mattie g
Green Thumb
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

Shallot Scapes/Seed Pods?

As I was going through my garden after work yesterday, I noticed what appeared to be small, light-colored onion domes sticking out of the middle of my largest shallots. Upon taking a closer look, and to my surprise, they were scapes or seed pods! Has anyone in here seen them before? Is it common?

I planted a pound of these (Sante shallots) in the fall, and they've done exceptionally well to this point. The ones with the scapes are easily the largest I have - the leaves are about 20" high or so and they have really thick necks.

This is only the second time I've planted shallots - the first time being a spring planting last year that resulted in a resonable harvest of fairly small shallots. Should I treat these like I would garlic scapes, i.e. cut them off and use them in a recipe? Is this a sign that the shallot bulbs themselves might not store very well, or is it perfectly normal?

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

Re: Shallot Scapes/Seed Pods?

You are unlucky that your shallots are going to seed. You will get fewer bulbs per clump when they do that. Some years it's bad, some years I only got a few. I'm not sure if it has something to do with the weather or what.

mattie g
Green Thumb
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

Re: Shallot Scapes/Seed Pods?

TZ -OH6 wrote:You are unlucky that your shallots are going to seed. You will get fewer bulbs per clump when they do that. Some years it's bad, some years I only got a few. I'm not sure if it has something to do with the weather or what.
Thanks, TZ - that's exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. So far it's only happening on one of the plants, which just so happens to be the biggest. And it only has two really thick shoots coming up, which would mirror exactly what you mentioned - I have a pic and will upload later. The rest of my shallots (12-13 in all) have anywhere from 3-6 shoots/bulbs apiece.

Worth saving the seed?

mattie g
Green Thumb
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

Re: Shallot Scapes/Seed Pods?

Here are a couple pictures.

The first is a little farther away to give some feel for the plant's size (stems are a little bigger than the diameter of a quarter) and to see the double stem. The seed pods are kind of hard to make out in this picture.

That's Inchelium Red garlic in the background and to the right. The rest of the shallots - along with a few extra onions I had - are to the left.
Wider view
Wider view
The second is a closeup of the seed pod.
Closer up
Closer up

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

Re: Shallot Scapes/Seed Pods?

I assume that growing from seed to eating size would take at least two years.

Large fat bulbs produced more pups, and those will be skinny. Skinny bulbs replanted, give fewer fatter shallots at the end of the season, so to increase your shallots plant the fat ones. To get big ones to eat plant the long thin ones.

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