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Onions 2......Freezing weather.........21-0-0

Hutto, TX

My onions survived. In fact they are doing quite well considering. If you read the previous thread I started I was worried that I lost my 300 onions. As I stated on the other thread the temps here were down to 15 deg w/ a high of 20 deg for three days in a row. I thought for sure I had lost them. I watered them nightly during the freeze, and when the freeze ended I fertilized with 21-0-0. They looked terrible on Feb 3rd when I started the thread. Today is Feb 21 two weeks later. I purchased the onions from Dixondale Farms. They are really good about helping out w/ suggestions about growing onions. They suggested to fertilize w/ 21-0-0 two weeks ago, and they suggested I hit them again tonight. Thanks to everyone who made suggestions earlier. For you folks further north this may help you with your onion crop.

Thumbnail by hornstrider
Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

It only gets to -30 around here. Not nearly cold enough to kill an onion. We have a row of bunching onions that were planted from seed 4 years ago. We pulled nearly all of them the first summer. What was left we pulled & sold the next year. Of course we missed some. They have been disked, tilled, & sprayed with various chemicals. As of last fall some of them were still growing strong.
Onion plants from Dixondale that are left in the field because they are missed or not solid, continue to grow the next year.
We always set out our plants early, April 15 or so, & never lost any from freezing. Never thought about it, so don't really know if it damages them. Last year a frost on May 15 froze a lot of our crops. Didn't hurt the onions.
Bernie

Canyon Lake, TX(Zone 8b)

hornstrider, those are some pretty fine looking onions. Listen to Dixondale and you should have good luck.

For a couple years I struggled trying to discover how to grow onions and to some extent reinventing the wheel. All my efforts only produced green onions never bulbs. So I decided that rather than use my intelligence :) to grow big onions I would follow Dixondale's instructions to the letter. I bought their onions, fungicide and fertilizer and went to work. I purchased the Ammonium Sulfate locally.

Last year I had huge onions. To my amazement once they started to bulb out it only took two or three weeks for them to get really big. They didn't all start bulbing at the same time but it was close. It really was a fun experience.

Good luck with you onion crop!

Hutto, TX

texasrockgarden........thanks........This is part of last years crop.

Thumbnail by hornstrider
Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Onions 2009.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

This was earlier same year. First picture was Big Daddy & Superstar.
This picture, Red Zepplin & Walla-Walla.

2010 onions didn't do well. No one in this part of the country had good onions. To cold in May we are thinking.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Hutto, TX

CountryGardens...wow.........some serious onions in 2009

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

Those are all really pretty onions! My onions are recovering, too. All the leaves that were above ground during the freeze are dead, but new growth is coming on quickly. I'll get a picture tomorrow. I'm ecstatic that they recovered.

David

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

If we told non-gardeners that we actually take photos of our onions, they would think we are weird!

hornstrider - I feel the pride you had in producing such beauties!

Hutto, TX

David..........I thought about you when I started this thread. We are just a couple of miles from each other, and experienced the same concerns. I believe you were as worried about your onions as I was mine...I believe both of our onion crops will do just fine........We also have another common problem........Water......Do you get your water from the Jonah high dollar water company?? Not only is our water expensive, but high in mineral content (sulfer).......I did something about my water issues this year.........I acquired a 250 gal. polypropylene tank. I painted it this weekend, and I intend to catch rain water from the roof of my shed........Tonight I will install gutters to catch the water, and funnel into the tank......

Thumbnail by hornstrider
Hutto, TX

"If we told non-gardeners that we actually take photos of our onions, they would think we are weird!"...................Honeybee........If I told my hunting/fishing friends that I took pics of my veggies I would never hear the end of it

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

One of the pictures of my onions was on Dixondale site last year.
At least you don't have to shoot an onion to take it's picture!

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Here they are growing. Weeds were out of there a couple days later.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Hutto, TX

CountryGardens..........makes my onion patch rather puny......

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

Here's a picture of my onions. They don't look nearly as good as they did before the freeze, but many are recovering. I would guess that I lost about 20-25% of the transplants. The area I took a picture of is slightly worse than most of the rest, but you can see that there are several plants that are completely dead (red circles). There are others that are recovering pretty well, so I guess I will have some onions.

I do have issues with water...I'm on Jonah, but I don't have sulfur problems. There is a lot of calcium and other dissolved minerals. Water collection is a good idea. I have thought about having a surface water well drilled for the garden and my fruit trees. I'm near Brushy Creek bottom, so the water isn't far down. There was an old dug well on the property next to me that was filled in not long ago, so I know water is available. It's just a lot of money up front.

Honeybee--you should see the eye-roll I get from my wife every time she sees me taking pictures in the garden!

David


This message was edited Feb 22, 2011 12:06 PM

Thumbnail by dreaves
Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Oh, yes! That is exactly what my onions look like. My garlic and Egyptian onions looked the same last year. And they went on the produce well. I think my onions will do the same. Hope springs eternal =D!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Hi All,

I'm growing Dixondale's short-season sample, planted out on January 8th. With the squirrelly weather, I was concentrating on keeping them warm n protected. But I've neglected feeding, and haven't fertIlized since plantout! I used bonemeal @ Plantout.

How and what are you all feeding with? Also how often are you watering??

P..S. My onions are growIng in Earthboxes. The ones that have made have grown really tall green tops that Are floppIng over. should I trim them back? If so, how far to trim.

Thanks!

Linda

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

Linda,

No reason to trim the onions, that's more leaf for photosynthesis and bulb growth. Feed them with something that is high in nitrogen. If you are trying for organic, use seaweed emulsion.

David

Canyon Lake, TX(Zone 8b)

Before I plant I use this http://www.dixondalefarms.com/product/35/fertilizers

Every two weeks I apply Ammonium Sulfate.

This is per the instructions provided by Dixon Dale.

Don't cut the tops.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Uh oh. I cut the tops back just before I came in and read this thread. Oh well.

I sprinkled two tablespoons of 12-0-0 and watered it in. Trimming the tops sure made it easier to see where attention was needed.

Thanks for the Dixondale link!

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

LOVE the pictures of the onions, I love to take pictures of tomatoes as they start to turn red until they are ready to pick.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Here're my little soldiers.

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

I'm trying onions for the first time this year. Sweet Spanish. I'm starting a few (6) indoors now for fun.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Hornstrider,
What's the update on your onions? Post a pic, please.

Hutto, TX

Gymgirl........My onions are doing great!! Thanks for asking. It looks like your little soldiers are doing great also. I sort of have a picture. It was a picture taken the night of the last freeze a few weeks ago. You can see the onions to the left. You can seem my protected mater plants. They all made it....thank goodness. They survived two freezes. I believe my method really works........next picture below

Thumbnail by hornstrider
Hutto, TX

In the next picture you can see more protected maters, and you can just see the sweet onions, and red onions to the back of the picture.....

Thumbnail by hornstrider
Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I just ordered onions today from Dixondale. 9 cases of various varieties. They will come about April 12. It's about 18,000 plants.
Bernie

Canyon Lake, TX(Zone 8b)

Quote from CountryGardens :
I just ordered onions today from Dixondale. 9 cases of various varieties. They will come about April 12. It's about 18,000 plants.
Bernie


Wow! So do you have a machine to plant all those onions?

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

No, they are all put in by hand.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Wow, Bernie, and here I was moanin' with a sore back from only putting in 1200. I feel for ya!

Shoe

Savannah, GA

I am growing onions again this year, I only grew them the first year I gardened. I missed being able to walk out into the garden when I needed an onion. I don't care if they bulb or not, it's hard to store them where I live, it's too hot and humid I guess. I don't use them fast enough when I get them from the store, but it's great having them in the garden.

The folks I hunt with have gardens as well, they would think nothing of pictures of onions. I was there just yesterday listening to garden stories.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

My onions have recovered pretty well from the freeze. They are starting to bulb up, but the tops are still nicely green and upright, so I have hopes for a good bit of growth still to go. I'm watering weekly, since we have been getting ZERO rain.

Thumbnail by dreaves
St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

dreaves, I wish I could send some of our rain your way. Our ground is saturated, any more rain will turn into floods. Mud everywhere, any low spot has standing water. We made raised beds a few years ago, without them there would be no spring plantings in the veggie garden. We could use some sun-shiney days.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

It is raining here today. We haven't had much and about half of the rain we did get in this area skipped around our little farm. So this rain was much wished for! It is coming up from the southwest, dreaves, so I hope you are getting some rain out of this too. My onions look just about like yours. This was not a good spring for my brocolli for some reason, but the onions look pretty good!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

David,
I've been watering every other day! And fertilizing with a mild phosphorous (bone meal) once a week. I have noticed the bulbs put on growth immediately after I feed and water. I'm about to up the ante on the fertilizing to once every 5 days. I sprinkle the bone meal over the soil and water in.

When I check yesterday evening, I lifted one of my tipped over onions, and it seems to be loose enough to stand upright. I might try it and see if I can hill up around them once again. Problem is my soil is so loose, it doesn't compact around the bulbs, and the windstorms just lay them down!

Linda

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Linda, save your weekly bone meal application, it is not water soluble and you're just wasting it. It really needs to be applied to the soil, worked in, and then it is broken down and made available to the plants.

David, glad to hear your onions are doing so well. I know you were worried about them for a long time. Lookin' good to me! I pulled some of mine last week just to cook up the greens, yummy!

Shoe

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

UBERShoe???!!!

HUH????!!!! So, all this careful application has been for naught???!!!

So, what should I be fertilizing them with? The Potato Farm says they like phosphorous...

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

You really only need a one-time application of bone meal, applied to the soil at planting time. If you want something later, which really shouldn't be necessary since bone meal is a long term provider of P, you can make a tea of bat guano or good compost.

Recently I found out ya'lls Texas soil is often more alkaline than acid so you could also apply cottonseed meal, giving you both N and P as well as lowering your pH a bit (unless you've already added sulfur to do the pH adjustment).

Then again, if you are growing in containers/EB's/etc, and you've applied a balance fertilizer to those you probably don't even need added P.

Lastly, finely ground phosphate rock is a long-term supplier of phosphorus and IS water soluble. However, don't use it weekly, as you have been, but rather on a one-time basis, applied to the soil sparingly. Over-use of water soluble phosphorus is one of the most detrimental attacks on the ecology.

Hope this helps!

Shoe (draggin' his tired behind back out there to keep on keepin' on...and now wanting onions greens for supper tonight!) *grin

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Ok. Since I can't rustle up any bats in a hurry and ask them to produce some guano on demand, I guess I'll have to use that bag of ROCK PHOSPHOROUS I just happened to have picked up at some point last year, and forgot what to do with it!

Thanks, Shoe!

HAPPY EASTER! (Linda, who isn't being very politically correct here, but who can not afford to be...)

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Canyon Lake, TX(Zone 8b)

I have been away from DG for a while.

My 2011 onion harvest June 1.

Thumbnail by texasrockgarden

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