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Now recognised as an essential part of the gardener’s vegetable patch, growing onion sets comes with excellent health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, combating infections plus reducing fat and cholesterol levels. Plus, they add plenty of flavour to many dishes!

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Gardeners of any level will be glad to know that onion and shallots couldn’t be easier to grow. Whether you’re new to gardening or you’re an experienced greenfinger with an abundant garden and plenty of crops to look after, onions and shallots make a low maintenance addition to your vegetable patch. Simply plant the onion/shallot sets (immature bulbs) in autumn, and they’ll be ready to lift and dry next July! All packs come complete with full growing instructions.

There are plenty of onion and shallot bulb varieties on offer to add diversity to your garden, such as the sweet Italian, early-cropping Radar and even the spicy Red Gourmet types. Grow a range of varieties to explore different recipes in the kitchen after harvesting!

If you’re planning on growing these as natural taste enhancers for your meals, why not also take a look at herb plants and garlic bulbs for more flavour!

Onion and shallot set care facts

Onion Sets - The easy way to grow onions

Onion sets are immature "bulbs" in an arrested stage of growth. When planting onion sets they begin to grow again, becoming full sized onions by late summer. They will thrive in ordinary garden conditions and require no special treatment, plus they’re rarely attacked by pests, apart from the occasional hungry bird when new sets haven’t rooted yet (use plant protection to prevent this, and make sure that birds do not become trapped in mesh or netting). 

Unpack sets on arrival and store in a light, cool position until planting time. Plant February-April, leaving tips of bulbs above the soil surface, allowing about 10cm (4") between sets and about 30cm (12") between rows. 250g of onion sets (approx. 60 sets) will plant a row of about 6m (19'). Size of sets: 14/21mm.

Why buy heat treated onion sets?

It's frustrating when your beautifully forming onions decide it's time to develop seed and send up a flower stalk. Heat treating is a process that we carry out on your behalf to prevent this happening.

Heat treatment starts in November, depending on the size of the bulb. During the heat treatment, the onion sets are gradually heated up over 12 days from the 3-5°C storage temperature to 30-32°C and, depending on size, are kept at this temperature for 30-60 days (during which time they are heated up to 32-35°C for 10 days) and then gradually cooled to 10-14°C for planting in April/May. So whilst they are a little more expensive, you can be more confident of harvesting onions you can be proud of!

Onion and shallot nutritional information

Onions are one of our most invaluable vegetables and also one of civilisation's oldest medicines. They can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and are anti-asthmatic, antibacterial and antiseptic.

Buy shallot sets and onion set onions from Suttons