Over the last couple of days I have been planting the onion and shallot sets I had ordered last November and had arrived last week. I finished off by planting the last two rows this morning. I had to dig the patch over first and this was fairly heavy going as, being part of last year's brassica patch, it had not been dug since the autumn of 2015. There were also a multitude of thornless blackberry plantlets that had to be dug out as I had not kept my main plant under control and it had rooted wherever it had touched ground. I gave several plantlets away and left several at the 'Surplus' table by the Trading Hut and several at the front of my plot. I think the original plant was 'Reuben', a lovely blackberry but, though thornless, very vigorous.
Having dug the patch over I used my hand cultivator the create a fine tilth before planting the sets. With freshly dug soil I could just push them in but don't do this with more compact soil as you will damage the root plate at the bottom of the set. I make sure the tips are just under the surface, ignoring the advice to leave the tips showing as the birds pull them out thinking they may be a worm or insect. With the light soil on my plot I find it makes no difference burying them just under the surface.
I am also pleased to report I seem to have finally dealt with my rat problem. Having checked that the box of poison from the Trading Hut worked out cheaper than that from InExcess, though the initial outlay may be greater, the new bait has been left alone and I don't get a kerfuffle from the back of my shed when I open the door and the rats beat a retreat from their nest under the rubbish!