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Don’t be tempted to grow garlic bought from the supermarket as these varieties may not be suited to our climate, however once you have bought some bulbs you can retain one or two for planting in subsequent years.

Garlic needs to be subjected to a cold spell in order to produce cloves. A successful way of growing garlic is to plant in a tub and leave in a cold greenhouse over winter. This helps prevent the cloves form becoming too wet and rotting. The tubs can be brought out early in spring.

Alternatively plant in pots and grow on over winter in the cold greenhouse and plant out on the plot in spring.

Harvest when tops begin to brown and bend over - dry to store.

Solent Wight, Purple Wight

Click here for more information on how to grow garlic


Can be tricky. Long growing season - can be picked when quite small about 3 cm diameter.

Kong Richard


Although you can grow onions from seed it is easier to grow them from sets (immature bulbs). Winter onions are planted in autumn and harvested in late spring. These do not store well. Other onions are sown in spring and harvested in late summer. These can be stored over winter. Heat treated sets of spring planted onions are far less likely to bolt and produce hard flower stems although they are more expensive.  Red and white varieties can be less reliable.

Harvest spring planted onions when leaves brown - dry before storing preferably on the surface of the soil - winter planted harvest when they have reached a usable size.

Onion sets can be started earlier by planting in pots in a cold greenhouse and planted out later

Mixed Heat Treated Sets, Hytech (heat treated yellow onions), Senshyu (yellow not heat treated) Autumn Champion (plant in autumn to start pulling June/July)

More information on planting onions here


These are treated in the same way as onions and usually grown from sets. Shallot sets are larger than those of the onion and each set produces a cluster of shallots.

Like onions shallots can be started off early in pots in a cold greenhouse.

Picasso,  Golden Gourmet

More information on planting onions here

Spring Onion

Unpredictable - seed can take a while to germinate and sometimes fails completely - maybe try in containers if your soil is heavy.

Performer, Apache (red)

The resources offered here also offer more support and include cultural tips, information and a full high quality photographs showing stages of each plant's life cycle. Choosing Plants from the Onion Family Key to approximate sowing and harvesting times: Growing Garlic  Growing onions and shallots  Plant & seed Propagation  Greenhouse Equipment The following offer a range of vegetable seeds and plants. Click on an icon and use the search box to browse what is available.