Wednesday, April 8

Planting onion and shallot sets

We use sets from which to grow our onions and shallots. Onions can be raised from seed but are more prone to problems and do not do as well on poor soil. The process also takes longer to produce a mature onion. Growing shallots from seed is fairly uncommon. Last year for the first time we tried heat treated onion sets. These are treated to cut down the chance of the plant bolting and producing a flower stem. The heat treated sets are more expensive but did perform better than those that were not treated and so this year that is all that we are planting. Heat treated sets should be planted slightly late than other sets i.e. late March to Early April. Onion sets are smaller than shallot sets. An onion set is an immature onion which was grown from a seed the previous year. It will grow and form one onion, whereas a shallot set splits and forms a cluster of several shallots.

We also planted both onion and shallot sets last year to overwinter which will give us an earlier crop. The ones planted this spring will be good for storing over next winter. Click here to read how we go about planting the sets.


  1. Hi Sue, I am planing to plant some shallots this cool season if I order in some shallot quickly enough. This post have been helpful to me. In Malaysia, shallot are more use in the kitchen than brown onion. Its not easy to find shallot in Adelaide here so I decided to grow some. Do you know whether red onion (odourless) is early, mid or late variety?

  2. Hi Diana,
    We plant red onions both in autumn and in spring. Funnily enough it will be the next group of plants that I post on probably next week. I think its just a matter of choosing your variety which will vary for your part of the world.


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