Growing shallots, onions & garlic from sets

Growing garlic, onion and shallots from sets is incredibly easy and a good way of getting your veg patch productive a little earlier on in the year. You can grow them in pots or beds as they don’t need much depth (one of our wooden planters would be ideal). Either way, try to make sure they have good drainage and don’t become waterlogged. Other than that they are very self sufficient and unlikely to attract pests.

To grow garlic from sets: You can plant them in Feb, March and even into April. Separate the bulb into cloves. Push each clove into the soil, with the pointy side pointing up. You want to push them in at twice their depth, so they’ll be covered with approximately half an inch of soil. Leave about 5 or 6 inches between each clove. Water them in and that’s pretty much all you’ll need to do. They will be ready to harvest in July/Aug when the leaves start to wilt. Once harvested you could plant some veggies in their place to harvest in autumn – cabbages, cauliflowers, beetroot and carrots would all be good.

To grow onion and shallots from sets: Plant them from February to early April. Push each little onion into the soil, with the root side pointing down. They should be pushed deep enough that their tip is just covered with soil. Leave 5 inches between each in rows 12 inches apart. Water them in and let them grow. Harvest in Aug/Sept on a sunny day about 2 weeks after the leaves have turned yellow. Leave them to fry in the sun for a day or two before storing. Once harvested, plant some autumn veggies (salad leaves and cabbage greens would be ideal) in their place ready for a winter harvest.