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Pinching Onion and shallot scapes?

Posted by alice215 NC (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 3, 08 at 10:15

Hello to everyone. I'm new to this site. This is my first season with onions, shallots, and garlic. I was told by a local farmer to pinch off the garlic scapes for bigger bulbs. The energy goes to producing bulb not seeds.I planted the garlic last fall,it is beautiful. I added bone meal and manure to the soil. I planted onion and shallot sets this spring. The onions are starting to send up flower buds. Does anyone know if this is true with onions and shallots? Should I pinch after it flowers or pinch or pull the scape?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pinching Onion and shallot scapes?

With the onions I have grown when they send up a flower bud the center of the onion is hard and inedible. I usually will just pull the onions that send up flowers, remove the core and use or freeze the rest of the onion. Onions with a flower stalk will will not store as well as those without or at all, so I find that freezing them (minus the core)for quick use allows me to get some use from them.

This is my first year with shallots so I am unsure if they are closer to onions or garlic. My guess would be that any with flower stalks should be used up.

RE: Pinching Onion and shallot scapes?

Thanks for the reply. The thing is almost all of my onions are starting to flower. Isn't that what all plants do? I am pinching my garlic tonight for dinner. Yum.

RE: Pinching Onion and shallot scapes?

My understanding is that traditional onions only set seed the second year; so perhaps it is expected if you grow onions from sets rather than seeds or seedlings (I buy my onion seedlings from Dixondale, and have been very happy).

This is my second year growing shallots. Last year none of the varieties set seed, but this year I bought a new variety of Dutch shallots that were enormous (from Peaceful Valley Farms). They must have averaged 4-5 times the size of those I planted and grew last year. These are all producing flowers. I have not found a definitive answer on pinching the flowers, but given my experience with garlic, and general logic, I am going ahead and removing them until I find out otherwise. It just stands to reason that energy invested in setting seed would likely result in smaller bulbs.

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