Many people prefer the sweet, milder flavor of shallots as an alternative to onions. They can be harvested earlier and stored longer than onions.
When to start: Early spring.
At their best: Mid-autumn.
Time to complete: 1 hour.
You will need: Shallot sets, horticultural grit for heavy soil, string line, rake.
When to plant
In late winter or early spring, prepare the bed as for onions LINK. Plant shallots into well-drained soil, spacing them 6–8 in (15–20 cm) apart. Make a small hole, then push the shallot into the ground so the top is just showing.
Shallots form small clumps of bulbs, which you should lift intact. Dry and store them whole, somewhere dry and well ventilated, and break off individual bulbs as you need them. They will store well for up to 12 months.