How Can You Tell When the Onions and Shallots are Ready to Harvest?
Looking at the shallots and onions on my vegetable plot I can see signs that they will soon be ready to harvest. The tops are changing from green and growing, to dried and browning, the shallots more so than the onions.
This year (summer 2012) the size of the shallots do not look to be as large as shop bought ones. This could be due to the weather conditions or because I planted them in a part of the plot that has yet to receive my nurturing i.e. it was the first year anything was grown in that area. The crop will be better than last year's (summer 2011) when the damp weather came at the wrong time here and some of the shallots and onions just rotted away.
I know the taste of the shallots will be sweeter than the shop bought ones, when pan-fried or oven cooked in my recipes. So I still think it is worth the effort of planting them and keeping them weed free. Even though it can be a slow job weeding between rows of shallots. I do use an onion hoe when there is no chance of damaging the developing 'bulbs' but sometimes you just have to get down there and hand weed between the growing plants, more so with shallots than onions as the bulbs split and spread outwards as they grow and the straight lines of planting count for nothing then.
I will update on this soon and report back on the onions and garlic growing progress.