Regarding Shallots

Asked October 2, 2017, 4:55 PM EDT

Greetings. I have several questions regarding shallots in the garden. We planted about 60 sets & harvested when the greens near the bulb were yellowing or dried. About storage: what is best? To refrigerate or not? Cool dry basement ok? Does light matter? We dried our shallots after harvest by hanging in the garage from rafters for five weeks where they were out of the sun, had plenty of air and kept dry. Now they are in a dry basement in partial light/dark. Some of the larger ones look and feel "cured" but are decidedly moist just beneath the outer layers of dry skin—almost slimy feeling. A peel and a rinse does the trick before cooking but have we overlooked something in storage. Some of our shallots were planted as sets bought from our local food co-op and others we started from seed. Most of the seeded ones grew to be quite large 3-4", are more like an onion than a shallot. Did we allow them to grow too long? The sets each yielded 3-4 new shallot bulbs but more the size of conventional store-bought shallots. Is there a recommendation for a particular variety for our area? That's Wrenshall, MN. (Boy have we been getting the rain this year!) Thank you, David

Carlton County Minnesota shallots horticulture

1 Response

David, It sounds like you had great luck with your shallots/onions this season--congratulations. It sounds like you followed proper steps for drying out the onions. While you waited the appropriate amount of time for curing it could be they needed a bit higher temperatures to properly dry. Recommended early bulb varieties for the Midwest are; Candy, Cavalier, Comanche and Norstar. Leek varieties include Arkansas and Lancelots. I have included to links below that give specific information about growing and harvesting onions in the Midwest. https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/vegetables/growing-onions-in-minnesota-home-gardens/ https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/fruit-vegetable/yellow-storage-onions/index.html