- Author: Jane Callier
Two types of shallots were grown: French red and French gray. The cloves of the French red shallots we planted were much larger than the French gray, and the shallots developed along those lines.
Shallots need water withheld about two weeks before harvest to allow a hard skin to form. Start harvesting plants once you notice the top half of the leaves browning; all are ready for harvest when the top 2/3 of leaves brown and bend over. If you harvest too early, the bulbs will be small, but if you wait too long, the outer skin may be lost or split.
When harvesting, gently lift shallots with a spading fork, rather than pulling them out by the leaves. “Cure” them for a couple weeks in a dark, well-ventilated spot until top leaves have completely shriveled. Finally, store them for extended periods in a cool (33-45 degrees), dry (60-75% humidity) location. Despite these common requirements, some of the details about growing them differ.
Be sure to save some cloves for planting in the fall.
UC Master Gardeners of Napa County provide free home gardening advice. Visit, call or complete the Plant Problem Diagnosis Sheet for assistance.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
UC Cooperative Extension
1710 Soscol Avenue, Suite 4, Napa
Shallot information: www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/.../gr110917.html