March 2017

 
  

Onion season is in full swing around Dixondale Farms. Our staff is busy harvesting, processing, packing, and shipping thousands of bunches of onion plants weekly to ensure customers receive the healthiest and freshest plants available. After receiving onions transplants, proper watering and nourishment are key. This month, we discuss the ways to keep your onion patch properly watered. Read on to learn more.

Happy irrigating,
 
  
Bruce "The Onionman" and Jeanie   
Watering Your Onion Patch
The right amount of moisture is key in your onion patch. When watering your onions, there is a fine line that must not be crossed when it comes to the amount of water your onions need. Onion plants require adequate water to produce high yields, but it doesn't take much over watering  for your onions to become diseased and rot in the ground. There are several methods to watering your onions including furrow irrigation, drip tape, and overhead watering. We prefer furrow and drip tape irrigation systems as overhead watering can promote the spread of disease in your onion crop.
When to Water
You will want to water occasionally  but thoroughly, applying about one inch of water each time. We recommend using the "knuckle rule" to tell when it's time to water. Stick your finger into the ground near the plants; if you can't feel moisture up to your first knuckle, it's time to water. In a typical 12 week growing season, we recommend irrigating with one inch of water once or twice a week depending on the amount of rainfall received. 

Furrow Irrigation
The furrow irrigation method encompasses "flooding the beds" in the furrows and allowing the plants to soak up water slowly and thoroughly. As a general rule, when the top of the bed is totally darkened by moisture, you have provided enough water to your onions. Furrow irrigation is the main method of watering used on our farm. Check out our video below to learn more about furrow irrigation.

Furrow Irrigating Your Onions
Furrow Irrigating Your Onions

Drip Tape Irrigation
Some onion growers use a drip tape irrigation system to water their onions co nsistently and  uniformly.  Drip tape is a series of punctured tapes buried in the ground that deliver water directly to the pla nts' root s. T his he lps avoid fungal diseases caused by overhead watering. For those of you interested in using a drip tape system, be sure it's designed and deployed properly to water your onions evenly. Uneven watering can result in decreased yields. Areas that are too wet will promote leaching and disease. 

Install drip tape down the center of your onion beds between the rows of onions at a depth of 3-4 inches (emitter space should be at least 12 inches).  With drip tape, you will still follow the "knuckle rule" to know when it's time to water.

While there are several ways to water your onions, providing just the right amount, but not too much water is key to a successful crop!
From Our Friends


Pictured is Stan and Carla's crop irrigated using a drip tape system. Stan and Carla wrote, "The onions are spectacular! The pictures are near harvest time in early August. Many of the onions are larger than the
Dixondale Caliper . The bunches were very generous with more like 85+ in each bunch. We are planning a larger crop next season."

We love hearing from our customers and wish Stan and Carla another successful year of onion growing!

We love seeing customer photos! If have photos that you'd like to share with us, email them to customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.
 Can You Identify this Onion Pest?

These are onion thrips and one of the most common and serious insect pests found in onion crops.

Identifying
Onion thrips are very small insects that usually require a magnifying lens to see. They have two pair of wings that are fringed with long hairs. Adults are pale yellow to light brown color. Onion thrips thrive in hot, dry conditions and are usually more damaging in areas where these climatic conditions prevail for most of the production season.

Damage
High populations of thrips can reduce both yield and storage potential of onions. Onion thrip damage is most detrimental during the early bulbing stage of plant development. Thrips have rasping-sucking mouthparts and feed by rasping the surface of the leaves and sucking up the liberated plant fluid. They feed under the leaf folds and in the protected inner leaves near the bulb. When population levels are high, thrips can also be found feeding on exposed leaf surfaces. Both adults and nymphs cause damage. When foliage is severely damaged, the entire field takes on a silvery appearance. Severe scarring also creates an entry point for foliar leaf diseases.

Control
We recommend AzaGuard Organic Insecticide for preventing and controlling thrip populations and avoid planting onions near grain fields.

To learn more about onion thrips, click here or watch this onion thrip scouting video.
Featured Products
Fungicides
Keep your onion plants disease free. We offer Mancozeb Fungicide with Zinc to help control diseases such as downy and powdery mildew, blight, neck rot, and botrytis. This product is a broad spectrum, protectant fungicide that prevents fungal and bacterial spores from forming on your leaves. Spray this product as a protectant on a weekly basis 3 weeks after planting up until 2 weeks before harvest. Use as needed in the event of wet weather. One pint starts at $17.95.

Protect your organic onion crops with OxiDate Organic Fungicide. OxiDate offers powerful disease control by killing fungal and bacterial spores on contact while remaining eco-friendly. May be used as a preventative and curative treatment on any type of fruit or vegetable. OMRI listed for organic production. 32 fl. oz. starting at $18.95.

Onion Growing Success Kits
Our Onion Growing Success Kits offer products for each phase of an onion's growing cycle, including  the two fertilizers mentioned above. These kits treat approximately 10 bunches and include step-by-step growing instructions.  

Onion Growing Success Kit
We've gathered our products to help make you a successful onion grower!  $59.95 - 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!  $62.95 - SAVE 20%
  • Our exclusive Dixondale Farms All Natural Weed & Feed 3-5-3 is perfect for pre-emergent herbicide prevention of weed germination and also feeds the onion with the exact micronutrients it requires.
  • 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.
  • AzaGuard Organic Insecticide controls onion thrips and onion maggots which are two of the most detrimental insects to onion crops. 
Cooking with Onions

Stuffed Onion Bombs
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3-4 Yellow Onions (med-large)
  • 1 package of bacon
  • More BBQ sauce

Directions
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, milk, 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic. Cut top and bottom off onion, cut in half and peel off skin. Then, separate the onion into "layers". Use the larger outside layers. Stuff your meatloaf mix between two onion layers (essentially making an onion seal around a large meatball). Wrap each "bomb" with 3 slices of bacon and secure with toothpicks. Bake in a dish with sides (to catch grease) at 425° for approximately 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°. Add BBQ sauce all over and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Recipe from MyFridgeFood If you have an onion recipe you'd like us to share, please email it to customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.

Around the Packing Shed

March is one of the busiest months for Dixondale Farms. This month we highlight what's going around our packing shed.
 
Our customer service team is busy taking orders and answering all of your onion growing questions, while our shipping team verifies your addresses and the method your onions will be shipped to you. 
The packing crew is seen below unloading trailers full of onions as they are harvested from the farm. They also pack your orders to ensure you receive the freshest and healthiest plants available!
 
We appreciate our employees and their efforts to keep our customers satisfied!

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? Order your 2017 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.