Ensuring a Great Onion Crop
Dear Fellow Gardener,
Welcome to Issue 4 of The Onion Patch!
month, we're going to talk about a subject
that all our
customers are curious about: how to make sure
you end up with a great onion crop. Here are
to get you on the right path.
1. Plant the right variety at the right time
for your area. Only buy from reputable
producers that send true
2. When your plants arrive, remove them from
and place them in a well ventilated, cool
area until you
can plant them. Don't put them in soil or
them dry the entire time.
3. Choose a growing location with full sun
4. Prepare your onion beds early, so a few
weeds can be flushed and tilled under before
5. Apply a pre-emergent herbicide to keep the
onion patch weed-free.
6. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer
and with a source of nitrogen every three
the onions start to bulb.
7. Water thoroughly after planting, and
throughout the season. If you can feel
you stick your finger in the ground up to
knuckle, then the onions are wet enough.
8. Spray your onions weekly with a protective
fungicide to prevent foliar diseases and
storage. Many diseases aren’t noticeable
until it’s too
late and your onions start rotting in
9. Allow the tops to dry completely before
clipping them. Lift the onions out of the
put the top of one over the bulb of another
them dry for three days in the field, or
until you can
twist off the tops.
10. Store the onions in a cool, dry, well
location. Place them in mesh bags or netting
airflow all around the onions, and to prevent
onion from touching the others.
The next issue will come out in April, and we
look forward to seeing you then. Meanwhile,
have any questions, please give us a call at
367-1015 or send us your questions
here. We'll be happy to help!
Bruce "Onionman" Frasier
Onion of the Month: Candy
Tasty and Long-lasting
If we had to recommend one onion for everyone to try,
it would be the Candy. This globe-shaped yellow
onion matures in 100 days, and is the most
consistent winner at county fairs across the country.
Some of our customers boast about producing 6-inch
onions -- and each year, we hear more customers
comment that they can't grow enough Candy to supply
the folks at the local market. This hybrid stores
surprisingly well for a sweet onion, lasting for up to
From Our Friends
Here you see three of our younger customers from
Waterford, PA posing with a bushel basket of their
own homegrown onions. Their dad writes: "Included
is a picture of my children with their first place winning
onions from two county fairs in our area. The Yellow
Sweet Spanish and Red Burgermasters were from
this year's crop, from plants from Dixondale Farms."
We love hearing from customers. Send us your
favorite "onion photo" and we'll try to include it in a
future newsletter. To email photos, send them to
From Jeanie's Kitchen
Sweet Onion Casserole, Lowfat Version
- 1 lb. onions, sliced and separated into
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium saucepan,
combine onions with water to cover. Bring to boil; boil
1 minute. Drain well. Transfer to 8-inch square baking
dish sprayed with non-stick vegetable coating. In bowl
combine buttermilk and cornstarch and stir until
cornstarch is completely dissolved. Mix in egg whites,
salt and pepper; pour over onions. Sprinkle with
cheese, then paprika. Bake 25 minutes. Serves 6.
Q. What's the best way to plant my onions?
A. An onion will grow as big as the
between plants. We recommend a four-inch spacing
between each onion in a row, with at least 18"
between rows. Establishing a drip line within 18"
of each row is ideal for watering the onions’
many long horizontal roots.
Air movement and drainage is crucial to prevent
disease. For that reason, we plant in raised
with onions two inches from each shoulder and
18" between the rows.
Plant the onions only ½" to 1" deep so that
two-thirds of the onion bulb will be out of
at harvest. Deeper planting restricts the
to bulb, since it must move away an excessive
of soil first. It can also cause rotting
close to harvest.
The word "onion" originated from the Latin
word "unis," which means "unity" or "purity."
About Dixondale Farms
|As the largest and oldest onion plant farm in the US,
Dixondale Farms offers a wide selection of
top-quality, disease-free, ready-to-plant onion
To see our complete product line, request a catalog,
or for growing tips and cultural information, visit our
web site by clicking
Whether you're planting one bunch or thousands of
acres, we're committed to your success. If you have
either questions or suggestions, we'd love to hear
from you. You can reach us from 8AM to 5PM
Central Time at 877-367-1015, or email us
any time at