I usually sow shallots in my green house from seed in early spring (I’m yet to be convinced of the benefits of growing onions and shallots from sets).When they’re big enough to handle I separate the individual seedlings from the seed tray and plant them in to the vegetable bed, a fiddly, tedious job that irritates me so much I’m lucky to get half of them planted before giving in and throwing the left overs on the compost heap. This winter I was drawn to a tip in a seed catalogue suggesting you sow the shallots seeds in modules, once germinated and large enough you plant the modules as a whole in the vegetable bed. The shallots should find their own space. A great time saving scheme with little faff. Sadly, this short cut was a disappointment, the shallot crop was not great, and I think they do need to be planted with space. All is not lost, I did have an allium triumph, I couldn’t resist some 39p red onion seeds from Lidl, I thinly sowed two rows directly into the vegetable bed, germination was quick and very successful so I thinned the seedlings and then left them to it. We’ve had a superb crop. Not only will all our shallots and onions be sown directly in future I’ll also be getting myself down to Lidl at seed time to get first pick of their seed bargains next year.ShallotsMy disappointing shallot cropRed OnionsMy fabulous Lidl red onion seed crop