gardenvt
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When to harvest shallots and onions

I have shallots in two areas and one group has crashed and has just a bit of brown on them - same with the onions. The other patch of shallots are standing tall.

I think I heard that you stop watering at some point. I could REALLY use some advice on this. It is my first year to grow the onion family.

When do i stop watering, when do I pull them and what is the best method for drying them?

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!potatoes!
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i hardly ever watered my onion fam. stuff, so I'm no help there...i pull when tops are browning or falling down, and dry in single-layer piles in the shade, but where there's breeze (old tobacco barn on the property makes it easy)...

i guess i'd be inclined to pull your onions and the 'crashed' shallots, but leave the other shallots for a bit.

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jal_ut
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When the tops are fallen over and starting to dry up, you can pull them.

As !potatoes! says, they need to be dried more for storage. In a shed or barn is good. After they are dried you can snip the dried tops off.

Onions can be eaten at any stage of their development. This is good as you can plant then harvest some as you go along all season, then have some to dry for storage. Plant plenty! :)
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

CharlieBear
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For storage you can dry them out and then braid the tops together and hang them up in the garage or basement as well. My father's family all did that and the storage type onions were still good well into late the next spring. Just carefully cut of as many of the onions as you need from the bottom of the braid. Reds and whites will not keep as long as the standard yellows. With onions as long as the tops are still standing they will generally grow larger so most let them go until the tops fall over or you are nearing a frost.
As for shallots, my extention told be to wait until the tops start turning yellow before pulling them. They said that if I was watering them then when they start to lay down stop. There are two schools of thought on shallots, one school says don't bother to water at all. The other says for larger bulbs water lightly until they start to lay over. Since there is no agreement the choice is ours. In the pacific NW we pretty much have to water onions or for some reason they quite growing very early. In other places maybe not.

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!potatoes!
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^that makes sense. i didn't water my shallots at all, and while they're not huge, they are powerfully pungent, solid little bulbs. (we also have been getting pretty regular rain all year)

gardenvt
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I harvested both the onions and shallots this morning and put them to dry on vented trays/shelves. I was pleased to find that only one of 100 shallots was less than desired in size - it was a cute little marble size. I can live with that.

We have enjoyed a few of the shallots and onions earlier in July and will continue to eat up the least of the onions and some shallots as well. It was hard to keep my hands off the shallots for that long because I love to cook with them.

As previously noted, this is my first year growing this family so all of this advice will be useful for next year as well. As for watering, I think I would have to water - at least some - because they are in raised beds.

Now, we'll see how the drying goes.

BTW, while I was harvesting the shallots from the new raised beds, I discovered some HUGE worms - at least 8-10 long. I think that means the soil mix meets their approval and that they will continue to make it better.

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jal_ut
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Great on the shallots. They were $4.98 a pound at the store here the other day.

Save the largest ones for planting this fall.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

gardenvt
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I grew this crop from seed and planted out in the spring.

Jal, I should plant shallots in the fall in Zone 4?

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!potatoes!
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^i think that's if you're planting sets.

WiscoGardener
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I'm confused too!

This is also my first year growing onions. The tops fell over on a few of them a couple of weeks ago, and the bulbs are popping out of the soil quite a bit. They're not brown yet, though. I didn't know they shouldn't be watered - is that why they haven't turned brown? Should I pull them?

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