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Onions and Shallots from Sets

Onion sets are immature bulbs which have been specially grown for planting.

Onion sets are quick maturing and are less prone to attack by onion fly or mildew than seeds.

Less skill and soil fertility is needed in growing them.

Onion sets are heat treated to kill the flower embryo to prevent bolting. Shallots are virus free stock.


All onions require good soil and free drainage.

Dig over bed and incorporate compost and lime if needed.

Firm the surface and rake in a general fertilizer, such as Growmore at the prescribed rate.

Before planting, open the packet and spread out sets in a cool, well lit place to prevent too much sprouting.

Plant Onion sets 4" apart in March to mid-April in rows 9" apart. Shallots can be planted 6" apart and earlier (February to March). The tip of the set should be just showing above the soil level.


Protect from birds.
Keep weeds down by hoeing.
Push back any sets that have been lifted by frost or birds.


Shallots can be lifted and dried in July, they will keep about 8 months.

The Onion sets can be lifted between July and September. Dry those not for immediate use and store in a dry, cool place. They will keep until late Spring.

Varieties - Onion

Sturon - An excellent modern variety which is highly bolt resistant.

Stuttgarter Giant - Very commo variety with a mild flavour and excellent for keeping.

Turbo - New heavy cropping variety and excellent for keeping.

Snowball - A white variety with a full mild flavour and excellent for keeping.

Red Baron - An excellent, very dark coloured variety. Best planted late.

Varieties - Shallot

Golden Gourmet - A mild tasting variety excellent for pickling. Can be planted very early.

Red Sun - A mild shallot perfect for salads. Excellent for keeping.