To navigate from page to page, click on the arrows to go forwards and backwards to the next and previous pages. The arrows can be found to the side of the page, or at the bottom of each page.
Where: The three horizontal lines can be found in the top right of your screen. This is always visible on your desktop, tablet and smartphone devices
What: Click on this to open the main menu of the table of contents. This will open on top of the page you’re on. Click on any section title to visit that section. Click the cross at any time to close the table of contents
Where: Second control in from the left
What: If you’re having trouble reading the guide on screen, you can use this icon to change the size of the text to suit you.
Where: Second control from the right
What: You can navigate your way back to this page at any time by clicking on or tapping this question mark icon
To expand a picture, click on the blue icon in the top-left of the image. Click the blue X icon to close the expanded image
Where we think a group of images will be most useful to you, we’ve grouped them together in an image gallery. Simply use the blue left and right arrows to scroll through the pictures.
If you see a word or phrase in black and underlined, click or tap and you will a short explanation of technical terms or jargon.
Essential ingredients: onions and garlic
Aromatic alliums like onions, shallots and garlic are essential ingredients in simple weeknight suppers and festive holiday feasts.
Onions and shallots
You can grow onions from seed in February, but the simplest way is to grow them from ‘sets’ (partially grown onions).
If you’re growing onions, ‘Red Baron’ is a good red variety. ‘Autumn Gold’, ‘Centurion’ and ‘Turbo’ produce solid brown onions that store well. Which? Gardening trialled 12 different kinds and, as a Which? member, you can log in to find out which varieties were named Best Buys.
Unlike onions, every shallot set you plant divides into a clump of up to 12 similar-sized shallots. Magic! They’re more expensive to buy but have a sweeter taste. We like ‘Topper’.
How to grow onions and shallots
- Plant sets straight into the soil in March or April.
- Push the sets in gently so the tips are just covered. Protect with fleece if birds start to pull them out. Space rows 15–30cm apart and plants 5cm apart.
- Only water onions if the weather is exceptionally dry.
- Let the tops dry and fall over naturally. In August, when skins are firm and papery, lift the bulbs gently with a fork and lay them on the soil to bake in the sun. In wet weather, ripen them in a sunny spot under cover.
- Store in a cool, dry place; plait into strings and hang, or place single layers in wooden trays.
This is remarkably easy to grow from individual cloves. Don’t use supermarket garlic – buy it from a garden centre. We recommend ‘Solent Wight’.
How to grow garlic
The flower shoots or ‘scapes’ of some garlic varieties are regarded as a gourmet treat in some cuisines. Cut them when young and tender, and use them in any recipe that requires garlic.
- Plant in the soil in November if you live in the south and have free-draining soil; otherwise, wait until January or February.
- Split the bulbs into individual cloves just before planting. Space them about 15cm apart.
- Use a trowel to ease them into the soil (don’t push them) and make sure the tops are buried so birds don’t pull them out.
- Harvest and store in July.