April 2016
 
  
Onion plants are some of the hardiest plants in the garden and usually able to withstand temperatures as low as the single digits for brief periods. However, prolonged periods of cold and/or wet conditions aren't ideal for maximum growth.

In this issue we provide some helpful weather strategies for you whether you're in the planning, planting, or growing stage.

Weather Tips for Onion Growing
The best way to give your onions the best possible growing conditions is to fortify them from the start. By doing so, they'll be better equipped to endure unpredictable and less-than-desirable conditions. 

Boost your young onion plants by ridding the area of weeds, enhancing the soil, and strengthening the plants' roots. Apply  Treflan herbicide granules before planting for pre-emergent weed and grass control. O ur specially blended  Feed and Weed  gets applied once before planting to add nutrients to the soil and to further keep weeds from emerging. Our 10-20-10 Onion Special Fertilizer  will enhance the soil with micronutrients while establishing onion plant root systems. 

Be Weather-Wise
Staying on top of forecasts can keep you one step ahead of Mother Nature's occasional curve ball. You can check temperature highs and lows, humidity levels, and wind speeds each day with the Old Farmer's Almanac .

Freeze Prevention and Protection
Because onion plants need to go into the ground while the weather's still cool, there's always the possibility of them being caught in a late frost or freeze. The links below are resources we've published explaining how to handle these situations.

Before a Predicted Freeze : This article shows you what steps to take to prepare your onion plants and shield them when a freeze has been forecast.

Coverings for Soil and Plants: Even raising the soil temperature just a few degrees can make a big difference to your plants. Here you'll find a list of the best mulch material for doing so. There is another tip for protecting the soil before a predicted freeze which may come as a surprise to some of you!

Freeze Protection and After-Freeze Care: Get tips on how to insulate your plants, get them through a freeze, and take care of them afterward.

Did Your Onions Beat the Freeze?: Here is a video in which Bruce shows you what your onions look like if they beat the freeze.

When It's Too Hot or Too Wet
Excessive rain or heat can also cause stress-related issues for your onion plants. If the weather becomes oppressive, you need to check on your plants more often. Identifying the problem is key to proper treatment and getting your plants back to good health.
 
Regular applications of 
fungicides during the growing season can prevent many weather-related problems. 

Common Onion Diseases is an illustrated guide that teaches you how to recognize and prevent the diseases that strike onions usually due to bad weather.
 
The Warm and the Cold of It
Successful onion cultivation starts with giving your plants a good start. Staying on top of weather predictions and taking proactive measures to safeguard your onions will help you produce a healthy and bountiful crop. 


Happy gardening,
Jeanie and Bruce

P.S.  If you're just now ordering your onion plants, we ask that you place your order  no later than  the Wednesday before the week you want your plants to ship. Any orders placed after Wednesday will be scheduled for shipping two weeks later.  Thanks to you, our loyal customers, we're extremely busy sending our onion plants out!
Products for Healthy Onions
Fertilizers

We offer numerous products to help you fertilize and protect your produce. All our fertilizers and feed-and-weed products come in our re-sealable four-pound and twelve-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. 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, our exclusive, all-organic foliar feed, has everything your onions need to grow big and strong, and is gentle on the environment.
 
For 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.
 
Around the Farm
T-Ball Time
It's T-Ball time in South Texas and many of our employees' kids and grandkids are joining in the fun. 
Elashia Carrillo (red sneakers), granddaughter of Shipping Specialist Janice Carrillo, plays for the Reds.    
 
Jayse Jaime (blue & white cap), son of Shed Foreman Jesse James Jaime, and grandson of Customer Service Representative Abigail Lira, is playing for the Dodgers.

Felix and Emarie Sifuentez (standing together), son and daughter of Customer Service Representative Rose Hernandez, and grandkids of Shipping Manager Bonnie Hernandez, are both playing for the Padres.

Knock us some home runs and have lots of fun, kids! We'll all be rooting for you here at Dixondale Farms!


From Our Friends
Dan P. of Ohio tells us,
 
" We've been planting your onions for the last seven years with great success! Little Sophie is holding two great Walla Walla onions from this year ' s garden.  She looks forward to picking more onions next year! "
  


Happy to help, Dan and Sophie. We look forward to providing her with onion plants!

Send Us Your Photos
We enjoy receiving photos from our customers, including those of award-winning Dixondale onions. We'd love to publish yours in an upcoming newsletter. Just e-mail your onion photos to  customerservice@dixondalefarms.com along with a description and your city. You may see one or more of your photos in a future newsletter, or even in our print catalog next year!
Cooking with Onions
Garden-Style Fish with Onions and Peppers 
  • 2 cups sliced yellow onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green and/or red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound white fish filets (tilapia, sole, perch, or orange roughy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • Garlic salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or white wine 
Sauté onion and bell pepper in large skillet in 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender and lightly sautéed. Push the vegetables to one side of the skillet and add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Place fish in single layer in pan.

Spoon vegetables over fish and sauté 2-5 minutes (depending upon thickness of filets) or until fish are cooked halfway through. Turn fish, sprinkle with marjoram and garlic salt, and finish cooking.

Add broth or wine to pan and continue to cook, uncovered, until liquid reduces slightly.

Serve fish with juices from the pan and the vegetables over the top.  Serves four.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the National Onion Association. If you have an onion recipe you'd like us to print, please email it to customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.
Onion Plant Variety Chart
Here's an easy way to compare Dixondale onion plant varieties in your daylength area. You can use this reference chart to make growing decisions based on size, storage potential, onion color, and days to harvest. This table also includes specialty varieties and leeks.  
April Shipping Zip Codes 
Time to Order. Plants Ship Soon!
Are the first three digits of your zip code on the list below? If they are, then your onions will be shipping soon. If you haven't ordered them yet, now is the time. For more information, check out our shipping page.


Q & A: The Ideal Number of Leaves
Q. How many leaves should a mature onion have? 
   
A.  The perfect number of leaves for a mature onion plant is lucky number 13. Each leaf corresponds to a ring, and the more rings an onion develops, the bigger it's likely to grow. Even if an onion doesn't quite get to 13 leaves before the bulb matures, it'll still be delicious!
All Your Questions Answered
We have answers to your frequently asked questions! Just click the link for information on which varieties to order, how many plants are in a bunch or bundle, and how to find your frost and freeze dates. We also have tips 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, request a catalog, or get growing tips and cultural information, visit our Web site . You can also view our online catalog We're available from 8:15 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 Social Media!
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. 
 
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And don't forget to find us on  YouTube and subscribe to our videos where Bruce 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.