Don't ask me why I haven't gotten any planting done before yesterday. It's not like I've been getting a lot of knitting/crocheting/sewing/quilting/house cleaning done. The weather has been beautiful for MOST of April. For whatever reason though....nothing. Not one thing planted. That is, until yesterday.
Of course my warm weather veggies like tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, etc. won't go in for another month (weather depending). The cooler weather veggies, on the other hand, can be planted now. Actually, normally I would have planted these LAST month. Well, whatever. We've gone over that.
Yesterday I planted potatoes (see this post), radishes, and beets. I would have planted lettuce and spinach, but, for whatever reason, I was out of seed. It's all right though. I work in a garden center, so I'll get seed next day I work. I also have some spinach that wintered over. I don't mean reseeded, either. I mean lived through the winter all hunkered up under the snow, weathering -0 temps! It looks pretty good now too, see........
Okay, so, on to onions. Similar to potatoes, I dig a trench, but only about 6 inches deep and 4-5 inches wide. Just leave the soil removed from the trench along the side of the trench to use later.
Your onion sets (bulbs) will look like this.
The round part of the bulb is the bottom. See where the roots are coming out the bottom. Set this part against the dirt.
Not the best picture, but see how the green is coming out of the pointed part of the bulb. This will be pointed up.
There are about 80 bulbs in a package of onion sets. There's no way I would have room to grow that many onions if I spaced them 3-4 inches apart. At least not in my little garden. So I place them side by side in the bottom of the trench. When they are big enough, I will thin some out and use for green onions. At that time, I can get the spacing I need and let the remainder grow into full size onions.
Now, I mix compost with the soil that came out of the trench (about 50/50 mix). Cover the onion bulbs with about 2 inches of the compost/soil mix. Water well and continue to keep the soil evenly moist. In a couple of weeks your onions should be emerging from the ground.
The process for shallots is very similar.
The only thing I do different is space them 3-4 inches apart in the trench. There aren't as many shallots in a package (about 5-6) as the onions. So it's easier to find the space for them.
Again, cover with about 2-inches of your compost/soil mixture. Water well and keep evenly moist.