Shallots pollination/seeds

bardamu_gwApril 18, 2013

I'm a huge fan of shallots. I bought shallot seeds from Johnny's about a year ago and I'm really excited because I see rows of sprouts coming up. But there are two varieties next to one another. One variety is red, and the other is golden. Will the seeds be usable as separate strands?

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I grow the seed-sown shallots from Johnny's and other sources. These are all hybrids that may not breed true from seed, but will keep their characteristics when vegetatively propagated. In my experience these shallots stay dormant all the way to spring, so they can be regrown by planting selected shallots outdoors in late winter/early spring. We eat them up by then. The seedlings are so vigorous, uniform and dependable that I just start over every year with seeds, which are viable for at least two years under good storage conditions.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 9:22AM
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Hello Planatus. Are you saying you buy new seeds because you want to keep using the hybrids?

I don't mind that they won't be hybrid once they seed, but I do care that the red shallots won't mingle with the gold dutch since they are next to one another. Do you know if these two cross pollinate?

Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 9:14PM
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I would think that the two would cross pollinate. But shallots are usually propagated vegetatively, by replanting selected shallots. When my shallots bloom I cut off the spike, but you will need to stake it up and let it mature for 6+ weeks to get a good seed crop. I would suggest growing only one variety for seed per year, which would mean removing flowers from all other shallots and multiplying onions in bloom at the same time as your seed crop.

I grow and value several heirloom alliums, but when it comes to shallots and bulb onions, I get the best quality and productivity from selected hybrid varieties. Our garden goal is to feed ourselves well, and shallots store better and longer than any other onions, so we gotta have them.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 8:45AM
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