In this issue...
Featured Products
From Our Friends
Around the Farm
Cooking with Onions
Onion Q&A: Braiding Your Onions
Fun Onion Facts
All Your Questions Answered
About Dixondale Farms
Join Us on Facebook!
Affiliations
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Harvesting and Storing Your Onions

June 2014

  

 

It doesn't seem possible, but the 2014 onion growing season is winding down. For many of you, that means it's time to start planning to harvest, store, and enjoy your onions. Bringing the harvest in and making it last is a simple, straightforward process. Just follow these tips to maximize the results. 

 

Are My Onions Harvest-Ready?

Onions are fully mature when their tops fall over naturally. This means they're finished growing and are ready for harvest. Once this has occurred, pull the onions out of the ground or container early in the morning, and, if it's a warm, dry day, lay them out to begin to dry. Otherwise, take them inside to begin the drying (curing) process.

 

Drying Before Storing

It will take a couple of weeks for your onions to completely dry and be storage-ready. You can dry them either outdoors or indoors. Outdoor drying must be done only on days when it's not damp or humid. Cover the bulbs with the tops of adjacent onions to avoid sunscald.

 

Indoor drying requires a well-ventilated area. Spread out the onions with plenty of room for airflow between them. After they're completely dry, leave them in place to cure for 2-3 weeks. The process is complete when the neck is tight, the outer skin is dry and rustles when touched, and the skin color is uniform. Leave the thin outer skin on them to protect the bulb and lengthen the time they'll last in storage.

 

Storage Tips

After your onions have dried, clip the tops down to 1-2 inches long, and store them in a cool, dark place with good air circulation. Separate and discard any damaged or diseased onions. It's helpful to keep a fan running on low speed to keep the onions moisture-free.

 

Other ways to store your onions include stringing them up in mesh netting or pantyhose, which allows the air to circulate between them. You can also braid onions (see the Q&A below for tips). As long as the storage area is well-ventilated, dry, and not exposed to direct sunlight, they'll keep just fine.

 

From Ground to Plate

As you can see from the tips above, harvesting and drying onions is a fairly straightforward process that doesn't require any special tools or a lot of effort. If you follow these steps and give your onions a little TLC , you'll have plenty to last you for months in salads, soups, sandwiches, and burgers.  

 

Happy harvesting,

signature

Bruce "Onionman" Frasier

Featured Products 
Fertilizers and Weed Control After Planting

 

For those of you still growing your onions to maturity, we offer numerous products to help you fertilize and protect them. All of our fertilizers and feed-and-weed products come in four-pound bags, as well as our new resealable 12-pound bags.

 

product of the monthOur 10-20-10 fertilizers help your onions establish and maintain their root systems. We recommend Dixondale Farms Onion Special 10-20-10. To feed and weed your onion plants at the same time, try our Dixondale Farms Feed and Weed 10-20-10. This is a unique, very effective fertilizer and organic pre-emergent herbicide all in one.

  

For all-organic feeding and weeding, All Natural Feed and Weed 2-5-3 is ideal. This purely organic product combines an all-natural fertilizer with the pre-emergent weed control power of corn gluten meal.

 

Keep the soil nutrient-rich for robust onions. OmegaGrow

Once your plants are established, feed them Ammonium Sulfate Fertilizer 21-0-0 to maximize growth and bulbing potential. This will help your onions generate more foliage and, therefore, more rings and larger bulbs. OmegaGrow, our exclusive, all-organic foliar feed, has everything your onions need to grow big and strong, and is gentle on the environment.

From Our Friends 

Spectacular Sterlings

  

Sonia Steiner of River Falls, WI sends us this message and charming photo:

 

"Last year's harvest outweighed any!  The Sterling variety's average size was 1.5-2 pounds.  Of course, they needed to be approved by my friend Jewels the kitty.  I have never had a better crop of onions, thanks to your quality plants and a little help from Mother Nature."

 

Let's just hope we remain up to the standards of Queen Jewels!

 

Got some onion-related photos to share? Click here for submission tips. You just might see your photo in a future newsletter!
Around the Farm   
Cantaloupe Season
  

Now that our onion-growing season has wound down, our cantaloupes are coming on very well. Some of our best-looking melons yet should be hitting Southern markets within the next two weeks.

 

We're available for onion questions and supply purchases year round. You can contact us at 877-377-1015 from 8 AM to 5 PM CDT or by email at customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.

Cooking with Onions
Grilled Onion Blossom
  • 1 large Vidalia onion
  • 2 tablespoons A1 Original Steak Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Peel onion; partially cut into 6 wedges, being careful to not cut through to bottom of onion. Place on large sheet of foil.  Gently pull onion wedges apart; sprinkle with cheese.  Drizzle with steak sauce. Wrap tightly with foil. Grill 40 minutes or until onion is tender and lightly browned.

 

If you prefer to use an oven, prepare as directed, then place foil in pouch on baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes.

 

If you like, you can sprinkle the onion with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

 

Recipe courtesy of Dixondale Farms. If you have a recipe you'd like us to print, email it to customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.

Q&A: Braiding Your Onions

 

Q. I've heard a lot about braiding onions. How do I do it?

  

A. Braiding onions is similar to braiding hair. You begin by making one braid chain from the onion greens, as you would with hair, yarn or rope. Follow this wonderful tutorial written by Michaela for The Gardener's Eden. If you need help or want to share some with friends, have a braiding party with some of your 2014 harvest.

Fun Onion Facts

 

Did you know that a serving of onions contains only 30 calories? That's hard to beat! In fact, it's so hard to beat, and onions taste so good, that over 300 semi-truck loads of them are consumed each and every day. That's enough onions to cover a football field, including the end zones, to a depth of just over 2 feet!

All Your Questions Answered 

 

We have answers to your frequently asked questions! Just click the link for information on when to order your onions and how to find your frost and freeze dates, as well as for tips on planting, caring, feeding, harvesting, and storing them.  

 

You can also print our electronic Planting Guide, or download a PDF version for easy reference.

 

And be sure to review our short videos, on topics ranging from bolting and fertilizing to how onion plants are harvested and how they deal with cold weather. 

About Dixondale Farms


As the largest and oldest onion plant farm in the U.S., Dixondale Farms offers a wide selection of top-quality, disease-free, ready-to-plant onion plants. To see our complete product line, request a catalog, or for growing tips and cultural information, visit our Web site.

 

Whether you're planting one bunch or thousands of acres, we're committed to your success. We've posted answers to frequently asked questions about growing onions on our FAQ page. You can also go to the Learn section of our Web site for growing guides. And of course, we're also available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CT at 877-367-1015, or e-mail us any time at customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.

Facebook Icon Join Us on Facebook!

 

Join the community of friends and growers on our Facebook page! You can connect with us and fellow growers to share stories, photos, recipes, and even weather information and other tips.

 

How many rings should an onion have? The ideal number is 13, but as you can see in this image of one of our colossal, juicy onions, even we can't always grow that many rings!

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phone: 877-367-1015