How to dig up shallots

Dig up and dry your spring-sown crop

After the long wait from spring, your shallots will be ready to harvest now. 

As the stems start to fade to yellow, but while they’re still a little green and therefore fresher, lift the clusters of bulbs and dry them out, as you would onions.

You could use a hand fork to lift them, as you can then be more sure of not damaging the bulbs so much.

Bruising or slicing the bulbs accidentally means they’re more susceptible to rot during storage later on. 

Lay them to dry in the sunshine or, if it’s wet weather, in an airy, dry place.

Once they’re drier after a few days, you can make it easier for them to fully dry by brushing off all the extra mud and loose skins from the bulbs. You can cut off the dead foliage, too. 

Separate the bulbs and keep them until you need to use them.

Hang them in clusters using twine or an old pair of tights, or store them in a dry, frost-free place.

Digging up shallots

1. As shallots grow in large clusters, dig them out carefully with a fork or they’ll bruise. 

1. As shallots grow in large clusters, dig them out carefully with a fork or they’ll bruise. 

2. Brush off extra soil and separate the clusters of bulbs so they dry better. 

2. Brush off extra soil and separate the clusters of bulbs so they dry better. 

3. Lay out to dry in the sun in a single layer in a large tray, or lay on a tarpaulin or similar. 

3. Lay out to dry in the sun in a single layer in a large tray, or lay on a tarpaulin or similar. 

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