In this issue...
  • Onion of the Month: Candy
  • From Our Friends
  • From Jeanie's Kitchen
  • Q&A: Planting
  • Onion Factoid

  • Affiliations
    Ensuring a Great Onion Crop March 2007

    Dear Fellow Gardener,

    Welcome to Issue 4 of The Onion Patch! This month, we're going to talk about a subject that all our customers are curious about: how to make sure that you end up with a great onion crop. Here are ten tips to get you on the right path.

    1. Plant the right variety at the right time of year for your area. Only buy from reputable producers that send true varieties.

    2. When your plants arrive, remove them from the box and place them in a well ventilated, cool area until you can plant them. Don't put them in soil or water; keep them dry the entire time.

    3. Choose a growing location with full sun and good drainage.

    4. Prepare your onion beds early, so a few crops of weeds can be flushed and tilled under before planting.

    5. Apply a pre-emergent herbicide to keep the onion patch weed-free.

    6. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer before planting, and with a source of nitrogen every three weeks until the onions start to bulb.

    7. Water thoroughly after planting, and regularly throughout the season. If you can feel moisture when you stick your finger in the ground up to your first knuckle, then the onions are wet enough.

    8. Spray your onions weekly with a protective fungicide to prevent foliar diseases and rotting during storage. Many diseases aren’t noticeable until it’s too late and your onions start rotting in storage.

    9. Allow the tops to dry completely before clipping them. Lift the onions out of the ground, then put the top of one over the bulb of another and let 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 ventilated location. Place them in mesh bags or netting to permit airflow all around the onions, and to prevent one rotten onion from touching the others.

    The next issue will come out in April, and we look forward to seeing you then. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please give us a call at 877- 367-1015 or send us your questions here. We'll be happy to help!

    Bruce "Onionman" Frasier

    Large Onions 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 three months.

    Learn more

    Kids 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 rings
    • 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 cheese
    • Paprika

    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&A: Planting

    Q. What's the best way to plant my onions?

    A. An onion will grow as big as the spacing 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 beds, with onions two inches from each shoulder and 18" between the rows.

    Plant the onions only " to 1" deep so that two-thirds of the onion bulb will be out of the ground at harvest. Deeper planting restricts the onion’s ability to bulb, since it must move away an excessive amount of soil first. It can also cause rotting close to harvest.

    Onion Factoid

    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 plants. To see our complete product line, request a catalog, or for growing tips and cultural information, visit our web site by clicking here.

    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

    phone: 877-367-1015
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