Today, I ordered my onion plants from Dixondale Farms. I ordered 2 bunches, both short day varieties: Texas Legend and Hybrid Southern Belle Red. Shipping date will be 01/07/13. 2 bunches are probably too many for the space I have allocated to them, one 4x8 raised bed. If I have too many, I have friends I can give them to.
I've never planted onions before and want to give it a try. Dixondale has really ratings here on DG, and they were very helpful in asking all my newbie questions. If these turn out OK, I may try growing from seed next year.
How many others are planting onions from plants, seeds or sets.
They only need to be planted 4 -6 inches apart each way, so you will have plenty of room. Should do well. They need nitrogen and water other than that they are not demanding. 2013 trying Golden Grande and Pinot Rouge. 2012 was Red Grano
We planted about 20,000 plants from Dixondale this past spring. Though year weather-wise here. Hardly any rain after June 15. We were the only grower with decent onions this year. Biggest were about 2" diameter.
We did Walla-Walla, Super Star, Red Zepplin, Big Daddy, Sterling, Candy & Red Candy. Started selling with Super Star as green onions.
2 years ago, I sent a picture to Dixondale that they used on their web site. That year we had Big Daddy's weighing over 2 lbs.
Up here we set them out end of April.
Pictures from left, 2010, 2012, 2012, 2011
I have been very happy with Dixondale onion plants. I grow the short day varieties and have grown both types that you ordered. You can expect them to do well. It is much less complicated to buy the plants than growing from seed. You can improve the per bundle pricing if you combine with friends and family to order plants together.
Following the growing instructions Dixondale gives on their website will give you good-sized onions. They also need consistent water if you don't have rain. Here are pictures of the freshly planted sets and some of the plants about 2 months later.
I just placed my order with Dixondale as well. I'm trying the Texas Legend this year. I've always had good luck with their White Bermuda and Candy. I also alway order the Hybrid Southern Belle Red. One thing I have learned about that one is that it does need extra winter protection if the temps drop. That being said I've had really good results with HSBR. I've amended my onion bed with composted goat poo/hay. Then I just follow the planting directions on the website.
Good luck Jo-Ann and all! Hope this is a really good onion year!
Well, I've got my onion bed all prepared. I added a lot of compost that was mostly chicken poo, and leaves. Also some rock dust. I have my fertilizers. I'm trying to go organic, so I'll be using blood & bone meals along with a complete organic fertilizer until I can approximate the N & P that Dixondale recommends.
My garden was started last spring, and the garden soil I purchased was not the best so I've been working real hard at improving it with compost. Stuff last year & this fall did pretty good, but I've still got some improving to do with the soil.
My onion seeds finally took off about two weeks ago, when the weather started cooling off. They took forever (since sowing them in August), but, once the weather changed, they started fattening up, and are right on target for my target transplant date of the 1st weekend in January.
I've had my Dixondale Short Day Sampler since the end of November, but haven't had time to get them into the ground. No matter. The very first time I planted onion transplants was on my b'day, January 8th, so I can do that again.
Problem now is I've got all the Sampler transplants PLUS my own grown from seeds! Good thing I sowed different seeds (Candy and 1015Y). I still have to put together a frame and a bed for them. I feel another experiment coming on! I've only grown the onions in my patented Earthboxes. Growing inground will be a good comparison. I think I'll fill the RB with Black Kow Composted Manure, worm castings and some blood and bone meal. The EBs will be filled with a mix of half MG Potting Mix, and half recycled pine bark fines and compost.
I suspect the EB onions will outproduce the RB onions, due to the constant availability of the water reservoir -- unless I get some sort of drip tape laid out on the bed. The RB watering might be a bit uneven, but, I'll try my best!
I just got my Dixondale short-day transplants in, they were a little...musty from sitting inside for a month, but so far, so good. The onions I grew from seed, I'd started wayyyy too early, since the weather has not just now gotten chilly-ish.
I'd love to try growing ramps this time of year, has anyone this far south tried them?
Mostly I've been amending my silty, low-ph soil with a mix of compost, potting soil, bark, leaves, worms, whatever's handy...we're right on the bayou, and just moved here after Isaac, so from what I can tell, the soil is sandy, silty, and low in ph, just trying to put in as much organic material as I can.
Lots of weeds, sand, bugs...got a Nola garden for sure, but the family that lived here for 30+ years previous apparently had a good veggie garden, so I'm hopeful!
I ordered the short-day sampler from Dixondale too (yesterday). I didn't do all that well 2 years ago with my onions (generic sets from Home Depot) and I didn't grow any last year. I plan to "watch this space" (as the saying goes) for continuing comments, advice and directions on onions, so that I make strides this year.
Lise, the secret to getting good results from your onions is to plant them and fertilize them exactly as Dixondale recommends. I half-heartedly did this last year and got better results than previous years when I didn't follow their advice. Also, planting them in full sun or in an area that gets a lot of sun helps. Last year, the ones we planted in the most sunny spot in our garden did much better than the ones we planted in a partially sunny spot. This year, I also ordered the larger bag of their fertilizer. I thought hubby's internal defibrillator was going to have to shock his heart back into normal rhythm when I told him the price!
Here is a tip that Eweed posted last year. Praying it will save ya'll from defibrilator sticker shock. Just remember that most of the "specialty" fertilizers were put together with stuff we can find and combine on our own, for lots less.
Which is why I now have my own worm bin started, so I can harvest the ever-increasing-in-popularity worm compost and make my own worm tea. It's not getting any cheaper, except, by starting it in my garage, it just became practically free. And, did I mention there's almost NO real work involved?
Uh hem, back to growing onions,,,(those in the pic are in patented Earthboxes ).
Thanks, gymgirl. Yes, I need to keep things frugal. Is there a good source for the phosphate and ammonium sulphate? I confess, I haven't read Dixondale's directions yet, but if it includes ordering a bag of expensive stuff, it probably won't happen in this garden. I mean, onions are pretty cheap at the store, as my husband likes to point out! lol.
Check your local feed stores and nurseries.
I just spoke with my guy at Buchanan's Nursery. Bone meal is your phosphate equivalent. It operates like a time-released fertilizer. The Ammonium Sulfate is water soluble, and will be immediately available. It is high Nitrogen, and encourages the leaf growth you want. The longer it grows, and the more leaves it has, the bigger the onion will be. That's what I've read.
So, get your bone meal and nitrogen, and keep them hydrated , but not saturated.
That was my first attempt, and I did two things wrong. First, I planted 30 per box, intending on thinning them down to every other one down the line. Bad idea, because I was disturbing these VERY shallow-root veggies. This time, I'll plant no more than 15-18 per box, staggering the rows.
Second mistake was planting too close to the edges, which is very EZ to do when you're planting cute little transplants and not considering they'll (prayerfully) be humongous onions one day, and tipping over the "cliff" (just couldn't resist that one...).
So set your babies in at least 3-4" from the edge, and space them at least 4" apart in the rows -- I may get only 10-15 in a box, but I have 8 boxes...
Finally, the reservoirs on the EBs are a blessing to keep them evenly watered!
Almost forgot. I gave them at least two haircuts early on, cuz the long leaves and our winds were threatening to push/pull them off the edge. And, they can take the cold!!! When we had our first hard freeze, I lined up the EBs close others on the long sides , and sandwiched them between a cardboard tent, mainly to protect them from the wind, since the roots hadn't taken hold yet. Any sustained temps below freezing and I'd throw a sheet over them.
The bone meal is for the phosphorus to establish a strong root system . The nitrogen is introduced a few weeks later, after the transplants have taken hold. THe blood meal would be a double hit on the nitrogen, which the Ammonium Sulfate Sulfate will pack with a wallop.
Just a heads up from my experience...If you have a crazy digging dog (my Queenie: German Shep mix) cover the beds if you are using the bone meal/blood meal amendments. I just use the spun row cover, she stays away from that, until everything gets rained in a few times. The drip irrigation doesn't seem to do it, must be rain for some reason. Then I can take the row covers off. Since I use these covers on freshly seeded beds to keep the crows off it is not a big deal for me.
Northern (central Great Plains) gardener here, placed my onion order - first time from Dixondale.
1 bunch Copra (my go-to onion the past couple of years, great storage)
1 bunch Sterling (new to me, big white, hoping it's a moderate keeper)
1 bunch Cippolini (new to me, 'artisan' onion)
I will also be starting from 2012 leftover seed (stored in the freezer):
Redwing (a pretty good storing red onion)
Picador shallots (never grown them)
Ambition shallots (love them! This year I am hoping I won't be as lazy as I was last year and plant them in clumps, maybe I'll get bigger bulbs )
And of course, the garlic (Georgian Crystal) was put in this fall, sitting under the hay and snow waiting for spring.
Last year with the weather we had (very early dry spring, then drought for summer on) did not get a good crop (except for the shallots and garlic). The year before I had great onions, and the year prior to that very poor onions (new spot, weeds beat me).
[quote="Nola_Nigella"]As an Italian girl, I can say with authority that for cooking, cipollini are the awesomeness. I've never grown them, but yum.[/quote]
Nigella, those cipollini are awesome! When I saw them on the Dixondale website, I was so excited. Until I realized they the are classed as long-day or intermediate onions. I guess we won;t be growing those in New Orleans.
The shipping date for my onions is 01/07 - so I still have a few days to go. Now, I wish I had ordered them earlier, but you live & learn. I have the beds all ready, amended with compost. I think this weekend, I'll decide exactly where to put the onions and the fertilizer strip. Since I'm going organic, I may also put the fertilizer down. following the Dixondale recommendations.
We set up an old screen door between two sawhorses under our carport and laid them out. Then, because some of them would get hit by a bit of sun, I covered them with an old dark cotton sheet and tucked the ends under the door. Worked well for the onions and the garlic. For storage, you can get pantyhose and cut off the legs. Slip an onion in, tie off the top, slip another onion in, tie off the top. Repeat until you have just enough to make a loop at the open end. Hang those from a nail. This keeps them from rotting. I have visions of installing some wooden pieces in the ceiling close to the wall to hang my onions from.
Stephanie, I kind of thought of that. Since I have a large covered carport, I thought about hanging something from the ceiling - an old screen door would be perfect! Maybe on some sort of pulley system so that I can raise & lower them. The panty hole is a great idea! I'm glad you didn't day "old" panty hose, since I don't think I own a singe pair of hose anymore. Well, the dollar store has a lot of them pretty cheap!
Same here. My planting days for root crop are today and tomorrow.
The fog this morning is like everyday in the fall and winter in Italy, near Venice.
The car there have yellow lights to help with the fog.
I planted all my onions today from Dixondale.
As soon as I got out it started to rain ... which we really need it here ... but not when I am planting ... anyway I kept working and I got soaked wet !
This is my second year of onion planting.
I think I did a big mistake last year and planted too deep. Most of my onions did well, but some were small ...
This year I follow the instructions and planted 1" deep.
I planted them kind of close, because I like to pull the small onions to use as a green onions in my cooking.
So I pull the one in the middle, letting the one around getting bigger.
Yes, bad onions we don't harvest will continue to grow the next year, even with 20 or 30 below zero temps here. One onion in the corner of the field has lived 5 years now. Been plowed up, sprayed with numerous things, it just won't die.
Mine are shipping today. In the past couple of years I've planted out my onions on New Years Days. But this year Dixondale said my onions would be ready to ship until today. No matter. I'll plant this weekend if they get here in time. Fingers crossed.
This is the first time I am ordering onions. So I don't have a clue of the varieties I did order, apart that they are "short-day" or "intermediate day" varieties.
1015Y Texas SuperSweet
White Bermuda Crystal Wax
I was really surprised on how beautiful these onions slips were and now I understand why everybody at davesgarden did brag about this company.
I received my order from Dixondale - Texas Legend & Southern Belle Red. I planted them yesterday & have so many leftover it's unbelievable. 1 bunch would have been plenty, but I really wanted to try these 2 varieties. I have another very small place that I can plant a few more, plus. Thanks to Linda, I'm going to try 2 earthboxes. I'm sure one of my gardening friends will take the extras, or I can place an add on craigslist to sell the extras.
My little onions looked so nice after I planted them, and after repairs from the chickens who got in the raised beds! If I didn't like these chickens, I think they'd be chicken soup after the destruction they can do. I only let them free range in the whole yard when I'm out there, but I can't turn my back on them at all. Little sneaky things!
Then we had torrential rains last night & I thought the onions would be flat this morning, but it all looks just fine.
I had to reorder... between weather, health, and Christmas guests I let several bundles dry up! Ordered on a Monday and had onions by Thursday. Waiting for the ground to dry enough to plant after the 3.5 inches of rain last week. Hopefully I won't let all these dry out too. Stephanie-- remember that the Yellow Granex can only be called "Vidalia" if it is grown it that specific area of Georgia. They have a trademark or something. :)
Same thing happened to my onions that I've had since November.
But, the candy and yellow granex seeds I sowed in October took off, and look just like a new batch from Dixondale! So, I'll save what I can from the dried up bunches, but will work mostly toward growing my own onion transplants.
My second garlic attempt - a gift from a relative - is at least doing one good thing in my front garden bed. It's keeping the ants away! I've got fire ants up the wazoo in the front garden, but they've gotten nowhere near the garlic. The garlic itself was reddish grey on the skins, and came from way up north in Quebec, so who knows if it's bayou-friendly. :)
The onions I salvaged from my order were musty and mildewed, but seem to be going along well. I don't have a lot of space to give them, does anyone plant anything between the onion rows?
I don't plant anything right now between the onions ... there is no room.
I plan to harvest every other onion while I'm cooking. I am born and raise in Italy and I love to cook, I bet just like you.
I use the small one as green onions ... delish.
Later in the season I plan to keep a few onions in the ground here and there to repel bugs.
drthor, the yellow and white onions should be OK. I've found that the red onions are a little more delicate, but most--if not all--should be OK as it didn't be much below the high 20's last night (in my area anyway). If you have some straw or mulch you could snuggle some up around the babies to help with the cold tonight.
Good advice, all. I've got my onions in-between the chard and the collards, which the bugs seem to like, but are leaving alone a bit more on the onion-y side. Or maybe I'm just trying to pretend that's true, so I can make an excuse to plant more onions!
Finally getting back into the swing of the garden & thought I might try to get some onions going. I plan on making a RB using PVC for the frame and weedcloth/gardencloth for the material... Is it going to be too late to try, or will it work??
Planned size is 10' long by 3' wide and 12" deep, do those numbers sound feasible? I've got plenty of full-sun space to this and could probably do a dozen beds that size, so I can put it anywhere...
Planned crop will be the 1015's, if I can still get them, may have to take a run down to Dixondale to pick them up myself...
For blustery, chilly winds, I just throw some old sheets over my pvc hoop. I use LARGE bulldog clips to clip it to the hoop ribs.
For dips down to around 30° I haven't put any cover at all, if it's just for a couple hours overnight, and warming up by daybreak.
For sustained dips below 30° (a hard freeze ALL night, and maybe into the next 18 hours, or 2-3 days in a row, etc...), I water the garden well, then cover the hoops with the sheets, followed by the 4-6 mil plastic sheeting. Only once has anything actually frozen -- some mustard leaves, that I didn't realize were more tender than the tough collards...
Thanks for the support... There was a website that sells them & that's where I got the idea. In fact, we have to take Betty's sewing machine to the repair shop because it's locked up. It doesn't have to be a heavy duty machine because the weed cloth is so light, but you need to use nylon thread so it doesn't rot. That's what is hard to find...
The frame is very cheap to make and all the items are available at Lowe's or HD.. It would be a lot cheaper and easier to move than the cedar one we put together last year. What I figure to do is make a sleeve along the top long side of the frame for the pipe to slide into. Then, run the fabric out & under the lower rectangle and back up to the top frame, that way the lower frame will keep the fabric under tension. The end pieces will be done the same way, but just join the main fabric about 2' in from the end, so it will all be one piece of fabric.
It sounds like a lot of work but it really isn't too bad, when you have the knack for doing things like that.
Looks like I'm ordering my onions in the morning...
So, slide the tube into the weed cloth casing on one long side along the top. Then, guide the remaining length of cloth down and under the parallel bottom long side, over to and under the opposite bottom side of the frame, then back up to the opposite top and slip that tube in?
Then, criss-cross the two short side pieces the same way?
The bottom rectangle will be glued together,except the corner vertical uprights. Making a 10' long bed I'll go ahead and use 6' wide cloth, having 2 seams in the body. Using 3 pieces of cloth will give me the end material, with overlaps for corner reenforcement...
I'll make up a set of plans and a cut sheet if you or anyone would like it...
You have the idea right, but I'm going to keep everything except the base rectangle unglued so the bed can be broken down & stored when needed...
Woohoo! Dixondale onions just delivered! Just in time for the weekend. I'll have to redo my bed a bit as I set it up before the hail, sleet, snow and torential rains beat it down. Not that I'm complaining. I very happy for the precip. And since the weather is supposed to be good in my area this weekend I'll be glad to reset set the bed and wallow in onion heaven! I hoping that my bed will soon look like the photos dreaves and CountryGardens posted. Maybe I might even remember to find my camera and post a photo...
Since you're resetting the bed anyways, if you haven't already amended it with LOTS of phosphorous (bone meal) in about the top 3-4", you might consider that too. You could use some other high phosphorous fert (Super Phosphate perhaps?) that will be more immediately readily available to the root system, since bone meal is more of a time-release additive. Just look for a high middle number. The phosphorous helps the plant establish a strong root system (which these shallow-rooted plants need).
After they've caught on, it would be time to start side-dressing with Ammonium Sulfate (high Nitrogen), approximately every three weeks. This will start the leaves to growing. The longer the onions grow, and the more leaves they have, the bigger the onion will be.
It took an act of Congress to get my onions planted, but they're finally in.
Thirty Texas 1015s and thirty-one Red Creoles.
I used two handfuls of bone meal in the top half of the Potting mix in the Earthboxes. Then, I made two parallel trenches 3" deep and 3" in from the edge of the boxes. I sprinkled more bone meal in each trench and mixed it in with some of the backfill. I set the onion transplants about 4" apart, and covered the roots just up to where the bulb started.
Then, because the floppy leaves were pulling the plants over, I gave them all a haircut. Now, they stand up nice and tall. The plants will throw more leaves when I start side-dressing with the Ammonium Sulfate.
It was too dark to take pics. I'll post some tomorrow.
With my excess transplants from Dixondale, I planted 2 Earthboxes, 1 with Texas Legend and 1 with Hybrid Southern Belle Red. I only had about 20 left over after that, so I put them in the bed where the shallot seeds did not germinate and used all of them! If they all turn out well, I'll know in the future to get 2 bunches from Dixondale.
Does anyone grow shallots from seed? I've planted both bulbs and seeds before, and have been disappointed with both of them.
I have been away from Dave's for a couple of years but hope to get back to learning! Three years ago, I had wonderful success with onions but the last two years have been sad. Not only onions but also potatoes. I am stubborn though and plan to plant more of each and will definitely go back to Dixondale for the onions. My problem, I think, has been the terrible heat we have had here in SC (Florence). Last year my beans did very little until the end of August and then they went wild. Potatoes were small as were the onions. I do not have full sun (and envy those who do) but sun does get to each box during the day. Thanks for the info on bone meal, etc. That should help out a lot. Marilyn
Shallots I think do best chunked under a peach tree and ignored. Not pamperd were how ours grew best, but i think we used running onions as shallots- My grandfather wanted em with his scrambled eggs, but I never saw him fertilize them... And rarely watered em at all...where i lived i used to mix liquad iron in tbe fall to the area where they were rather than nitrogen.
Visiting both the big box stores this weekend I happened to notice Bonnie already had their onion sets out for sale. I was curious, are they direct from Bonnnie, or does Dixondale produce them for Bonnie???
Hopefully mine will be here sometime next week, gotta get that bed put together...
Just be sure they're onion transplants and not sets. There's a big difference, as I understand it, and you don't want what looks like little golden pearl onions...
Mostly, because you don't know what type of onion it is (long-, medium-, short-season...). And, because they'll only make green onion tops, not bulb onions.
The transplants from Dixondale look like dried up green onions with roots on the bottoms. I'd only go with Dixondale's, or (this season), my own transplants that I grew from seeds sown in August. Which end up looking like fresh green onions (not dried up). I just dumped them, separated each, and planted in my Earthboxes.
This is my first year from seeds, so we shall see! I'm growing Texas 1015s and Red Creoles.
Onions are biennials; that means that when planted from seed the first year is all vegetative growth, and the second year you can get flower stalks. Transplants are produced from seed the same year you plant them, therefore the plants produce all vegetative growth (leaves and bulb). Sets are produced from seed the year before you plant them in the spring (speaking from a northern, long-day perspective). If the set is big enough, it will send up a flower stalk that growing year and generally will not store well. Smaller sets may not be big enough to trigger flowering, and will produce vegetative growth only. My mother taught me to go through the bin of onion sets and only pick out the ones smaller than a dime, to minimize the amount of flower stalks we got. And the ones that did flower became green onions.
Personal experience: planted shallot seed 2 years ago. None of the shallots (1st year) flowered. Left a few shallots in the ground to overwinter. Last year planted more shallot seed. All of the overwintered shallots (2nd year) produced flower stalks. None of the shallots from seed planted last year (1st year) flowered.
Cybrczch, I believe you are correct. My grandmother said green onions come from sets and the big onions come from starts (or seed I guess if you have the time). So that is in line with what you are saying.
I wish I had one or two of your crew down here! I'm only planting about 500 transplants, but it's taking me weeks! I plant a bundle one day, then rest, then plant another bundle a day or two later... I do a little bit besides that, but not that much. (I'm Jonesin' for a kidney transplant!)
I know that some of the terms are used interchangably by those of us who don't know what we're talking about. Of course we see the seed packets in the store, and have seen the bulbs in bags at Wally World. WM and Lowe's and Home Depot all have the Bonnie Onion plants that are bundled in those wooden crates. Are they "slips", "transplants", "sets", or what?? Another thing I was real curious about, those that are on sale now have Bonnies stickers & tags on them, are they "produced" by Dixondale and sold through Bonnie??
You could always email Bonnie and ask who their supplier is for their onion plants. There's an onion farm here in the area where a local garden center gets their onions, but I had miserable luck with them the first year I grew them, so now I order from Dixondale.
Kittriana, I used transplants in containers. This past year I put them in my big boxes, usually I used the wine casks ( which are now in wine cask heaven). I have ordered from Dixondale before but I can't remember which year. Last years may have been from Lowe's . Dixondale gets my order this year for sure. Thanks to Gymgirl, I might have better luck. Last year was terribly hot in SC so I am planning accordingly. Have to get going on getting what I need. All of you are far ahead of me.
To dreaves: hang in there! My husband finally had a kidney transplant in 1999 after 24 years of home hemodialysis. He waited too late so I pray you are getting one quicker! Good luck! Marilyn
Good luck with the onions. I've been growing Dixondale onions for the past several years with good results. I've found ordering means that the plants are in better shape than the ones sitting in the sun at the big box store.
Thanks for the good wishes on the transplant. I've been listed for 5 years, but have high antibody levels (PRA). Because of the high antibodies a matching kidney is not very likely. I am doing home hemo as well, but just over four years.
Wow, looks like many of you are doing well with your onions. I also bought the short-day sampler and here are a couple of pics. I am not sure if they are getting all the sun they need so this will be a learning experience, as this is my first time growing onions.
Before I planted (in late November or early December, can't remember which) I had worked the soil in this bed pretty well and loosened it up. I also added several bags of composted cow manure. I also did my best following the Dixondale instructions. Anyway, I was about to buy some fertilizer online for the onions, but as someone mentioned it ain't exactly cheap. I happen to have some bone meal handy, which is 6-12-0 so that is a start...I need to reread some of the earlier posts regarding "alternative" fertilizing solutions.
I used Dixondales fertilizer- didnt have to correct for normal ground ph. I think my daughter is wondering where her tomatoes are goin. some of the critters I unearthed...mine will be used as green and bulb onions tho
Dead. along with other soon to be villains and a 2"grasshopper and the grand daddy of all leaf footed bugs. We still get butterflies hatching all this winter - IF my youngun will get the spinosad out soon, we might get some real food to survive
Though I can't see details, it does look like a grub worm. My boxes had a huge infestation of them a year or two ago. We dug up each box and sifted the dirt and dropped each grub into soapy water. Have not had one since but haven't dug up all the boxes yet this year. That is one nice thing about boxes - easy to dig and handle. M
Yes, I've been told by a local that those are grubs. We have quite a few out in the pasture and that is what the feral hogs come to dig up. Also skunks and 'dillos to name a few. Sigh. Bennie nematodes are said to take care of them, but we have too much pasture to do that right now. So I just dig them up in the garden and put them on a fence post. Our blue birds love them.
[quote="kittriana"]The little hard scaled on reminds me of meal worms[/quote]
Aren't those Wireworms (the larvae of Click Beetles)? Seems to me I've seen something similar attacking my root crops (potatoes) in the past.
Is that what a wireworm is, tuff little buggers. I think you are absolutely correct- we were plagued by SO many bugs last year that nothing seemed to work, we get millipedes and mole crickets real bad too, but taters aren't grown in this space...if my daughter has a minute, she is supposed to treat with spinosad since this time last month. I am goin to have to keep her supply goin I think...
We've shot a couple. But I've gone out at night with night-vision binoc's and the current herd coming up to my pasture from the Sabine River numbers around sixty. If you shoot one they stay away for about a week. And then they are back. DH is trying to figure out how to trap them all (the whole herd) and then haul them to a local meat packer. We'll see how that goes...
I'll look for details, but I remember seeing a trapping technique used in Hawaii that had a large fenced area with swing down trap doors that could capture a good number of hogs at one time. It used existing trees and extra t-posts to support the heavy duty wire fencing.
I'd be up for that hunt & I'd bring the smoker & BBQ sauce. We cooked some fresh boar at work several times, those are about the best ribs I've ever cooked. My old boss was into hog hunting and he'd bring them to work every so often.
60 hogs is a BIG herd, usually they don't run more than 20 or 30, but if they've got a good food source, they'll move in and overrun whatever's there...
To get back on topic, I'd bet those BBQ hogs would be really good with some Texas 1015 onions. I'll be surprised if I have any decent onions this year. I STILL have some transplants that need to be planted. I've been watering them to keep them alive. I do have some plants that have been in the ground since January. I was late getting the tomatoes started, too, but that is a different story.
Ooooo, and I'll throw in the new Texas Legends. I've planted out two bundles and they appear to be doing well (knock wood/laminate).
I just now started my tomatoes, so I'm in the boat with you all. I just haven't found that my 'maters take off that fast when I plant them out before the soil temps get up to at least 68 degrees. Just my impression in my own garden...
And yes, those hogs are tearing up my pasture and the neighbor's pasture.
I wonder what's going on with us Texans? I still haven't planted my onions or potatoes. I just can't seem to find the time...and these crazy temps are making me crazy...I did start my tomatoes but I still haven't started my peppers or eggplants...I hope to this weekend. It's not like it's brain surgery.
Well Lisa, don't beat yourself up too much, watching the weather tonight for next week, Austin's gonna have a few nights in the 30's & 40's, so I know I definitely jumped the gun and will have some okra plants that will be transplanted up to the 1 gallon Brown Boxers just to try to save them. Right now they're already about 6" tall. I've got some more okra just started that will go direct into the garden the middle of April.
Thanks for the encouragement. I just find it strange that all of us seem a little behind. Out here it's always about 7* lower then Austin, unless we have cloud cover. It should freeze tonight.
I'm right on schedule for tomatoes but I usually have sowed my peppers and eggplant. I don't plant out my tomatoes until the end of March, beginning of April. It just seems there's a lot to do, and it needs to be done right now and this cold weather and I don't get a long. But I can sow seeds and pot up in the house. Love tile floors.
Can you post a picture of the Brown Boxers? I guess the okra germinated? It likes to be about 86* to germinate. It will germinate at lower temps but it will take a lot longer.
We're going out of town this weekend, but I'll get a picture ASAP. Wasn't real thrilled about the stitching but the material looks great. If I could get the bulk material it would be great for an onion bed. I have had to pass on the onions this year since I don't have any place to put them, so wait until next year...
I bought onions I never said I had a spot for them. Lol. I think I'm going to plant the best looking onions in containers just to get it done. No matter how much I work the soil here it is still hard. I may do the same with the potatoes. My peafowl have a bad habit of pulling things up, that aren't in the fenced area.
Gardening from afar, chuckle. You aren't late to set stuff out, Spring is being iffy and the time is just now coming on right, it's the equinox thing...Houston is a month ahead of most of Texas... maybe not of Brownsville and McAllen, but definitely of DFW, I have to thank my daughters hard work...she's fretting where I am gonna have room for peppers, maters and eggplants,and basil, and doesn't have a clue there are beans, hyacinth vine and sunflowers going in when next I am home...hehehe...plans to use a hugelkelter type design on those things to reduce her watering interfering with her hectic day job. I wish daddy would sent me the pic of him he posted to Facebook from last summer. His raised bed looks like it belongs in the tropics...complete with orange tree.
[quote="kevcarr59"]Austin's gonna have a few nights in the 30's & 40's, so I know I definitely jumped the gun and will have some okra plants that will be transplanted up to the 1 gallon Brown Boxers just to try to save them.[/quote]
I think it's the same all over the South. It's been hitting mid 70's here, even had some days in the 80's. The forecast for next Saturday night is calling for a low of 29F. Glad the tomatoes are still under the lights and I didn't get antsy and put them out. It is February, after all.
For once, my lack of direction is playing in my favor.
The tomato bed I planted runs north/south against the west fence. The wind is blowing straight through the tunnel! The plastic is perforated, so the winds will help control any detrimental heat buildup, so the plants won't fry. And, the most wonderful part is the soil soaking up all this gorgeous sunshine will be warm tonight.
Santa Ana winds in Tejas- they blow hard and bring the rains, then disappeear. chuckl. Wind as well as dunshine are 2 good reasons to run your rows n/s. picket fences were once very popular for wind break devices...
That is exactly what I was thinking! I have lived here for 20 yrs and I know it gets windy but it has never been this windy. I was walking into a store and for a second I really thought I was back in the San Fernando Valley, CA. Stuff was flying everywhere and an 18 wheeler had flipped on it's side made me think of the Grapevine.
Dixondale is a great source of onions, I have been buying from them for years. I gave some to my farmer neighbor and the Candy from Dixondale was the best they had ever grown. The Candy and 1015Y did real well last year, and I am trying the Texas Legend this year.
My onions are doing just great. I planted Texas Legend and Hybrid Southern Belle Red on 01/13. The first pic are the onions in the ground in a 4x8 bed. The 2nd shows the onions in the 2 earthboxes.
Today, I stop at the community garden in Farmer Branch. It was beautiful.
One garden got my attention and the owner was there so I asked a few questions.
He already had huge onions. He transplanted them in mid November.
He said that he always does that. Only if our winter is really cold the onions will dye (like during the Superbowl freeze of 2 years ago) otherwise they are just fine.
I will try to plant some onion this year in mid November too.
I usually plant mine on New Years Day. They do get much bigger. I couldn't get my onions starts from Dixondale that early this year. So now I'm considering starting some of my own transplants this August. This way I would not have to depend on someone else's crops or time schedule.
That's exactly why I started my own seeds! I sowed them outside in a community flat in mid-August, and they took a FULL 12 weeks to get as thick as the ones I get from Dixondale. They withstood the cold and rain just fine. In fact, I think our warm winter didn't add a thing to their growth. They actually NEED the cooler/colder weather to develop properly. I think our warm winter may have stunted them a bit.
I transplanted them into my Earthboxes on January 8th or so., and they're just now beginning to bulb up. I've side-dressed them twice with Aluminum Sulfate (high Nitrogen), to increase the leaf growth, and, they're coming along. But, I think they really needed more cold than we've had this winter.
My first season with Dixondale, I planted the transplants on January 8th, and was harvesting tennis ball size onions from late June through August.
I'm hoping these catch up and start to take off in a hurry. Not sure they will...
This warm winter has messed up a lot of schedules...
Linda, this last front through here really benefitted HD & Lowe's fairly well. A lot of people weren't expecting the record lows we had Wed. & Thur... I'm wondering how the onions will do in Florida, with the warm winter weather. I guess it will have to be from seed, since no one has onions ready to go as early as Oct./Nov... What kind of flat were you using to start them??
I only sowed the seeds in those two deep drawers. Must've had at least 40-60 seedlings in each drawer. I just waited too long to transplant them to the EBs after the 12 weeks of initial growth. I'm sure there was a reason I was waiting, but can't remember what!
My onion plants are starting to BULB!! The Texas Legends are really growing and you can see the bulbs starting. The Southern Belle Red are a little behind but are coming along just fine. The ones I planted in earthboxes are not going as well. I think the wind really did a job on them
Jo-Ann, I think my onions are about two the three weeks behind yours. I need to get in there and fertilize one more time before they start to bulb. And you chickies look good too. I'm down to thee after five years. They just started getting old and dying (the extreme temps of the last couple of years got a couple, too), although the three I have left and still layer well and look to be going strong! Sigh, time to starting thinking of getting a few more...
terri, I had 8 RIRs previously, but they were getting old & I was down to 2-3 eggs per day. And they were still eating just as much! Since I live in the city, and have limited space, I couldn't keep them. Those chickens are for eggs - not as pets. They went to a friend who has the room to keep them. These were replaced with my current 8. This time, instead of getting all the same breed, I mixed them up - 2 each of RIRs, barred rocks, black production & easter eggers.
One thing I realized very quickly - store bought eggs are nasty!! We just couldn't eat them. Now, I have to get a dozen at the farmers market each week. We've grown accustomed to eating a lot of eggs and a dozen per week will barely make it.
straying from topic...Annette and kittriana, I've kind of been looking at Black Giants or Black Sex Links. I like the larger sized hens that lay brown eggs. I have Buff Brahmas and really like those, but thought I'd try something different next time. We like the personalities as much as the eggs and DH likes to sit out by the coop of a warm summer evening, with a glass of wine or beer, and just let them entertain him with their quirkyness. I like the larger varieties as we also have peacocks. They need to hold their own with the female peacocks as my three peacock girls can get a little snotty at times. I'm kind of tempted to try a mix of pullets with a couple of Dixie Rainbows pullets. They look kind of cool and are bred for our climate...I just seem to be drawn to the larger sized breeds. I'll have to look at New Hapshire Reds. I saw them on the available list...
My onions are looking pretty good, not bulbing yet, but they shouldn't be for another few weeks. I do need to cultivate and pull some weeds. I have an abundance of the plant with tiny purple flowers-- I think it's called 'hen-bit'. Maybe I can borrow someone's chickens to do some weeding!
I have just got to brag about how good my onions are looking. My Texas Legends are really bulking up, with the largest ones being about 11" around. They look like they still have a few weeks to go before it's time to pull them. The Belle Reds are finally starting to bulb. While I don't think they'll be as big as the Texas Legends, they will be a respectable size. Of course, I've had to sample both of the already and they are delicious!!
Linda, my onions were planted in the raised bed on 01/13, and in 2 earthboxes a few days after that. The EB ones are not doing as well - I think because the soilless mix is so soft, the wind keeps blowing them down. I think onions in EBs are a fail for me. Well, it was nothing but a try!
Stephanie, my onions looked like your about 2 weeks ago, so I'm sure you'll be catching up pretty soon.
Before planting, I tilled the bed and worked my a lot of compost/chicken manure into the it, along with a big helping of Azomite and some mycorrhizae that I happened to have. The only thing special I did was the initial fertilizing with organic fertilizer - I think it was the epsoma for veggies. Then blood meal at the rate Dixondale recommends, every 2 weeks. Kept them well watered. easy to do with all the rain we've had, and tried to get as many weeds out as I could.
I can't wait to pull that largest one and make some beer-battered onion rings!!
I planted my onion plants on Jan. 17th, they are not nearly as far along, they are not showing any signs of bulbing. I was thinking it would be Aug. before onions would be ready, now you have me hoping for them much sooner. This is my first time growing them, so I really don't know what to expect.
Very nice, stephanietix. My onions seem to have grown all they're going to grow (??) but they are only ping-pong ball sized. I think I can tell by all the layers around the stalk on yours that yours are quite a bit larger. Good going!
For onions, there are two different kinds of scapes. One is a normal flower head and WILL produce seeds (but if your plant is a hybrid onion, then they won't reproduce true to type). The other type produces tiny plants (maybe the seeds are produced, then germinate on the scape?). Walking onions and Egyptian onions are types that produce the scape as a baby plant. I don't grow either now, but we had walking onions when I was younger. We used them for green onions.
This is my second year growing onions.
Texas Legend are the biggest right now.
I have started to harvest a few of them already for my daily cooking.
But I forgot when they are ready to harvest ... huumm?
When the top leaves turn brown ... or I am confusing with garlic?
My understanding is that you can harvest the onions once the tops break/fall over. They will also start to brown. At that point the bulb has stopped growing. For the onions to store best they need to be cured after harvesting. Here's an excerpt from the Dixondale onion website:
When the tops of the onions turn brown or yellow and fall over, it's time to harvest. Ideally, the plant will have about 13 leaves at this point. Pull the onions early in the morning on a sunny day. Dry the onions in the sun for two days. To prevent sunscald, lay the tops of one row over the bulbs of another.
How long your onions will keep depends on how you treat them after harvest. They must be dried thoroughly to avoid problems with rot. If left outside when the weather is dry, this will take two or three days. The entire neck (where the leaves meet the bulb) should be dry, all the way to the surface of the onion, and shouldn't "slide" when you pinch it. The skin will take on a uniform texture and color. If rain is expected, you'll need to dry your onions indoors. Spread them out in a well-ventilated area with room to breathe. Drying indoors may take longer than outdoors.
Once the onions are thoroughly dry, clip the roots and cut back the tops to one inch. Now they are ready to eat.
Store onions in a cool, dry, well-ventilated location, such as a garage or cellar. Place them in mesh bags or netting to permit airflow. Periodically check for any soft onions, and remove them to avoid deterioration of the others. As a general rule, sweeter onions don't store as long as more pungent ones, so use the sweeter onions first.
The dryer the tops are when harvested, the better- the moisture is still too high to keep them from rotting faster. If you are going to get a week of rain, and the tops have browned, you might harvest before the rain, leave the dirt on and spread to dry indoors, since they can rot with rains after the growth/ moisture has pulled back into the bulb.
Dug through my inbox. This is from the last Dixondale newsletter:
"One of the most common questions we get is, "How will I know my onions are ready to harvest?"
One way is by keeping track of the number of leaves on your onion plants. While 13 is the ideal number of onion leaves, some onion varieties may mature with fewer leaves than that. When your plants reach at least seven leaves, start watching them carefully. There will be three key physical signs that your onions are mature and should be harvested.
1. Soft Neck
When the area right above the neck (the place where the leaves meet the bulb) starts feeling soft, the transfer of carbohydrates from the leaves to the rings has finished, and the final cell division within the rings has occurred. At this stage, you should water less frequently, to prevent sour skin and black mold occurring in wet soils.
2. Tops Falling Over
When some of the tops fall over, this reflects 100% soft neck, even though not all the tops are down. If you are planning to consume the onions right away, this is the earliest stage they can be harvested
and the tops cut off. There is good skin development at this stage, and adequate green tops to prevent sunscald during drying.
When all the tops are down, the onion is finished pulling sugars out of the top and moisture out of its roots. But skin development will continue to occur. If growing for storage, a light last watering should take place, to allow onions to respire some moisture before harvest. For sweeter onions, give them a moderate final watering.
3. Last Leaf
Examine all the leaves, particularly the most recent one to appear (last leaf). The leaf sheaths mature and dry from the oldest to the youngest leaf. If you pull the onions from the soil before the last leaf is dry, rot could occur during storage. The neck cavity or top of the onion should not be sunken or soft before lifting the onions out of the soil.
It's best to remove your onions in the morning, before the worst of the heat and direct sunlight occur.
After Lifting Your Onions
Now that your plants are out of the soil, you'll want them to last as long as possible. This requires thorough drying and curing."