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Can I re-plant shallots and onions?

I tried growing some onions and shallots from sets for the first time this year, but they didn't do very well and ended up not much bigger than when I planted them. I won't bother buying more sets as these were so disappointing. But I'm wondering, can I re-plant the ones I harvested to try again? And if so, any tips please to get a better harvest?


  • Hello @ddbordo and welcome to the forum 😊 
    No I’m afraid that if you replant them they will be in their second year of growth and as they are biennials they will use the nutrition stored in the bulb to grow a flower spike and produce seeds. So cook with them (or make pickled onions 😋) and try again next year. 

    Did you fertilise the ground and feed them as they were growing?  Onions are very hungry plants. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,500
    ddbordo  I have to admit I've never had that problem, but this is how I grow from sets.  I cover the intended plot with anything that will hold moisture (even lawn mowings) and, for nutrition, I then sprinkle a good quantity of chicken manure pellets.  All the onion family like them.  To thwart weeds, I lay a sheet of roofing felt as per the pic and leave them to grow.
  • Thank you both. I did wonder if that would be the case dovefromabove, so I will cook with them.
    Thanks for the advice nick615, if I do try again I'll make sure to give them lots of nitrogen based fertiliser and plenty of water. 
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