VARIETIES AND PLANTING STOCK
Shallots are normally propagated from bulb divisions. In addition, true seed of shallots is now available
in both red and yellow types.
Shallots propagated from bulb divisions:
French Red Shallot - red type is the most common dry shallot grown.
Other yellow or white varieties include Griselle, Chicken Leg Shallot, and Dutch Yellow, but only the red shallot is
important in the market.
Planting stock is difficult to obtain in large quantities. Limited
stocks may be obtained from specialty food import companies, but these may be treated to reduce sprouting
in storage. Possible other sources for small quantities on short notice may be local
growers or seed and nursery companies such as:
Epicure Seeds Ltd., POB 450, Brewster, NY 10509
Exotica Seed Co., 8033 Sunset Blvd., Suite 125, West Hollywood, CA 90046
Johnny's Selected Seeds, Foss Hill Rd., Albion, ME 04910
Nichol's Garden Nursery, 1190 North Pacific Highway, Albany, OR 97321
Territorial Seed Co., P.O. Box 157, Cottage Grove, OR 97424-0061
Shallots from true seed
In 1992, a seed company in the Netherlands specializing in onions and
shallots (de Groot en Slot bv., Middenweg A1, P.O. Box 1016, 1703
RA Heerhugowaard, The Netherlands) released the first "true shallot seed". These
are grown similarly to onions but at closer spacings of about 30-35 plants per
foot of row, with rows 10-15 inches apart. Recently, the Bejo Seed Co. has had limited supplies of shallot true seed.
True-seed varieties for trial: Red: Atlas, Ambition, Matador, Prizma. Yellow: Bonilla, Creation
Shallot bulbs may be planted in spring or fall in Oregon. Fall planting
eliminates the need for storing planting stock, but requires maintenance of the planting through the
winter and increases the risk of undesirable seed stalk formation. Fall plantings would be
slightly earlier in maturity. Spring plantings may be made anytime the soil can be made ready for
planting up to the middle of June in most locations.
Fall plant around September 15 for a mid-June harvest.
Spring plant around March 15 for a mid-July harvest.
Shallots respond --as do all varieties of Allium cepa-- to daylength. Bulbing is initiated with lengthening days.
When fall-planted, shallots do not immediately initiate bulbing since the days are becoming shorter.
If you plant small bulbs of shallots or multiplier onion (which would have few meristematic growing points), you tend to get larger bulbs
in the subsequent crop. Conversely, if you plant larger bulbs, which will have more
growing points, you get more but smaller bulbs. Adjust your planting sizes to meet your market specifications.
All else being equal, when you plant shallots and multiplier onions where daylengths are rapidly increasing (as in extreme northern latitudes), bulbing
begins before the plants have had time to develop the normal number of leaf initials, so the
bulbs produced will be smaller than normal.
If you plant shallots in the fall and experience a long, mild winter, you
may have a long period in which growth starts and stops, resulting in many growing points and smaller bulbs than
if the shallots were planted in spring when growth would tend to be more continuous and uniform.
Shallots produced from true seed also behave as just described for shallots produced from bulbs.
There are many differences between shallot varieties in daylength
requirements. There are also interactions with temperature and plant size, but
all shallots, as well as all other Allium cepa varieties, bulb with lengthening
days and are thus categorized as photoperiod responsive.
Plant 3-4 bulbs per foot and space rows 18-24 inches apart. Plant the
sets 1 inch deep and root
plate down if possible. However, adequate yields can be obtained from
randomly dropping the
planting stock. Use 200-300 lb of planting stock per acre. Choose only
clean, disease-free bulbs for planting stock.
Garlic planters may be used with shallots. Planting equipment for garlic is
specialized and often custom built. A Canadian company that manufactures a planter suitable
for garlic and shallots is BDK Fabrication, 240 Argyle St., Delhi, Ontario, N4B 2W8. The
contact person is Mr. Don Haskins, 519-582-8348. BDK Fabrication also manufactures single and multiple-row
harvesters. For small acreage plantings, a potato
attachment designed to be used with a
Holland Transplanter may be suitable for use. Contact the Holland
Transplanter Co., 510
East 16th St., Holland, MI 49423-0535. Another machine is the Model 4000
transplanter from Mechanical Transplanter Co., 1150 S. Central Ave., Holland,
Cloves must be individually hand-fed in the latter machine.
Sandy loam or loam soils are preferred, but shallots have been
successfully produced on a wide
range of soils.
The following are general recommendations. It is advisable to use a
soil test for each field to be
Nitrogen: 50 lb N/acre applied at planting time for fall planted fields.
Apply an additional 60-90
lb N/acre in spring, or use that amount for spring planted fields.
Fertilizer materials such as
AN-20, ammonium thiosulfate, and monocarbamide dihydrogensulfate can be used
to provide ancillary weed control in
Alliums, including shallots. See the file Nitrogen Fertilizer Solutions Providing
Ancillary Weed Control in Alliums.
Phosphorus: 75-100 (P2O5) lb/acre.
All P should be banded and applied at planting.
Potassium: 50-100 (K2O) lb/acre
Sulfur: 50 (S) lb/acre
Apply water uniformly. Shallots are shallow rooted and benefit from
frequent irrigation. Reduce
irrigation as bulbs reach marketable size to reduce disease problems and
Soil type does not affect the amount of total water needed, but does
dictate frequency of water
application. Lighter soils need more frequent water applications, but less
water applied per
HARVESTING, HANDLING, AND STORAGE
Shallots may yield approximately 9-12 tons per acre. Harvest shallots
when bulbs are fully
mature, well colored, and 1-2 inches in diameter. Allow to cure in sacks, or
bins, or under cover.
Although shallots can be harvested several ways, single or multiple-row harvesters can be custom built by
Krier Engineering, 4774 Morrow Rd., Modesto, CA. Contact Mr. Alex Krier, 800-344-3218, for more information.
Shallots are usually hand cleaned, topped and
put into bags or bins for storage after the necks and bulbs are well cured.
Shallots store well at temperatures of 32-35 F and 60-70% relative
humidity. Because of their
small size, shallots tend to pack closely; so they should not be place into
deep piles. Store shallots
on slatted crates or trays that allow good air movement in and around the
bulbs. This is important
to remove excessive moisture and to minimize storage diseases. Low relative
humidity and low
temperature are important to keep shallots sound and dormant and free from
sprouting and root
growth. At humidities above 70% and warmer temperatures (40 to 50 F) shallots
develop roots, and decay more rapidly. With good air flow and humidity
control, shallots should store for 8 to 10 months.
Apply maleic hydrazide (Royal MH-30) at 2 lb aia when bulbs are fully mature with soft necks and 5 to 8
green leaves, or when approximately 50% of the tops have fallen, but are
still green. Should be applied at temperatures below 80 to 85 F to
avoid crystallization on leaf surfaces. Use of a spray adjuvant is
suggested in arid regions west of the Rocky Mountains. Avoid early
sprays before maturity to reduce sponginess. Do not treat seed shallots.
Dry shallots are shipped to wholesale distributors in 50-lb sacks, in
film bags or quart containers
holding 1 to 1.5 lb or in 5-lb mesh bags. Consumer packaging is done in small
windowed boxes or trays holding 5-7 bulbs each.
DISEASE CONTROL FOR SHALLOTS
THE FUNGICIDES LISTED BELOW ARE FOR INFORMATION ONLY. BECAUSE OF CONSTANTLY CHANGING LABELS, LAWS, AND
REGULATIONS, OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY CAN ASSUME NO LIABILITY FOR
THE CONSEQUENCES OF USE OF CHEMICALS SUGGESTED HERE. IN ALL CASES,
READ AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS AND PRECAUTIONARY STATEMENTS ON
THE SPECIFIC PESTICIDE PRODUCT LABEL.
USE PESTICIDES SAFELY!
Wear protective clothing and safety devices as recommended on the label.
Bathe or shower after each use.
Read the pesticide label--even if you've used the pesticide before. Follow
closely the instructions on the label (and any other directions you have).
Be cautious when you apply pesticides. Know your legal responsibility as a
pesticide applicator. You may be liable for injury or damage resulting from pesticide use.
Note that Oregon law requires reporting of agricultural pesticide applications to the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture
through its PURS system.
Shallots are affected by many of the same diseases that affect onions.
The Pacific Northwest
Disease Control Handbook has no control entries for this crop. Fungicides
registered for shallots, but not evaluated by University personnel in the Pacific Northwest, include
Bravo, Ridomil, and Telone. Consult labels for rates, restrictions, and diseases controlled.
Proper rotations, field selection, sanitation, spacings, fertilizer and
irrigation practices can reduce the risk of many diseases. Fields can be tested for presence of
harmful nematodes. Using seed from reputable sources reduces risk from "seedborne" diseases.
Hot water treatment and Benlate for seed pieces for white rot control -
same as garlic - but may need to reduce temperature.
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