I lifted my shallots and garlic in the first week of January, and they have been hanging out ever since in the garage. This has forced Mike to park his beloved car outside, and there have been increasing, yet still polite, reminders that he really would like to put the car away again. So today I sorted them out, and put them away in some sacks (made out of old shade cloth). I was pleased with my shallots this year, as when I went to plant them last July there was none to be had in either the supermarket or the garden centre, so I ended up planting what I had left from the previous year, which were rather small and shrivelled. They performed admirably however, so turned well in the end. I harvested about 7kgs from less than a metre square.
You can plant shallots from seed, and I'm trying this for the first time at the moment. I have some planted in the garden but they seem to have disappeared amongst the enthusiastic eggplants and bushy celery. But another, probably easier, definitely faster, way is to plant a single shallot bulb:
You hardly really plant it actually, just poke it in the ground, leaving half of it above ground. Then it sprouts and magically changes into this:
I'm not entirely sure how that happens by the way. Does the orginal bulb gradually shrink as the new bulbs grow round it? Every year I think I must observe what happens, but I haven't yet. Maybe this year.