March 2015
New Header 100 Straight
  

With the wildly fluctuating temperatures in most parts of the country lately, you need to be vigilant about protecting your onions. Onions can withstand frosts and moderate freezes, but you must shield them from hard freezes -- that is, periods of at least four hours of temperatures below 25 degrees. They can survive temperatures as low as 20 degrees, but not for long. 

 

Insulation as Prevention

Before a predicted freeze, water your onion plants or cover them with fabric or mulch to help prevent damage. Moist soil, snow, and even ice act as insulation, holding heat in the soil and around the bulb and root. Coverings further help by keeping the plants protected from the biting cold and wind. 

 

Identifying After-Freeze Damage

Once a hard freeze has occurred, you need to examine your onions right away. Take a close look at the exposed portion of your onion bulbs. If you see translucent skins, or those that seem to be water-soaked, you're looking at freeze damage. With care, the onions can survive surface damage. 

 

Not all freeze damage is immediately obvious. In a few days, check your onions again for mushiness. Then pull up a few and cut into them at an angle to expose the inner rings. The plants that are mushy when you pull them up or that display internal translucence can't be saved.

 

Bouncing Back With Extra Care

After any hard freeze, the plants will need watering, since the ground usually dries out significantly during a freeze. Give your plants a couple of weeks to bounce back. They need time to generate more carbohydrates, which is their life source (not to mention their flavor source). If you see new leaves emerging, your plant's on its way to recovery! Check on your onion plants more often than usual for a few weeks, for signs of new growth.

 

We can't control Mother Nature, but we can take measures to minimize damage from hard freezes. Protecting your plants now will have big payouts at harvest time.

 

Stay Warm,


signature
Bruce "Onionman" Frasier

Spotlight on Longtime Customers
This month's longtime customer is Louis Hoying of Minster, Ohio (right). Louis is another customer who sends in great photos for our catalog. He has great success year after year. Look at those mouthwatering Copra onions!

Louis has been with us since 2009. If this photo seems familiar, it's because it was recently pinned on Dixondale's Pinterest board and was featured in the 2012 Dixondale Farms catalog.

 

Honorary Mention

 

We'd also like to honor a special Dixondale Farms friend in this issue. At his request, though, we won't print his name.

 

A loyal customer and avid onion grower for twenty years, this gentleman has decided it's time to retire from gardening. We'll miss him! Our honoree has had some amazing harvests over the years. As he puts it, "It's been a great ride being a customer of Dixondale Farms for nearly 20 years -- always received super plants at the right time with very favorable results. Thanks for the memories. There is no doubt in my mind that Dixondale Farms will be around another 100 years."    
Remember, dear friend, you will always be part of our family here at the farm!
Featured Products
Fertilizers

We offer numerous products to help you fertilize and protect your produce. All our fertilizers and feed-and-weed products come in four-pound bags, as well as our new resealable 12-pound bags. 

 

product of the month Start your plants with a 10-20-10 fertilizer to help establish their root systems. We recommend using Dixondale Farms Onion Special 10-20-10 first (left). 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.

 

To feed and weed your plants at the same time, try Dixondale Farms Feed and Weed 10-20-10: This is a unique fertilizer and organic pre-emergent herbicide all in one.

 

OmegaGrow Keep the soil nutrient-rich for robust onions. OmegaGrow (right), our exclusive, all-organic foliar feed, has everything your onions need to grow big and strong, and is gentle on the environment.
 
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.
 
From Our Friends
Onions from Red River Country

Barney Chapman tells us, "This photo was taken in my garden near Clarksville, Texas. The Red River is my north boundary.  My granddaughter, Alessia, and friend, Sofia, both living in Italy, were at the ranch this summer for three weeks, and helped me in the garden while here. 

 

"These onions were planted in an area where I had put lots of horse and cow manure about three years ago. Wow, they just jumped. Thanks for the great onions!"

 

Barney, we're always glad to help. Thanks for showing us your great crop!

 

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
Our 2015 Office Staff

This is our Dixondale Farms Office Staff for the Season 2015, for our all-important Customer Service and Shipping Department.

 

Front Row (Chairs): Left to Right: Bonnie Hernandez, Mary Caddell.

 

Back Row, Left to Right: Aby Samaniego, Alicia Diaz, Rose Hernandez, Janice Carrillo, and Melissa Romo.

 

We're working very hard to make sure all your orders are in and ready to ship the week you've requested. We wish you a great onion growing season!
Cooking with Onions

Crusty Onion Bruschetta

  • 1 medium onion, cut into paper-thin wedges
  • 1 French bread baguette (about 8 ounces)
  • 4 ounces light cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup nonfat or low fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 cup pizza sauce, canned
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Parsley flakes (optional)
Split bread in half lengthwise. Pull out some bread from center of each half, leaving a 1/2-inch shell. Beat cheeses and herbs with fork and spread mixture along length of both bread halves. Place a ribbon of pizza sauce and a single layer of onions over cheese mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake on baking sheet at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until onion is tender and tips are slightly blackened, but crust is not too dark. Sprinkle with dry parsley flakes if desired. Cut crosswise into narrow strips. Makes 8 servings.

 

Recipe courtesy of the National Onion Association. For more delectable recipes, visit our Web site.  If you have a recipe you'd like us to print, email it to customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.
Q & A: Onion Planting and Care
Q: Where can I find planting and onion care information?

 

A: We have plenty of great sources to help you with your onions! Try these:

 

Fun Onion Facts

For onions, 13 is a lucky number. A fully mature onion has 13 leaves, which means it has 13 rings, too. You'll rarely if ever see an onion with more than 13 rings, no matter how large it is. Too bad the Founding Fathers didn't know this, or the onion might be one of the symbols of America, which started with 13 colonies. That's why there are 13 arrows in the eagle's talons on the dollar bill, and 13 stripes on the American flag.

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. We're also available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CT at 877-367-1015, 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 Facebook and Pinterest!

Facebook Icon 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.

 

Now we're on Pinterest too! Check out our pins, which cover every aspect of onion-growing -- including photos and stories from fellow growers, how-to articles, and a wide variety of guidance for growing the best onions ever.