Wednesday, I pulled some of the French grey shallots to see what they looked like. As you can see in the photo, the tops are yellowing and falling over. According to my reading, 3/4 of the tops should be fallen and dying when it is ready to harvest.
I carefully dug into them, going below the shallow bulbs and pried them up. The scent was amazing, a rich, earthy combination of garlic and onion.
The bulbs were loosely connected at the base in clumps. Obviously, the larger leaved clumps had larger bulbs. Some of the bulbs were quite a good size; others were smaller.
I dug about a third of them, and decided to leave the rest for another day or two to see if the tops dried out more.
Although we had a shower last night, the rest of the week through Sunday is supposed to be warm and dry, perfect for harvesting alliums. I wonder if this bit of rain and a few more days of sun and hot weather will help them size up a bit more.
I have the shallots spread out to dry on a metal mesh patio table in the shade, with the tops still attached. I might try braiding the tops together to store them, or at least some of them, to make for less cumbersome storage.