|When to Plant Your Onions||February 2013|
Have you been wondering when to plant your onions? Wonder no more!
Planting can begin 4-6 weeks before the last frost date in your area, if the weather is agreeable. You can find your average last spring frost date here.
Every year, we develop a chart that provides the week that onion plants will ship for each zip code, based on average temperatures and the last frost date. (Scroll down on the linked page if your browser doesn't take you straight to the chart.) We ship early in the week so the plants arrive in time for weekend planting. You may get them in as little as 2-3 days.
Here's how we calculate our shipping dates for each area. We start with the fact that onions won't grow if the average temperature is less than 45˚ F, or greater than 85°. For those who want to calculate the average temperature for a specific day, here is the formula: (average maximum temperature - average minimum temperature)/2.
For example: For Springfield, Illinois, we recommend the planting date of March 18. The average high for that date is 54˚, and the average low is 36°. That would equate to (54˚+36°)/2=45˚, which is acceptable for planting. From that day forward, the temperatures should start rising enough to generate growth in the onion plant.
The plants you receive from us will have four leaves. Note that an onion will not bolt (send up a seed stalk) if it has less than six leaves. This gives the plant plenty of time to grow the fifth and sixth leaves before it enters that period where drastic temperature variances may cause bolting; and by then, your temperatures should have settled down.
We hope you find this information helpful in determining your expected planting date.
Happy Centennial, everyone!
Bruce "Onionman" Frasier
P.S. If you have already received your order and aren't planting right away, remember to remove the plants from the box immediately, and keep them in a cool, dry place and out of soil and water until planting.
Products to Use at Planting Time
Dixondale Farms offers numerous products to help you plant, fertilize, grow, protect, and harvest your produce. The following planting time products include fertilizers, a combination feed and weed aid, and an all natural feed and weed. All our fertilizers and feed-and-weed products come in four-pound bags, as well as our new resealable 12-pound bags.
Dixondale Farms Onion Special 10-20-10: This exclusive fertilizer contains a blend of organic humic acids and essential micro-nutrients that onions crave, such as magnesium, zinc, boron, copper, iron, manganese, and molybdenum.
This is the fertilizer you want to start your plants out with, in order to establish the root systems. Later, apply the Ammonium Sulfate (21-0-0) until the onions start to bulb.
Dixondale Farms Feed and Weed 10-20-10: This is a unique fertilizer and organic pre-emergent herbicide all in one. The 100% natural corn gluten meal blocks weed germination, so you can establish your onions in a weed-free area, while our fertilizer blend provides the nutrients necessary for huge, delicious onions.
All Natural Feed and Weed 2-5-3
: This purely organic product combines an all-natural fertilizer with the pre-emergent weed control power of corn gluten meal. It's ideal for preparing a weed-free bed and feeding your onions up to size.
From Our Friends
Little Girl, Big Onion
Our friend Larry S. tells us proudly,
"My granddaughter, Madison, is seen here with her prize Candy onion. We live in Colorado Springs at 6,800 ft. elevation. These onions performed great in our unpredictable climate and high altitude!"
Got some onion-related photos to share? Click here for submission tips. You just might see your photo in a future newsletter!
|Around The Farm
Your Purchasing History
You can now view your purchasing history on our Web site. Some of our customers use this information to help make decisions for the new growing season, so we want to make it easy and quick for you to find those details. No need to scour your home for paperwork!
You'll first need to register
on the 'New Member Registration" link, even if you've been a Dixondale customer for a while. Fill out the form and we'll immediately send you a confirmation link, and then you can sign into your secure account.
You'll have access to all your past orders whenever you click the "Past Orders" link on your Account Information page. You can get there by clicking My Account
at the top of any page on our Web site, and then logging in.
This provides a convenient way for you to see which varieties and how many onion plants you've previously purchased (along with the dates you've purchased them).
|Cooking With Onions|
Texas Onion Casserole
- 4 large sweet onions, sliced
- 1 bag potato chips (6-oz)
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1/2 cup milk
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Layer the first three ingredients in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Repeat layers, setting aside a handful of chips. Combine soup with milk and pour over layers. Top with reserved crushed chips. Bake for one hour and serve hot.
Recipe courtesy of Dixondale Farms.
|Q & A: Daylight Length|
Q. I'm wondering about the term "Daylight Length." According to the U.S. Naval Observatory for Dallas, the sunrise today was at 7:28 AM and sunset was at 5:49 PM. That's 10 hours, 21 minutes. However, I know my garden spot only gets direct sun from sunrise to 3 PM currently, or 7 hours, 32 minutes. Is my garden spot getting enough sun to start the bulbing process?
A. Great question. Your spot may not be getting it now, but when the onion is ready to transfer the carbohydrates from the leaves to the rings in June, you will be getting enough day length to trigger the process. The only difference you might experience is that your onions may mature a few days later than they would if they received direct sun the entire day.
|Fun Onion Facts|
A mature onion is mostly water, which is one reason why it's so important to make sure your onions are irrigated properly. What do we mean by "mostly water"? Well, a medium-sized onion weighing just over five ounces (148 grams) contains over 4.6 ounces (130 g) of water -- about 88% by weight! Most of the rest (around half an ounce, or 14 g) is carbohydrates, with a sprinkling of sodium (about one-ninth of an ounce, or 3 grams), trace minerals, and vitamins.
All Your Questions Answered
We have answers to your frequently asked questions! Just click the link for information on when to order your onions, as well as for tips on planting, caring, feeding, harvesting, and storing them.
Our long-term customers tend to be a dedicated lot, very careful about following our directions to the T when planting and caring for their onions. One things you've definitely got to do is give the onions enough space between them, especially if you're planning to grow 'em large -- and as you can see in both these photos, that's exactly what these folks are doing. And needless to say, they tend to grow a lot of onions!
The gentleman on the left's onion field is so large, in fact, it reminds us of one of ours...and we grow onions for a living! Keep it up, folks. We're here to help, and we appreciate every order, no matter how large or small.
As we celebrate our Centennial anniversary, we invite you to send us your old pictures, growing successes, challenging crop stories, and other memories so we can stroll through the years together!
Join Us On Facebook!
Join the community of friends and growers on our Facebook page! You can connect with us and fellow growers to share stories, photos, recipes, and even weather information and other tips. And be sure to check out our short videos, on topics ranging from how onion plants are harvested to how onions deal with cold weather.
And remember -- if you're looking to make a unique fashion statement and join us as we celebrate 100 years of business at one and the same time, you can buy one of our spiffy new Centennial T-shirts right here!