July 2020

Harvesting your onion crop is the most exciting time of the season! Below are some tips that we recommend as your onions get ready for harvest.

2020-2021 onion season prep is underway. We are gathering photos for our catalog. Feel free to share with us on Facebook, Instagram, or email them to us.

Happy Harvesting and Stay Healthy,
Harvesting Your Onion Crop
The most exciting time of the season is harvest. It's the time when you can see all of your hard work in the garden pay off. Below are some harvesting tips we recommend to make the most of your harvest.

When To Harvest
An onion is fully mature when the top falls over naturally. You don't have to delay your harvest until every last one falls over, but harvesting early (prior to the tops falling over) may cause an onion to sprout during storage because it wasn't allowed to complete the bulbing process. We recommend harvesting once 90% of your onion tops have fallen over on their own. For those that still have not fallen over at the time you want to harvest, you can fold the top over manually at the base of the neck and it will trigger the drying process to begin.
Once the tops have fallen over, pull the onions out of the ground and let them dry in the open air for about two days. Be sure to bring them into a sheltered area if it becomes damp or starts raining, as moisture will damage them at this stage. 
The Drying Process
If you dry your onions in the field, it's a good idea to lay out the onions in windrows, covering the bulb of one with the top of another to prevent sunscald or sunburn. This is known as "shingling." On especially hot, bright days, move them into the shade to avoid scalding. You can even hang them in small bunches, after braiding and tying the tops together with string.

If you dry your onions indoors, be sure to spread them out in a well-ventilated area with plenty of room for airflow between the onions. Drying them indoors may take longer than outdoor drying, but 2-3 weeks is usually sufficient with full circulation. The drying process is complete when the neck is tight (as seen in the photo above), the roots are dry and wiry, the outer skin is dry and makes a rustling sound when handled, and the skin color is uniform. Now they're ready to store.
Storage Tips
Clip off the roots and cut the tops down to 1-2 inches long. But keep the thin, dried outer skins on the onions, as they help maximize storage length. Store the onions in a cool, dark, dry place with good air circulation. A fan set on low will keep them dry, which in turn will retard decay. The onions shouldn't be closer than a foot away from the walls, because you need to maintain good airflow.

Never store onions with potatoes, which emit moisture, or put them in plastic bags; the lack of air circulation reduces shelf life. Mesh bags and old pantyhose make good storage options. When properly dried, some onions can keep as long as mid-winter. Storing onions in the refrigerator can also promote excess moisture and reduce the shelf life.

Be sure to check your onions regularly and immediately discard any that have gone soft or begun to rot. Never let a decaying or diseased onion touch another, since the process will spread. One bad onion really will spoil the whole batch.
Preventing Storage Diseases 
Some onion storage diseases are the result of pre-harvest conditions, such as weather extremes or pest control problems. There are no fungicides that you can use to treat post-harvest issues in onions, which is why it's important to take preventative measures:
  • Plant in areas with good drainage.
  • Use pre-emergent herbicides.
  • Rotate crops every few years. 
  • Use a fungicide at the first sign of disease during the growing season.
  • Make sure your plants are properly spaced, and not overcrowded.
  • Handle bulbs very carefully during harvest and storage.
  • Don't store bulbs that are bruised, cut, diseased, or have green tops or thick necks.
  • Dispose of crop residues at the end of the season. 
We hope you find these tips helpful, and wish you a bountiful harvest!
If you have growing questions, please don't hesitate to give us a call.  Contact Customer Service at (830) 876-2430 or email   customerservice@dixondalefarms.com .
Share Your Crop Photos

We need your photos for our catalog! As we start prep for the 2020-2021 season, feel free to share your crop photos with us. We go through all of the photos that get sent in as we put together our catalog newsletters.

You can email them to Customer Service or share them with us on Facebook or Instagram.
2020-2021 Onion Season
Catalogs will be mailed in October and you can begin placing orders in early October to reserve your onion plants. The first shipping week will be in mid-November. If you have questions, you can call the office at (830) 876-2430.
From Our Friends
Katy Roach wrote to us:

"I grew these Cipollinis at the community garden in Centerville, Utah. They were sweet and delicious. I made an onion casserole with them for Thanksgiving dinner and they were fantastic! I can’t wait to grow more next year!

Katy Roach
Midvale, UT"

Cipollinis are super unique onions, and we thank Katy for sharing them with us.

Share Your Photos with Us! We'd love to publish yours in an upcoming newsletter. Just e-mail your onion photos to  customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.

Three areas to watch when curing onions: the roots, the outside layer of skin, and the neck. After pulling the onions out of the ground, wait to trim the tops until you don’t feel any moisture at the base of the neck when rubbing it between your thumb and forefinger.
Ideal for the home gardener! Keep your onions garden-fresh for later use. Approximately 9 ft of mesh netting. To use, tie a knot at the end of netting. Drop in an onion and tie another knot. Repeat process until net is full. Suspend bag over a nail or rafter and store in a cool, dry area. Instructions included. $1.50 each. Order 10 or more for just $1.00 each!
We offer 5 lb., 10 lb., and 50 lb. bags. Recommended for small and large producers and for gift bags. They are perfect for farmers' markets. Hang on nails to assist in ventilation. Call for large bundles and special pricing. $2.50 each. Order 10 or more for just $2.25 each!
Around the Farm
The farm crew is already prepping the ground for onion planting that will begin in August. We plant onion seed weekly from the end of August through December in order to have transplants available for each shipping week during the season.

Cooking with Onions

Smoked Bacon Wrapped French Vidalia Onion
  • 4 Vidalia onions (small-medium)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Montreal seasoning
  • 4 slice thick bacon
  • 4 oz Gruyere, sliced & torn; more if you like
  • 2 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped

Basting Sauce
  • 3/4 c beef broth
  • 1/4 c dry vermouth
  • 1/4 tsp lemon thyme
  • 1/2 Tbsp Montreal seasoning
1. Peel and cut about 1/2” of the onion tops. Trim off a small amount of the bottom of onions so they stand upright.
2. With a spoon, scoop out a few of the inner layers of the onion leaving
       majority of the outer layers.
3. Brush onions with olive oil.
4. Liberally sprinkle seasoning over each onion.
5. Wrap bacon slices around each onion; secure with a toothpick.
6. Prep smoker to 250 degrees F.
7. Combine basting sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl.
8. Put 2 tablespoons of sauce in the center of each onion.
9. Smoke for 2 hours.

This great onion recipe comes from Just A Pinch Recipes ! If you have an onion recipe you'd like us to share, please email it to  customerservice@dixondalefarms.com .
All Your Questions Answered
We have answers to your  frequently asked questions ! Just click the link for information on planting, caring, feeding, harvesting, and storing onions.  
You can also read our electronic  Planting Guide  or download and print a  PDF guide  (which includes leeks). 

And be sure to review our  short videos  on Facebook. Topics range from fertilizing and dealing with cold weather to how onion plants are harvested. You can view these videos even if you don't have a Facebook account.
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 or get growing tips and cultural information, visit our  Web site  .

New customer? Sign up to be put on our 2021 catalog mailing list  here . Catalogs will be mailed in the fall. We're available from 8:15 AM to 5:00 PM CT at 830-876-2430, or e-mail us at  customerservice@dixondalefarms.com  .

Whether you're planting one bunch or thousands of acres, we're committed to your success.
Join Us on Social Media!
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We invite you to join the community on our   Facebook page  . You can connect with us and fellow growers to share stories, photos, recipes, weather information, and other tips. 
We're on Pinterest too. Check out  our Pins  which include photos covering small space onion gardens, tasty onion recipes, planting tips, and more.
Don't forget to subscribe to our   YouTube  channel! Our videos will guide you on selecting the right onion variety, applying fertilizer, the best weed control options, and more.

You can also join us on  Instagram , a photo community where we're sharing even more Dixondale photos.
Dixondale Farms 
 P.O. Box 129, 
Carrizo Springs, TX 78834
(830) 876 2430