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bower September 25, 2016 10:18 PM

shallots - how hardy are they?
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We had light frost last night and a frost advisory for tonight so I pulled my bulb onions and shallots too. This is my first time growing shallots - it's a yellow one from William Dam. The bulbs I planted were large, and the ones I harvested are small, but some of them didn't bulb. I thought these might be the best to replant for next year, but not sure if they are hardy enough to plant back immediately, and there's no bulb to cure for a late fall or even spring planting. :?!?:
I brought the little shallots in the house to cure, and put the 'no-bulbs' in the greenhouse overnight until I figure out what to do with them.
Maybe I should plant them in the greenhouse, and transplant outdoors in spring?

PhilaGardener September 25, 2016 10:21 PM

Looks like you have enough to try a few things, so as not to put all your shallots in one basket.

I've overwintered them without any problem in Pennsylvania, but you are colder. Definitely worth a try to have a few outside, perhaps with a really thick mulch.

bower September 25, 2016 10:28 PM

Thanks. Would you try a replant of the no-bulb ones, or do you cure the shallots and then plant them later in fall?

We're having a bit of a cold snap for the next few days, but there are normal highs near 15 C (60 F) in the week ahead, so not out of the question to plant out something green. And mulch it. ;)

joseph September 26, 2016 01:57 AM

Shallots are winter hardy in my USDA 4b garden. I don't give them any special care. Just plant them in plain old silty dirt.

KarenO September 26, 2016 03:17 AM

Agree. Plant them and they should overwinter.
Started from seed? I have only ever planted sets.

bower September 26, 2016 08:25 AM

Thanks, that's what I needed to know. I will plant them outdoors then.

No they weren't from true seed, they were from sets I bought at William Dam. There were about eight large bulbs in the package. :)

shule1 May 5, 2017 04:53 AM


Originally Posted by bower (Post 593882)
Thanks, that's what I needed to know. I will plant them outdoors then.

No they weren't from true seed, they were from sets I bought at William Dam. There were about eight large bulbs in the package. :)

You might already know this, but if they were from true seed, you'd probably have some bunching onions on your hands instead of shallots. Shallots can grow seed, but it's supposed to be rare.

We've got some things that are supposed to be shallots of some kind or other. I'm comparing Crimson Forest bunching onions grown from seed to them (they're on their second year while the shallots have been around more years). Bunching onions are pretty easy to grow from seed, in my experience. That reminds me that I need to plant the rest of my Ho Shi Ko seeds, this year (I started four cells of them about a month ago in the greenhouse, and I want to direct-seed the others). I direct-seeded all the Crimson Forest seeds, in moist, clay soil (too late in the season in most people's minds; I let them all overwinter, and they all seemed to survive -21° F. and several feet of snow without problems), last year. They sprouted in large numbers from seed last year while regular onions didn't sprout at all in that soil.

I get the impression that they grow greens faster and/or taller than our shallots.

Our shallots survived the winter, too, of course.

bower May 5, 2017 07:17 PM

The snow has only been off my shallot bed for a day or two. Just got home from being out on the job, but looking through the window I can see a few green tips - others look like they may have been frost heaved or dug up by animals/birds, so I better get out and check in the morning.
It looks like some of my Mammoth onions overwintered alright too. :D
I should take a walk with the camera and do the "alliums" roundup. Porcelain garlic are up. Egyptian onions are up. Hardy Evergreen are up, crazy up they looked like they were growing madly under the snow. No name "Perennial Green Onion" also up. In Mom's garden they are as far ahead as the Egyptians. Leeks I haven't seen yet, I think their bed is still snow covered.

These yellow shallots, btw, turned out to be real weepers. Very pungent to the eye! I braided and gave some away but still have a half dozen of the ones I cured - still hard, so good keepers.
Weepers and keepers. :twisted::cry:;)

NewWestGardener May 8, 2017 09:00 PM

Onions are pretty hardy. I remember when we were way in the north, sure colder than where you now Bower, our winters were 6 months long. You can leave big bundles of green onions outside during the winter, frozen solid, and the center still thaws nicely without any mushiness. The ones left in the field, buried in several feet of snow, will sprout when the snow melts. So not surprising yours all survived. They will produce seeds this year.
We've always planted shallots in the spring, from bulbs harvested the year before. I'm growing them from seeds this year, I have a tray of nice seedlings now, we'll see if they form bulbs at all later. Weepers for sure, I liked it a restaurant served them, fried in oil to a crisp, as a salad topping.

bower May 8, 2017 09:12 PM

That sounds yummy! :) They were lovely cooked various ways, nice firm texture and sweet. Only the cook wept. ;)8-)

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