We grow quite a lot of onions, shallots and garlic and they do taste nicer than shop bought ones!
Planted in October they are ready to harvest early summer. Garlic and elephant garlic in June followed by the onions and shallots in July. A few summer sown onions will be ready to harvest in late August/September.
After last years disaster with the onion harvest, too hot and a shortage of water to keep watering, it has been good this year. We grew onion Champion, shallot Longor and shallot Giselle. There are also red onion called Electric, not quite ready yet.
When the top growth starts to flop over the onions are ready to loosen in the soil, carefully push a fork under each bulb at lift up but leave them sitting half in the soil for a few more days. Then take them out of the soil and either leave on the top to dry out in the sun or if weather is very wet, we place on greenhouse floor to dry. They are ready to store when the stalk and outer scales of the onion rub off easily. Once cleaned up the onions are stored in the shed
Shallot Giselle were quite small and since the Longor were much bigger ( 7 cms) we decided to pickle the small ones. A good tip I found was to pour boiling water on the shallots, leave 20-30 seconds remove the water and then pour cold water on them. This loosens the skins and makes them easy to peel.