In this issue...
  • Onion of the Month: Super Star
  • From Our Friends
  • Around the Farm
  • From Jeanie's Kitchen
  • Q & A: Onion Sets vs. Transplants
  • Fun Onion Facts
  • Send Us Your Product Reviews!
  • About Dixondale Farms

  • Affiliations
    On Soil Preparation March 2008

    Bruce & Wife Dear Fellow Gardener,

    Springtime's just around the corner, so it's time to think about getting your onion plants into the ground!

    If you haven't received your plants from us yet, you may want to begin soil preparation. Onions grow best on raised rows measuring at least 20 inches wide by four inches high, and require a well-balanced, very fertile soil for the best results. If you're an organic gardener, work in nitrogen- and phosphorous-rich finished compost containing plenty of minerals, and don't hesitate to mix some lime into the soil if it's too acidic. If you're using our Dixondale Farms Onion Special (10-20-10), make a trench in the center of the bed four inches deep, distribute one-half cup of the fertilizer per 10 linear feet of row, and cover it with two inches of soil. Don't plant directly in the trench, but to either side of it.

    When you receive your onion plants, they should be dry. Be sure to unpack them immediately, and store them in a cool, dry place until you're ready to plant. Don't wet them down, or put the roots in either soil or water. If they're stored properly, they'll easily last three weeks. Don't be concerned if they dry out; as soon as you plant them, they'll start growing new roots and tops.

    Set out your plants 4-6 weeks before the last estimated spring freeze. Plant them four inches apart and an inch deep; depth has a dramatic impact on the mature bulb's shape. The bulb forms immediately above the stem plate, where the seed germinates. Onion bulbs may form above or below the soil surface, depending on the placement of the plant and the subsequent movement of the soil due to cultivation. Shallow planting yields flatter, rounder onion bulbs, while greater depth results in bulbs that are long and narrow.

    You should plant two rows of onions on each row, four inches in from the sides. If you want to harvest some green onions during the season, you can reduce the spacing to two inches apart -- but be sure that you pull every other onion at some point before they begin to bulb, so the onions don't get too crowded. If you decide to grow your onions in beds instead of rows, they'll need about seven inches of space on every side.

    Happy planting,

    Bruce "Onionman" Frasier

    Onion Of Month Onion of the Month: Super Star
    Award Winning Flavor

    This delicious intermediate-day onion was the first hybrid ever to win the prestigious All-American Award. It takes about 100 days to mature into a large, globe-shaped white bulb that will store for up to two months -- though they taste so good they probably won't last that long! Super Star also makes an excellent early green onion for your table, which gives you a good excuse to plant them close and thin them out during the season.

    Winning Onions From Our Friends

    Bob and Janet write,

    "We have bought onions from you the last few years; in fact, it was your Dixondale onions that helped us garner Grand Champion with our white Ringmaster onions at the Indiana State Fair. We got First on all of our plates of 5 (Mars and Candy), and did well on our 10 lb bags as well."

    We love hearing from our 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.

    Around Farm Around the Farm

    Bill and Pam Martin are the other half of the family-owned Dixondale Farms success story. They were there when the shipping department began in the back of a pickup, and they are here overseeing today's streamlined shipping operation, which can process up to 1000 orders per day. The unique blend of skills and personalities that Bill, Pam, Bruce and Jeanie bring to the table each day is one of the reasons Dixondale Farms has grown and prospered. Pam is Dixondale's number one Customer Service agent and bookkeeper, while Bill coordinates shipping and plant inventory concerns.

    This picture was taken when their first grandchild, Aidan Stewart, was just a few months old. Aidan's now almost four years old, and when he's in town he enjoys visiting Gama-P at the office and making the rounds with B-Daddy at the farm and ranch.

    From Jeanie's Kitchen
    Cheesy Onion Biscuits

    • 1/4 cup chopped onions
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon shortening
    • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1/3 cup 1% buttermilk (plain yogurt may be substituted)

    Microwave the onions on high until they're tender (1-2 minutes). Then combine the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl, and add the shortening until the mixture takes on a coarse, crumbly consistency. Stir in the onion and cheese, and enough of the buttermilk or yogurt to just moisten the mix. Knead the resulting dough on a lightly-floured surface 8-10 times, and cut it into four pieces. Place them at least two inches apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and bake for 8-12 minutes at 450 degrees or until they turn golden brown. Serves four.

    Q & A: Onion Sets vs. Transplants

    Q. What Is the difference between an onion set and a transplant?

    A. A set is a small, stored onion from the previous year's crop that has been through the bulbing process, but is not completely mature. Onions are biannual plants; that is, they live two lives. An onion grows from seed to set in its first life, not producing a larger bulb until its second life. Sets are usually quite pungent, and only good storage types can be kept for next year.

    A transplant, on the other hand, is a plant between 10 and 20 weeks old that hasn't been through the bulbing process. A transplant is much less likely to bolt or go to seed than a set.

    Fun Onion Facts

    Approximately 105 billion tons of onions are grown worldwide every year, and 75% of those are yellow varieties.

    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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