In this issue...
  • Product of the Month: 10 lb. Mesh Netting
  • From Our Friends
  • From Jeanie's Kitchen
  • Q&A: Skin-cracking
  • Fun Onion Facts
  • Send Us Your Product Reviews!
  • About Dixondale Farms

  • Affiliations
    Harvest Tips, and Our 2008 Catalog August 2007

    Dear Fellow Gardener,

    We love hearing our customers' success stories and seeing photos of their garden bounty and prize-winning onions. Please share yours and, if selected, you'll be featured in our online Photo Album (coming soon!), an upcoming newsletter, or our next catalog -- maybe even the catalog cover. Click here for more information. We can't wait to see what you send us!

    And now on to the main feature, and a timely one it is: Onion Harvesting Tips.

    Now that the summer is beginning to wind down, it's time to plan the harvesting of your onions. You'll find that they'll become ready to harvest in late July or early August (right about now, in other words), when most of the tops have fallen over.

    You should pull the onions early in the morning on a sunny day, and allow them to air dry until late afternoon. Clip the roots and cut back the tops to one inch. After drying them outside for one day, bring them inside for longer drying and curing, spreading them out in a dry place away from the sun.

    If there's no room in your house to dry your onions, spread them out at the end of the driveway with a cotton sheet over them, to keep out the heat and circulate air. Put rocks along the edges of the sheet to keep it in place.

    Allow 2-3 weeks for complete drying or curing.

    Basics of curing:

    • Sun dry for just a short time.
    • Cure only the onions you'll store; separate out the soft, young and thick-necked bulbs and use them first.
    • Cure thoroughly in a warm, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
    • Don't crowd the onions during curing; give them room to breathe.
    • The onions are ready to store when the skins rattle and the roots are dry and wiry.

    The optimum temperature for storing onions is 50 degrees; the optimum humidity is 35%. After curing, hang your onions in mesh bags in your garage, and dry them some more before putting them in a root cellar. The longer you cure your onions, the better they'll keep.

    Bruce "Onionman" Frasier

    10 lb. Mesh Netting Product of the Month: 10 lb. Mesh Netting

    Old pantyhose are great for storing your harvested and dried onions, but for some reason our legal advisers won't let us sell that. This mesh netting is the next best thing, and at a dollar a bundle ($0.75 for ten or more), it's almost as cheap. It's perfect for keeping those onions harvest-fresh.

    Note: The "10 lb." refers to the tensile strength of the netting, not the weight of onions it will hold.

    And remember, we've got all kinds of other harvest aids on hand for your convenience, from net bags to onion shears!

    Learn more

    Don and his Ailsa Craigs From Our Friends

    Don F. from California sent us several photos of his latest onion crop. He's pictured here holding some tremendous Ailsa Craig specimens. By the way, check out the background in this photo; Don has a great container garden set up.

    We love hearing from customers. Send us your favorite "onion photo" and we'll try to include it in a future newsletter, our next catalog or our upcoming online Photo Album. Click here for details on how to submit your photos.

    From Jeanie's Kitchen
    Crispy Barbequed Onions

    • 1 lb onions, red or yellow, cut into 1/8" rings
    • 3 cup flour
    • 2 tbsp salt
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp chili powder
    • 2 tbsp ground cumin
    • 2 tbsp ground black pepper
    • 2 tbsp paprika

    Mix all the dry ingredients together to make seasoned flour. Toss the onion slices in the seasoned flour, separating the rings. Deep-fry them in 365 oil until crispy and dark-brown. Drain well. Makes 16 servings.

    Serve with steak, beans and barbecue sauce. Enjoy!

    Q&A: Skin-cracking

    Q. What causes skin cracking on onions?

    A. After harvested onions are dried, they need to be cooled. Cooling them too quickly causes the skins to crack. One way to monitor air temperature is to obtain a thermometer or hygrometer. On days when the air temperature is higher than the temperature inside your storage area, keep the storage area closed. Bringing warm air into the storage area will cause condensation on the onions.

    Fun Onion Facts

    A serving of onions contains only 30 calories. That's hard to beat!

    Send Us Your Product Reviews!

    In addition to sending us photos of your onions, we encourage you to give us feedback on our products via the Product Review options on the Web site. You'll find a "write your own review" link on every product page. Don't be shy -- we need your opinions!

    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 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time at 877-367-1015, or e-mail us any time at

    phone: 877-367-1015
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