onto the earth.

Oh.  Guess I screwed up.  The leaves had fallen over and some later got slimy & detached.  I thought they might be rotting in there so I dug up one set and realized I'd planted too deeply for them to ever pop out, but the other set is still buried.  Should I dig them out?:



They are now in the basement with the dehumidifier and fan blowing.  Do we leave them dirty til they dry?

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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  camprn on 7/14/2013, 5:02 pm

Sometimes when the shallots are putting on final girth, I will remove some of the compost that I had topdressed with, this gives them a little bit more room to fill out. I do not pull them until the roots let go easily. I seperate them and let them lay on the bed for a day to dry a bit then move them to the 3 season porch that has fair cross draft and no direct sun, no need for the dehumidifier. Do not wash them. In a few weeks, when they are cured, you can dust off the dirt thats left.

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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/14/2013, 5:13 pm

OK, thanks.  I'll go move some of the MM off the other set and see if they pop up.

We definately need the dehumidfier in the basement here or everything would be wet.  That's where all the garlic we're not going to use any time soon gets hung on the line to dry:

If the shallot leaves hadn't rotted off could I have hung them, too?

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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  camprn on 7/14/2013, 5:35 pm

If your dehumidifier is running a lot and no air movement in the room, it may be too damp there for the garlic and shallots, just a thought.

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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  bnoles on 7/14/2013, 6:34 pm

I hung my garlic in the shade under a shed roof and they dried very nicely. I would think the shallots would work just as well.

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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  camprn on 7/14/2013, 7:44 pm

Ready?


See no roots.


Larger ones at the top these I will save for planting next year. Medium in the middle and small on the left, these ones will go to the pantry after curing.

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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  bnoles on 7/14/2013, 8:19 pm

WOW! That is a nice harvest camp.

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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  camprn on 7/14/2013, 8:31 pm

bnoles wrote:WOW!  That is a nice harvest camp.
Thanks! All those shallots from 34 bulbs planted in a 2.5' x 4.25' bed. What a Face 

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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  mollyhespra on 7/15/2013, 2:35 pm

NICE harvest, Camp!

Mine are starting to "pop" like yours but aren't anywhere near harvest yet (I get lotsa resistance when I tug). 

Which brings me to a question: all the shallots I planted were red-skinned, BUT one cluster is looking rather white-skinned and not at all like the others.  Have you ever had this happen?  I'll try to take a pic later so you can see what I mean.

ETA: OK, got the pic.  Here's a close-up, followed by one of all the shallots.  I ended up putting them into those window-boxes as a temporary thing, intending to move them into the SFG, but there they stayed and don't seem to have minded much.





You'll note the white cluster to the right of the topmost box.
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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  camprn on 7/16/2013, 9:42 pm

Nope never seen that. Pretty cool! have to see what they look like when cured.

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Re: Harvesting Shallots - what comes next?

Post  quiltbea on 7/19/2013, 11:12 am

I picked some of mine this morning before the mosquitoes divebombed me.

They were in clusters of five but fell apart when I put them in the basket.
It will be too hot in the workshop today (expecting near 100 degrees possibly) so I have them in the house by the kitchen door with the sweet onions.
Thank you camprn. They're lookin' good.
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