Growing shallots from sets
You can plant shallot sets in early spring or autumn; from an autumn planting, you’ll get earlier, heavier crops. Like onions, shallots prefer sun and a moisture-retentive, fertile soil, ideally with plenty of well-rotted organic matter such as garden compost added.
It's worth looking for heat-treated sets, as the resulting plants are less prone to bolting (producing flowers). Bolting reduces the quality of the crop.
Rake over the soil to break down any large lumps. Plant sets with the tips showing. Space your shallots, which produce multiple bulbs, 15-20cm apart. Allow 30cm between rows.
Cover with fleece or netting to stop birds pulling up the bulbs.
Tending the crop
In spring, apply a nitrogen-rich fertiliser to autumn-planted bulbs to give them a boost. Water well during dry spells.
Shallots (like onions) are shallow rooting, so hand weed rather hoe between the rows.