We grow shallots in our garden. We have planted two cultivars. The “Pikant” sets came from Johnny’s Select Seed and advertised as to”produce large, French style bulbs”. They were originally planted in the spring of last year and grew, but did not produce large bulbs for us. We sold some of Pikant bulbs and kept some (#24) for fall planting last year. From theses fall plantings, very few of bulbs survived our extremely cold winter and none that did emerge in the spring matured to harvest. So, in short the Pikant shallot trial run was unsuccessful for us. And as a result, we have no shallots for market this year. Maybe the Pikant shallot just wasn’t meant to be grown for our cold Potter County climate. Shall we say “C’est la vie” to the French style shallot? Yes, we shall.
A few years ago, we got some shallot sets from a local gardener in the Bradford area. The gardener refered to them as Red Shallots and are shown in the picture here. The first year, we started with only a dozen sets, which we planted in the fall of that year and they grew nicely to harvest in the following summer. From this harvest, we fall planted #10 of shallot bulbs. From those plantings, we did get a nice shallot harvest this summer, shown in the picture below. It weighed in at 20.6 pounds. All most all of the shallots produced, but we were hoping for larger bulbs.
One thing that we did notice is that almost all of the Red shallots bolted this year with top-sets probably due to the wet, cold spring or the dry hot summer, or most likely a combination of these two weather extremes. To make “lemonade from lemons”, so to say, we collected those top-sets. We plan to indoor plant the tiny shallot seeds in flats next spring to grow sets for transplanting into the garden. In addition, we will fall plant this year’s harvested bulbs . So, the trial run for the Red shallot continues and hopefully next year’s yield will be more successful. Only time will tell the outcome of our locally grown Red shallot.