January 2018
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Happy New Year and gardening season! It's been a cold month so far for most of the country, as well as here in south Texas. We've been a bit colder here than usual, but don't worry, the plants are holding up well.

As you are planning your 2018 gardens, site selection for your onions is vital to your onion growing success. Below are some quick tips on where to grow your onions. 


Happy New Year, 
 
  
Bruce "The Onionman" and Jeanie   
Where to Plant Your Onions
As you begin to plan and prepare for your 2018 gardens, be sure to select the proper site for your onions. Provide your onions what they need to thrive from the start and you'll grow a successful onion crop. Whether you plant in the ground or in containers, placing your onions where they will have optimal conditions will give you the best results. Here are some tips on determining where to plant:

Pink Root
Crop Rotation
It's crucial to not plant onions in the same location for more than three consecutive years. Rotating your crops helps keep nutrients from being depleted in the soil. Over time, onions can also attract a fungus known as pink root. Pink root attacks the root system and prevents the onion from developing properly, resulting in yield loss. Rotating the crop keeps this fungus from surviving in the soil between plantings and keeps the needed nutrients in the soil.  

Sunlight Requirements
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, plant them so they don't shade your onion plants from the afternoon sun.  

Soil Type
Onions appreciate a loose, 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. It's important to keep the soil as loose as possible throughout growing so that bulb formation is not restricted. 
  
Prevailing Winds
Wet, damp conditions promote disease in your onions. You can help prevent disease by positioning 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.  
 
Providing favorable conditions for your onions from the start of the season will help nourish and protect them all season long.
From Our Friends
 
Check out Curtis Smith's 2017 onion crop. This past season he grew 1015Y Texas Super Sweet, Texas Early White, and Candy. The consistency in these onions is quite impressive!

He sent in this picture with a note: "I had an awesome crop and they are delicious. Thank you, Dixondale. I'm looking forward to next season's crop!" 

We wish Curtis and all of our customers a wonderful 2018 growing season ahead!

If you'd like to share pictures of your onion crop, please email them to customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.
Did your onions freeze?
                                
Damage: Onions can withstand light to heavy frosts and moderate freezes, but hard freezes can result in onion damage. Freeze injury may be readily detectable as translucent or water soaked outer scales of the bulbs. One or two days after the freeze event, cut the onions transversely to see if translucent scales are present. 

We say that onion plants can survive temperatures as low as 20 degrees, but what is more crucial is how long the temperatures remain below freezing. The effects of freezing temperatures vary considerably depending how many carbohydrates are available to the plant when it starts to recover. If the plant has to use up all its carbohydrates that are stored in the bulb before it can regenerate more carbohydrates, the plant will die. That is why it usually takes about a week before anyone can assess the true damage from a severe freeze.  After a week, pull a plant out of the ground. If it becomes mush when you squeeze the bulb, you are in trouble.

Preparing: The best thing you can do is to make sure the plant has everything it needs to get growing or generating more carbohydrates. This includes supplying the plant with water and chemicals to restore its health. A cultivation prior to the event results in a layer of moist soil at the surface that acts as insulation. This holds the day's heat in the soil around the bulb and root.

Good signs of recovery: If you see some new leafs emerging, your plant is well on its way to recovery. This may take a couple of weeks. 
Featured Products
Onion Success Kits
We are offering  Onion Growing Success Kits again this season  so you have products ready for each phase of an onion's growing cycle.  Each kit treats approximately 10 bunches and includes step-by-step growing instructions to ensure bumper crops in the onion patch.

We've gathered our products to help make you a successful onion grower!  $60.95;  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!  $63.95;  SAVE 20%

*Our exclusive Dixondale Farms All Natural Weed & Feed 3-5-3 is perfect for pre-emergent prevention of weed germination.
*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 over 300 species of bad bugs.
Around the Farm

Interested in a Farm Tour?
We offer farm tours to our customers interested in visiting the largest and oldest onion transplant farm. Come visit our farm, packingshed, and meet our customer service staff. Please email customerservice@dixondalefarms.com or call the office at 1-830-876-2430 to get one set up. We prefer a couple days' notice to ensure availability of a tour guide.
 
Cooking with Onions
Easy Vegetarian Onion Gravy
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp plus 4 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp Tamari or soy sauce (optional)
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Directions
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt one tablespoon of butter. Add the onion and saute for 10-15 minutes until soft and light brown. Remove the onion from the pan and place in a small bowl. Set aside. Add the remaining four tablespoons of butter to the saucepan and melt over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring frequently, for three minutes. Gradually stir in the vegetable broth and continue stirring, over medium-low heat, until thickened to a gravy consistency, about 3-4 minutes. Add back the cooked onions. Add Tamari or soy sauce if using. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Recipe from Kitchen Treaty 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 website .

New customer? View our 2018 catalog or order a 2018 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.