In this issue...
Featured Products
From Our Friends
Around the Farm
Cooking With Onions
Q & A: Planting Time?
Fun Onion Facts
Your Questions Answered
About Dixondale Farms
Join Us on Facebook!
Affiliations
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Prevent Stored Onions From Sprouting

December 2014

  

 

Once your onion plants have received the best planting and harvesting care, the next step is proper storage. Onions that are carefully stored will stay fresher and avoid sprouting. 

 

Cure Before Your Store  

After you have harvested your onions, it is time for curing, the drying process. This is a critical step to make sure your onions don't contain excess moisture. They are properly cured when the necks are tight and the outer scales are dried when they rustle. If not properly cured, the onions are likely to decay in the form of gray mold (neck rot) which occurs at the top of the bulb. 

 

A Cool Storage Spot

After the onions are cured, store them in a cool, dry environment. The ideal storage condition is 33 degrees F, at 65-70% relative humidity.  When humidity levels and temperatures are too high, the onions may begin to sprout.  

 

Prevent Sprouting Naturally

You can help postpone or prevent sprouting naturally, by prolonging the natural dormancy of your onions. There are two ways to do this.

*Grow your onion plants with a low Nitrogen supply, which will postpone the harvest date. You will get smaller onions, but they will not be prone to sprouting.

*Reduce watering during the final growing stage, so your onions are harvested in dry soil, and will therefore not contain excess moisture.

Try these remedies, and you should see fewer sprouting onions this season. A little extra care should result in a lot of extra onions!   

 

   

Happy holidays,

signature

Bruce "Onionman" Frasier

Featured Products
After-Planting Growing Aids 

 

The following growing aids will help you maximize your onion crop, by protecting your plants and encouraging their growth throughout the season. Keeping a close watch on the development of your plants is also helpful, in order to spot and treat issues early.

  

Two Weeks After Planting
OmegaGrow
OmegaGrow: This exclusive, all-organic feed, which you spray directly onto your onion plant leaves, has everything your onions need to grow big and strong. OmegaGrow provides a rich source of nutrients that slowly break down and release nitrogen into the soil, continually supporting root growth, top development, and yield, but never harming the environment. 

 

Three to Four Weeks After Planting 

a-sulftate Ammonium Sulfate Fertilizer 21-0-0Once your onion plants are established, they'll need a good source of nitrogen to maximize growth and bulbing potential. This product is exactly what onions need to generate more foliage and, therefore, more rings and larger bulbs. Our Ammonium Sulfate is actually good stuff for all vegetables, so don't hesitate to buy in bulk.

 

For Extreme Moisture Conditions 

Mancozeb Mancozeb Flowable Fungicide with Zinc: This liquid fungicide, which contains zinc, iron, manganese, ethylene, and bisdithiocarbarmate, does an excellent job of preventing fungus damage to plants. It protects against downy mildew, tip blight, stemphylium leaf blight, botrytis, white tip, and more.

 

For Damp Conditions or Discolored Foliage

OxiDate OxiDate is a simple, ready-to-use organic fungicide/bacteriacide. It's EPA registered, offers a great alternative to copper-based products, contains no chlorine or ammonia, and leaves no harmful residue. This eco-friendly formula stops powdery and downy mildew, phytophthora, brown rot, blights, and bacterial wilt on contact, all without harming the environment or posing a risk to human health or safety.

From Our Friends 

Red Candy Apple
Intermediate Thrives in Short-Day Area 

 

Our friend Tammy Waldrop tells us, "I live just northeast of Houston, near New Caney. I have grown short-day onions (transplants ordered from you guys) for years. I figured, since I was so far south, that intermediate-day onions were out of my range. But I kept looking at all those interesting varieties in your catalog, and I knew I just had to try some! So I ordered and planted your intermediate-day onion, Red Candy Apple, along with my usual short-day onions. As you can see, I had great results!"

 

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   
Brian+Amanda Photography
The New Edition
  
There's a new little onion in the patch! Bruce and Jeanie welcomed their granddaughter, Clementine, into the world on October 30.
  
She weighed in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was a whopping 18 inches long! She's ready for her first visit to the farm!
  
The adorable onion cap our little Clementine is wearing in this photo was hand-knit by our photographers.
Cooking with Onions
Vidalia Onion Cornbread
  • 3/4 cup butter, divided
  • 1 large Vidalia (Yellow Granex) onion, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 2.5 cup self-rising yellow corn meal mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cup milk
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small skillet, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Add onion and corn, and cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until soft; set aside. Place remaining 1/4 cup butter in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Place in preheated oven to melt butter and heat skillet. In a large bowl, combine corn meal mix, flour, and sugar. In a small bowl, combine milk and eggs. Add mixture to corn meal mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Add onion, corn, and butter mixture to batter and mix well. Pour batter over melted butter in preheated skillet. Return to oven, and bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.

 

Recipe courtesy of Dixondale Farms. Visit our Web site for more delectable recipes! If you have a recipe you'd like us to print, email it to customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.

Q & A: Planting Time? 

 

Q: How do I know when I can plant my onions?

A. Plant your onions 4-6 weeks before the last estimated spring frost. Onions require full sun and good soil drainage. Choose a location that gets plenty of direct sun. Onions grow best on raised beds or raised rows at least 4 inches high and 20 inches wide. The soil should be loose and crumbly. If it's compacted, work in compost to improve aeration and drainage.

Fun Onion Facts

 

To the surprise of the Pilgrims, who brought onions with them on the Mayflower, Native Americans already had their own native varieties. They not only ate them, they used the onion skins for dyeing cloth. Those crackly onion skins can be used to create dyes in a number of earthy golden, pink, and brown colors, depending on the onion color, and work best on natural fibers like cotton, wool, and silk. Folk artists still use onion-skin dyes to this day.

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, weather information, and other tips.

 

We were blessed with a visit from the local Girl Scout troop on November 17. Jeanie passed out cookies and hot chocolate after a tour of the shed, and we sent the girls home with onion plants to start gardens of their own!

e-mail:
phone: 877-367-1015