Strong-field photoemission below the ionization threshold is a rich/complex region where atomic emission and harmonic generation may coexist. We studied the mechanism of below-threshold harmonics (BTH) from spatially non-uniform local fields near the metallic nanostructures. Discrete harmonics are generated due to the broken inversion symmetry, suggesting enriched coherent emission in the vuv frequency range. Through the numerical solution of the time-dependent Schrodinger equation, we investigate wavelength and intensity dependence of BTH. Wavelength dependence identifies counter-regular resonances; individual contributions from the multi-photon emission and channel-closing effects due to quantum path interferences. In order to understand the underlying mechanism of BTH, we devised a generalized semi-classical model, including the influence of Coulomb and non-uniform field interactions. As in uniform fields, Coulomb potential in non-uniform fields is the determinant of BTH; we observed that the generation of BTH are due to returning trajectories with negative energies. Due to large distance effectiveness of the non-uniformity, only long trajectories are noticeably affected.