I bought a 500g bag of sets (seed shallots) from Thompson and Morgan. They were the variety "Longor", smallish in size but elongated in shape. There were 18 sets in the bag.
|"Longor" - some of the original sets|
|Shallots at left, Garlic at right|
I also planted three in a 10" pot, just as an "insurance policy".
Apart from the occasional bit of weeding, the shallots needed no maintenance at all. By late June even though the foliage had flopped over it was still fairly green, and the bulbs were still small, so I didn't consider them ready for harvesting.
Four weeks later though, the bulbs had swollen some more, and the foliage was beginning to turn yellow. I decided to harvest the ones in the pot first, (since they would be easier) to see what the yield was like.
Up-ending the pot carefully onto an ex-Army groundsheet, I extracted the three plants, each of them by now a cluster of six or seven shallots.
I was quite pleased with these. They looked clean and healthy, and seemed to be a very similar size to their parents.
I have rigged up a makeshift drying-frame in the garage, using a wire shelf from one of the mini greenhouses, balanced between two small plastic tables. It certainly wouldn't be a good idea to try drying the shallots outdoors in current weather conditions - and I have read that it is best to dry them out of direct sunlight anyway.
Encouraged by the yield from that one pot, I decided also to harvest some of the ones growing in the raised bed. Selecting carefully the biggest ones, I dug up 6 of the 12 clusters.
These have joined the others on the drying-frame:
Should I separate the clusters into individual shallots now, do you think, or leave them as they are until they are dry?
I'm thinking ahead now and wondering if I might perhaps make some pickled shallots in a week or two...