May 2020
Greetings!

The 2019-2020 onion plant season has wrapped up. We thank each of you for your continued support of our family onion plant operation for another season.

As always, our customer service staff is available year-round to help with any growing needs or questions you may have in your onion patch.

Read below for some help tips about watering your onion crop for success!

Happy Growing,
Watering for Success
Watering is an important part of onion plant care. The secret is to strike the right balance between keeping the plants properly hydrated, but free of excess moisture, which can cause fungal problems. 
 
Here are some tips on when, how, and, how much to water.
 
When to Water 
After planting, onions need a good drink of water as soon as possible, so "water them in" thoroughly. Then water them every other day to keep them moist until they establish a root system, which normally takes a week.
  
Once the roots are established, water at least weekly with a good soaking, allowing the soil to dry a bit between waterings. Onion plants have shallow roots, and keeping them moist but not wet is key. You can apply straw as a mulch to keep moisture in and weeds out. Just move the straw away from the plants when you see the bulbs emerging from the soil. 
 
How to Water
Always water your onion plants from below, rather than overhead. Overhead watering dampens the leaves and makes them vulnerable to fungus. It can also muddy the soil. Drip irrigation at the roots is an effective watering method, because it slowly provides water directly to the roots, keeping the leaves dry. Simple, reasonably priced drip irrigation kits are available at home supply stores. 
Just Enough Water
We like to use the "knuckle rule." Stick your finger in the ground up to your middle knuckle, and if you don't find any moisture, water the plants thoroughly. This method of measuring soil moisture can be used throughout the growing process. 
 
Onions use water to take up nutrients, then convert them to carbohydrates and send them up to the leaves. These carbohydrates become solid fiber building blocks. 
 
For this "conversion phase", just enough water means about two inches per week. With too much watering, your onions will just take up nutrients and never convert them to carbohydrates. 
 
Over watering can also lead to yellowing leaves, so if you see this, cut back on the watering. Check your plants often afterwards, to make sure the leaves are back to a healthy green.    
 
The more mature your onion plants are, the more water your plants will need. Once the onions begin bulbing, they are no longer converting nutrients to carbohydrates, but sending the carbs stored in the leaves down to the rings in the bulb. To fill these rings requires more water.
 
Sweet and storage onions require different water amounts, because sweet have more water in the cell structure than storage varieties (90% vs. 80%). You should increase your watering to approximately twice a week for sweet varieties, and about once every five days for storage. 
 
But when the onion tops fall over , the watering should stop , so the soil can aerate before harvest.
 
Watering for Success
Keeping your onion plants moist but not soggy will ensure that you produce a bumper crop of sizable onions. Just follow these suggestions, keep the leaves as dry as possible, and you'll soon have a great bounty of delectable onions to consume and share.

We hope your crop is off a great start! If you have growing questions, please don't hesitate to give us a call.  Contact Customer Service at (830) 876-2430 or email   customerservice@dixondalefarms.com .
From Our Friends
With an increase in new customers this spring, we've seen an increase in the number of creative ways our customers are growing onion plants. Here are some examples of how our customers have planted their onions this year.
Bob from Salem, NH.

Here is a picture from Bob showing his Alisa Craig onions and Copra onions planted in three container boxes.
Samantha from Orem, UT.

Samatha planted Candy and Red Candy Apple onions in her garden patch on the right. This is a very traditional type garden space with raised rows. These trenches are where we suggest applying fertilizer for the roots to take up.
Robert from Winthrop, MA.

If you are limited on space and want to make your own raised bed, here's an idea! Robert shared this photo of his Yellow Spanish onions planted in kid sized pool this season. Our recommendation is to make sure there are holes in the bottom for good drainage. This is a great way to get green onions, as well.
Peter from Austin, TX.

Here another great way to plant onions especially as early green onions, he plants our Short Day Sampler this year.
Thank you to all the customers mentioned above for the wonderful pictures of how you have planted your onions this year. Amazing use of space and finding creative ways to grow Dixondale Farm onions.
Share Your Photos with Us!
We enjoy receiving photos from our customers. We'd love to publish yours in an upcoming newsletter. Just e-mail your onion photos to  customerservice@dixondalefarms.com .
Fungicides

One of the biggest issues when growing onions can be bacteria that hinders the onion growing process. If you have planting your onions and are expecting rain or experiencing rain in the near future, we  highly recommend  spraying your onions with a fungicide.
 
Here are a list of fungicide products that will help fight off any diseases during the growing season and help ensure you have a successful onion crop.
Our best selling fungicide!
Don't let rain and high humidity destroy your onion crop. When you realize that they aren't storing well, it is too late. This broad-spectrum fungicide helps control downy mildew, tip blight, botrytis, stemphylium leaf blight, and white tip. These diseases can appear after only 12 hours of leaf wetness and only a very experienced eye can discover the spores that are created. 
$20.95 each
• Organic approved formula, EPA registered standards
• Chlorine and ammonia free
• Each bottle is 32 fl. oz.

For organic gardening controlling Botrytis, Tip Blight, Rust, Downy mildew, Powdery mildew, Spider Mites, Aphids, Whiteflies, and other insect pests. Multi-purpose fungicide/insecticide/miticide - a 3-in-1 product. Kills egg, larvae, and adult stages of insects. Prevents fungal attack of plant tissue. This product can be used on vegetables, fruits, nuts, flower, and house plants. Cannot be shipped to CA. $19.95 each
• Organic approved formula, EPA registered
• Alternative to copper-based products
• Chlorine and ammonia free
• Leaves no harmful residue
• Convenient, ready-to-use bottle
• Use indoor and outdoors
• Weekly use increases fruit and vegetable yields
• OMRI Listed

OxiDate is the eco-friendly way to effectively stop diseases such as powdery/downy mildew, phytophthora, brown rot, wilts, blights, and bacterial wilt on contact. It kills bacterial and fungal pathogens and fights against disease caused by micro-organisms, but without harming the environment or posing a risk to human health or safety. Oxidate may be used as a preventative and curative treatment on any type of fruit, vegetable or citrus tree.
$19.95 each
Around the Farm
Carrizo Cantaloupe season is here! For the next 45 days our crews will focus on getting this crop watered, harvested, packed, and shipped to Texas retailers. If you're a Texan, look for Carrizo Cantaloupes at your grocery store or ask your produce manager to request them!

Our cantaloupes are fully ripened so the crew below is only harvesting what is ripe today. We go through each field an upwards of 10 times to get every cantaloupe when it is fully ripened. This is what makes our cantaloupes different from those most in the grocery stores today.
Sausage French Bread Pizza
Ingredients
• 1 loaf (1 pound) unsliced French bread
• 1-1/3 cups prepared Alfredo sauce
• 3 cooked Italian sausage links, chopped
• 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
• 1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh broccoli
• 1/2 cup fresh cauliflowerets
• 2-1/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
• 1-1/2 cups shredded pizza cheese blend
Instructions
  1. Cut bread in half horizontally; place on a baking sheet. Spread cut sides with Alfredo sauce. Sprinkle with the sausage, olives, red pepper, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and cheese.
  2. Bake at 350° until heated through, 15-20 minutes. Cut into serving-size pieces.

This great onion recipe comes from Taste of Home ! 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? Sign up to be put on our 2021 catalog mailing list  here . Catalogs will be mailed in the fall. 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!
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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. 
We're on Pinterest too. Check out  our Pins  which include photos covering small space onion gardens, tasty onion recipes, planting tips, and more.
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.

You can also join us on  Instagram , a photo community where we're sharing even more Dixondale photos.
Dixondale Farms 
 P.O. Box 129, 
Carrizo Springs, TX 78834
(830) 876 2430