December 2018
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We cannot believe it is already December. Where did 2018 go? This past year, we have been blessed with great customers, great employees, and great friends. We look forward to what 2019 has in store for Dixondale Farms!

We receive many emails and phone calls regarding onion plant size. This month, we'll discuss onion plant size and the factors that impact the size of onion plants we grow.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

 
Bruce "The Onionman" and Jeanie Frasier
Onion Plant Size
We received many phone calls and emails with customers asking us about onion plant size. Optimal plant size at the time of transplanting is about that of a pencil, ≈1 cm or slightly less than ½ inch in diameter, which usually translates to the plant having 4 leaves. If an onion plant has more than 5 leaves, it's more prone to bolting, or going to seed, than a smaller plant. When we ship onion plants, each plant has a certain amount of carbohydrates stored in the bulb. The larger the bulb on the plant, the more carbohydrates the plant contains. The drier the bulb, the more carbohydrates are stored since this solid fiber has not been diluted by water.

As our loyal customers know, some onion plants in the bunch are smaller than others. Within a given bundle of plants, there may be a range of sizes of plants.  Raw onion seed has around 80% germination. That means that 80% of the seeds will germinate within 14 days; some of the seed may germinate in as little as 5 days and the other seed may take 14 days. This will mean that some of the plants are up to 9 days younger than other plants. Some growers may wish to take all the smaller plants and plant them in a separate area where they will harvest them as spring green onions.



Factors that impact the size of onion plants within our inventory include: weather, variety, and popularity of a certain variety. This past fall, we received 18+ inches of rain in the month of September. This greatly impacted our planting schedule leaving several weeks between plantings. In a normal season, we plant fields weekly from August through November. Growth rate between varieties vary greatly, as well. Red onion varieties and leeks grow a bit slower in the fields than white and yellow onion varieties; out of the same field planted on the same day, the red varieties may differ in size from the yellow and white varieties. If certain varieties are more popular in a particular season, we may harvest all of that variety out of one field, forcing us to move to a younger field, while other varieties are still being harvested out of a field that is one-to-two weeks older and more mature.  All of these factors will impact the differing of size of onion plants.

Your job as an onion grower is to transplant the bulb, help it establish a strong root system, and allow it start generating more carbohydrates before it uses up all it has stored in the bulb; a simple explanation for a critical period in the life of your onion. It takes about two weeks for the onion to fully establish a root system. After that, it should start shooting out new leaves once every two weeks or so.  

The final size of the onion bulb is more effected by nutrition, climate conditions, and the variety planted than with the size of the transplant.   As always, we try to ship you plants that are as close to the optimum size as possible. Our guarantee promises that you receive healthy plants that will transplant successfully! 

To see our selection of onion plants available or place your orders, visit our  Web site . You may also contact Customer Service at (830) 876-2430 or email customerservice@dixondalefarms.com. We look forward to another of providing the highest quality onion plants for you!
From Our Friends
Craig Williams of Freeport, IL shared his 2nd year onion growing success with us recently.
Craig writes, "This is our 2nd year growing your onions. We are hooked! This year we added Ringmaster to our garden. Ringmaster is pictured above. We like to cook them just like steaks with olive oil and seasoning.


Thank you for the great onion plants and varieties!"

- Craig Williams

Share Your Photos with Us!
We enjoy receiving photos from our customers including those of new methods of growing, harvesting, curing, and storing. We'd love to publish yours in an upcoming newsletter. Just e-mail your onion photos to  customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.
Featured Products
Onion Growing Success Kits
We are offering    Onion Growing Success Kits again this season    so you have products ready for each phase of an onion's growing cycle.    Each kit treats approximately 10 bunches and includes step-by-step growing instructions to ensure bumper crops in the onion patch.

Onion Growing Success Kit
We've gathered our products to help make you a successful onion grower!   $60.95;  SAVE 20%

*Start plants out and establish root systems with our exclusive Dixondale Farms Onion Special 10-20-10 fertilizer.
* Perform pre-emergent weed control at planting time with Treflan Herbicide Granules.
* Boost nitrogen levels with Ammonium Sulfate three weeks after planting for more rings and larger bulbs.
*Use Mancozeb Fungicide with Zinc to control moisture-related issues.

Grow a healthy onion crop using all natural products in our All Natural Onion Growing Success Kit!   $63.95;  SAVE 20%

*Our exclusive Dixondale Farms All Natural Weed & Feed 3-5-3 is perfect for pre-emergent prevention of weed germination.
*Applying OmegaGrow Foliar Feed two weeks after planting adds nitrogen to soil for top results.
*Oxidate Organic Fungicide Preventative and Curative addresses moisture-related issues.
*Neem Organic Fungicide/Insecticide f or organic gardening controlling Botrytis, Tip Blight, Rust, Downy mildew, Powdery mildew, Spider Mites, Aphids, Whiteflies, and other insect pests. Kills egg, larvae, and adult stages of insects.
Around the Farm

Here's a look at the Dixondale Farms crew from our annual Christmas party! We ate lunch, played games, and reminisced on all that 2018 brought to Dixondale Farms. 

From left to right, top to bottom: Shed crew, Farm crew, Customer Service and Shipping crew, Bruce and Jeanie Frasier, and the Harvest crew. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Dixondale Farms!

 Cooking with Onions
French Onion Chicken
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided 
  •  1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. chopped thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 c. shredded Gruyère
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Directions

1.  In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add onions and season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally until onions are caramelized and jammy, about 25 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn off heat and remove onion mixture. Wipe skillet clean.

2.  In a large bowl, season chicken with salt, pepper and oregano, then toss with flour. Heat remaining oil in the same skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until golden on all sides and mostly cooked through, about 8 minutes.

3.  Add beef broth and return cooked onions to skillet. Bring mixture to a boil, then then educe heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through and beef broth reduces slightly, about 10 more minutes.

4.  Add Gruyère and cover skillet with a lid. Cook until cheese is melty, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with parsley. Serve warm.

Thanks to Delish for this great onion recipe! 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? Request your 2019 catalog here. 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!
Facebook Icon 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. 
    
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.   
 
We're on Pinterest too. Check out our Pins which include photos covering small space onion gardens, tasty onion recipes, planting tips, and more.

You can also join us on  Instagram, a photo community where we're sharing even more Dixondale photos.