April 2015
New Header 100 Straight
  

The best recipe for successful onion growing involves giving your onion plants the conditions they need to thrive. Whether you plant in the ground or in containers, placing your onions where they'll have optimal conditions will give you the best results. Here are some tips on determining where to plant:


Rotate Your Crops

Onions shouldn't be planted in the same location for more than three years in a row. This is because after a few years, onions can attract a fungus in the soil called pink root that attacks the root system and prevents it from developing properly. Rotating the crop keeps this fungus from surviving in the soil between plantings.
 
Find a Sunny Location

Onions prefer full sun, especially during the afternoon hours. The heat and light are necessary for proper growth. Onion plants can't be grown in full shade, and those grown in partial shade will be smaller and more susceptible to pests and diseases. If you plan to grow tall plants such as corn or tomatoes near your onions, situate them so they don't shade your onion plants from the afternoon sun.  


Loose Soil Is Key

Onions like a sandy loam, which allows them to easily expand when bulbing. Their feeding roots need to be close to the surface of the soil. Shallow planting in loose soil will increase bulb size, and eliminate the stress caused when the soil is compact. Growing onions in raised beds and containers is always an option if your garden soil isn't loose enough.

  

Prevailing Winds

Almost all onion diseases are caused by leaf wetness. To prevent this, position the rows in the direction of the prevailing winds. The breezes will help keep the onions and the soil free of excess moisture. Try putting a windsock or pinwheel in the area being considered, to note which way the wind tends to blow before you choose the planting site. 

 

Planting for Success

Give your onion plants these favorable conditions that will nourish and protect them, and they'll provide you with months of mouth-watering meals. All it takes is a little TLC!

 

Happy Planting, 


signature
Bruce "Onionman" Frasier

Shipping Chart and April Shipping Note

Here's the link to our shipping chart, so you can find the week that your package will ship:

 

http://www.dixondalefarms.com/shipping 

 

If you decide to change your April shipping date, we will need a two week notice in order to do so.

Spotlight on Longtime Customers

This month's long time customers are the Koresky family. We have featured the Koreskys several times in our catalogs over the years, alongside the Ailsa Craig onions they grow. 

 

The onions that this family has produced have been bigger than softballs! The children featured in the photos are Sam (now 14) and Megan (11). We thank the Koreskys for sharing the pictures of their onions and kids through the years!

Featured Products
Jumbo Sweet Onions - Special for May Only!

We're offering up something really special: a ten-pound box of our very best Texas jumbo sweet onions. We hand select only the largest, sweetest onions available, and include our favorite onion recipes along with them. Not only are these onions great for your own table, they make an awesome culinary gift. You can't beat the price of just $24.95 for one box; and if you order two or more, you can get them for just $22.95 each. 

 

These onions will ship only in May. Get your order in today!

 

Calipers for Measuring

We know you're a master onion farmer, but now you can prove it!

 

With this onion caliper tool you can accurately determine whether your onions are Super Colossal, Colossal, Jumbo, Medium, Prepack or Boiler.

 

It's a snap to use and accurate to boot, and now you can brag that your onions truly are colossal -- by definition as well as in fact!

From Our Friends
Wyoming Onions

Hudson England of Smoot, Wyoming sent us this message about his recent success with our Intermediate Day and Long Day onions:

 

"I thought you may be interested in how the new Highlander variety is doing in an Intermediate Day onion area. This year we planted Super Star, Ailsa Craig, Candy, Red Candy Apple, and Highlander. They were all planted the same day, in the same row, and watered and fertilized the same. The Highlander is maturing noticeably quicker than the other varieties.  There are still weeks left in the season, and time for the others to catch up -- but for now, the Highlander appears to be happy in Wyoming!"

 

Looks like we have another member of the Highlander Onion Admirers Club!

 

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
Introducing our newest team member, Emily Lord

We're delighted to welcome Emily Lord to the Dixondale Farms team. Emily joins us after returning to Texas from the Midwest, where she is now readjusting to the Texas heat. She received her B.S. from Texas A&M University and her M.S. from Purdue University, earning both degrees in Agricultural Economics. Her background is in agricultural production, where she has focused on agricultural policy and farm management.

 

Originally from Red Oak, Texas, Emily is happy to be back in her home state and looks forward to using her knowledge as she learns about Dixondale Farms and the onion business from the ground up. She'll soon learn more than she ever thought there was to know about onions! Emily is excited to join us as she dives into this busy season.

Cooking with Onions

Onion Jam

  • 4 cups onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar  

Heat vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir sugar into vegetable oil with a wooden spoon, stirring constantly until mixture is a light caramel-color, about 10 minutes. Mixture will be very hot. Stir onion, salt, and black pepper into sugar mixture. Onions will immediately start to caramelize. Turn heat down to low-medium or low so the sugar doesn't crystallize when adding the onions. Stir frequently until sugar has dissolved and onions are browned, about 15 minutes.  Pour red wine vinegar into onion mixture and simmer until mixture has a jam consistency, about 30 minutes. Let cool to serve.

 

Some have added minced garlic to taste to this recipe along with the onions. Serve a cup of jam over a bar of cream cheese with crackers or chips, or as a spread for meat sandwiches. Keep in refrigerator in covered container for up to two weeks.

 

Recipe courtesy of a Dixondale Farms Customer. 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: Fertilizing Your Onions
Q: How often should I fertilize my onions?
  

A: The first application should be three weeks after planting. Then repeat the process every 3-4 weeks. Stop fertilizing when the onions start to bulb, which is about three weeks before harvest.

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. 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.

 

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.