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

February 2014
frasiers3

  

 

We're busily shipping onions all over the country now -- just as some regions of the U.S. have experienced unexpected freezes.

 

Though onions are hardy plants, able to tolerate temperatures down to 20� F,

you'll need to protect them from a hard freeze. So whether you're preparing to grow or your onions are already in the ground, here are some pointers on shielding your plants from the cold.  

        

If You Can't Plant Immediately

Just keep your plants in a cool, dry place indoors. You can wait up to two weeks before planting them. See our Q&A section for additional tips if you can't plant right away.

Prepare for a Freeze
The day before a predicted freeze, water your onions well, from the ground rather than from above. Moist soil retains warmth better than dry soil does.

Wood chips, compost, leaves, straw, stones, and landscape fabrics can serve as good, warmth-retaining mulches. Plastic mulches are also an effective way to keep out cold, weeds, and wind, while keeping the soil warm and moist. Make sure to move the mulch away, though, as the temperatures rise, so the onions can push through the soil.

Shield Onions During a Freeze
Temporarily cover your plants with burlap or specialty plant covers until the temperatures rise. When it gets milder or if rain is predicted, remove the protective covers. The covers shouldn't touch the plants, and they should seal the plants on all sides.

If you grow a lot of onions, row coverings will keep the cold out while keeping the soil moist and warm. You have many options with row covers, including tunnels, wire hoops, and frost covers. 

 

How To Tell If There is Freeze Damage

You can examine one of your onion plants to see if the crop has escaped freeze damage. In this quick video on plants surviving freezes, I show you how.

 

Keeping Warm 

Although we're still in for a few more weeks of winter, that doesn't mean you have to delay getting your plants into the ground. Onions can handle the cold weather pretty well, especially if you take special precautions to keep them warm. Follow the tips we've included here, and you should be fine.  

 

Happy growing,

signature

Bruce "Onionman" Frasier

Featured Products 
Fertilizers and Weed Control 

 

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 Dixondale Farms Onion Special 10-20-10: This exclusive fertilizer contains a blend of organic humic acids and essential micro-nutrients that onions crave, such as magnesium, zinc, boron, copper, iron, manganese, and molybdenum.  

 

 Dixondale Farms Feed and Weed 10-20-10: This is a unique fertilizer and organic pre-emergent herbicide all in one. The 100% natural corn gluten meal blocks weed germination, so you can establish your onions in a weed-free area, while our fertilizer blend provides the nutrients necessary for huge, delicious onions.

 

All Natural Feed and Weed 2-5-3: This purely organic product combines an all-natural fertilizer with the pre-emergent weed control power of corn gluten meal. It's ideal for preparing a weed-free bed and feeding your onions up to size without resorting to chemicals.

From Our Friends 

The Best Crop Ever 

 

Judy Seppala of Michigan tells us, "My sister has been purchasing onions from your farm for years. This year we all combined an order. We ordered a bunch of Copra, Ailsa Craig, Redwing, and Sterling.

 

"We had the best crop ever! Must be at least 200 pounds of onions. In the picture is my foster son Joshua with some of the onions. We will be purchasing onions from you again next spring. Thank you!"

 

Our pleasure, Judy! We hope you have another great onion crop this year, too.

  
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
Celebrations with Colleagues

 

We recently had the pleasure of hosting fellow members of the Direct Gardening Association (DGA) for a tour of Dixondale Farms and a celebration of our Centennial. The DGA is a trade association of catalogers and online marketers, many of whom are our customers as well as our friends. 
 

We also toured our new packing shed, herded cattle by helicopter, and enjoyed a rousing good party with DGA members, Dixondale employees, and Carrizo Springs townsfolk alike. In the photo above, Jeanie and Bruce are getting ready to cut our Centennial cake!

 

In the photo at left, field foreman Michael Garza teaches Bill Boonstra of Bluestone Perennials how to harvest and bundle onion plants for shipment, while DGA members look on. 

Cooking with Onions
Slow Cooker Market Stew
  • 1 pound yellow onions, trimmed, cut into narrow wedges
  • 1 8-10 ounce jar tomato-basil pasta sauce
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley (optional)
  • 1 pound yellow squash, pared, seeded and cubed (3-1/2 cups)
  • 1 pound yams or sweet potatoes, pared and cubed (3 cups)
  • 1/2 pound carrots, pared and sliced (1-1/2 cups)  

In a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker, combine onions, pasta sauce, broth, oregano, and vegetables. Add chicken if desired, or omit for a vegetarian option. Stir thoroughly until ingredients are mixed well and coated in sauce. Cover slow cooker with lid and turn to low setting for 5 to 7 hours or until tender. If desired, add parsley just before serving.

Makes 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 quarts or 6 servings.

 
Recipe courtesy of the National Onion Association. If you have a recipe you'd like us to print, email it to customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.

Q&A: Storing Your Onions

 

Q.  I've received my onions, but it's too cold to plant them. How do I store them, and how long can I do so?

 

A.  Immediately take your plants out of the box and spread them out in a cool, dry area. DO NOT put them in water or soil while waiting to plant them, or you'll trigger growth. When you receive them, the plants will be in a dormant state. Even if the roots and tops begin to dry out, don't be alarmed; they can live for three weeks off of the bulb. That said, you should get them into the ground within two weeks after you receive them.

Fun Onion Facts

 

Cooking and other forms of preparation can decrease the amount of nutrients available in some vegetables, but not so with onions. Whether you eat them raw or cooked, onions provide plenty of vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid, dietary fiber, and other good stuff.

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.

 

What do you do with stored onions that have sprouted? Just check out this Facebook post from January 14, and join the conversation!
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phone: 877-367-1015