In the early 1900's, my great-grandfather, Joseph Mabson McClendon, moved his family to Dimmit County from a small Central Texas town called Pancake, TX. He began farming an area north of town called the Dixondale addition in the Wintergarden area. All of us at Dixondale Farms still live in that section of town as neighbors. Joseph's son, Earl, who was 15 at the time, began farming with his father, growing onion transplants and sending them by train to farmers throughout the United States. Earl married Lula Bell, who came from a large old established family here. As you see, our roots run deep in South Texas. They continued farming through the Depression and World War II. They eventually offered the farming business to my father (their son-in-law) after he got out of the Army and graduated from the University of Texas in 1948. Earl remained active in farming and ranching until his death in 1983.
100 Years of Dixondale Farms
My father, Wallace Martin, continued growing transplants, as well as producting other crops such as cabbage and cauliflower. In 1982, my husband, Bruce Frasier, got out of the Army and began working with Dixondale Farms. It was then that Bruce saw a need to distribute his product to home gardeners. In 1990, UPS started providing delivery service to Carrizo Springs, and we began sending out small quantities of onion plants via UPS and USPS. Today we ship over 800 million onion plants to farmers, home gardeners, and garden centers around the country. We often laugh at the similarities between the past two generations of Dixondale Farms farmers. My father and my husband are both civil engineers by education and farmers by the grace of God. Both came into the business after leaving the Army and the business was handed down from father-in-law to son-in-law. At age 93, my father, Wallace, is still available for his vast onion knowledge and advice.
Wallace Martin and Bruce Frasier
All orders except those going to Alaska and Hawaii have no additional shipping charges. Our experienced staff will schedule shipment for the proper planting time in your area. If you ship your order to more than one location, each shipment will be treated as a separate order. Because onion plants need to arrive fresh, we ship the most effective way available. We recommend the US Postal Service Priority Mail for small orders. For larger orders, we prefer to ship by UPS or FEDEX. For orders of multiple boxes going UPS or FEDEX, two boxes will be strapped together. We are unable to guarantee arrival on a specific date. We are sorry, but due to import regulations we are no longer able to ship plant materials to Canada, Malheur County in Oregon, and the following counties in Idaho: Ada, Bingham, Blaine, Boise, Bonneville, Canyon, Cassia, Elmore, Gem, Gooding, Jefferson, Jerome, Lincoln, Madison, Minidolka, Owyee, Payette, Power, Twin Falls, and Washington. There is an additional charge of $2.00 per bunch for shipments to AK and HI. You can also override our shipping dates if you'd like. Simply enter your desired ship date in the "Requested Ship Date" field during checkout.
Mesh nettings, storage bags, fertilizer, Feed & Weed, chemicals, and harvest aids are shipped year-round.
Enter your zip code in the Zip Code field below, and then click Get Ship Date. Your region's suggested ship date will appear in the Your Ship Date field.
Which onion plants should I order?
Onion plants come in three different daylengths: short, intermediate, and long. When selecting your onion varieties, remember that the further north you are, the more hours of daylight you have during the summer. For help finding the right onion plant varieties for your area, consult our comprehensive Onion Plant Daylength Guide.
When should I order my plants?
You can order your onion plants whenever you like, and we'll ship at your requested date. If you're ordering from our catalog, your customer number is located on the back cover, above or beside your name on the mailing label. Payment is required when your order is placed, so that your plants will be reserved for you to ship on the day you requested.
How many plants are in a bunch or bundle?
We use the term bunch or bundle interchangeably, but each contains approximately 50-75 plants. We try to ship nice, large plants that will quickly establish a root system.
If I can't plant when I receive my plants, how do I store them?
When you receive your plants, immediately take them out of the box and spread them out in a cool, dry area. DO NOT PUT THEM IN WATER OR SOIL while waiting to plant. The plants are in a dormant state, and should be planted as soon as possible. The roots and tops may begin to dry out, but don't be alarmed—as a member of the lily family, the onion can live for three weeks off of the bulb.
When should I plant?
The recommended planting time is 4-6 weeks before your last average frost date, if the weather is agreeable.
Should I water the onions when I first plant them?
Yes, the transplants should be watered immediately after being planted. They won't grow new roots unless the soil is loose and moist, so it's important to maintain adequate moisture. Avoid overhead irrigation, which encourages foliage diseases.
How often should I fertilize?
The first application should be three weeks after planting; then repeat the process every 2-3 weeks. Stop fertilizing when the onions start to bulb, which is about three weeks before harvest.
Should I pull the dirt back from the onion when it starts to bulb?
The bulbing process is gradual, and there's no reason to pull dirt away as long as you keep the soil loose. In fact, pulling the dirt away can cause sunscalding (sunburn) of the onion skin. Remember that the bulbing process requires more moisture in any case; if you increase watering, the soil should remain loose.
How do I know when my onions are ready for harvest?
An onion is fully mature when the top falls over. Bending the top over will only stop the bulbing process, so don't be too eager to harvest. You don't have to wait until all the tops fall completely over to harvest, but harvesting early may cause the onion to sprout during storage since it hasn't finished the bulbing process.
How do I harvest?
Once the tops have fallen over, pull the onions out of the ground and let them dry in the garden for a few days. It's a good idea to cover the bulb of one onion with the top of another to prevent sunscald. When you remove the onions from the field, clip the roots at the base and clip the tops as well, but leave 3/4-inch of the neck to seal and protect the interior from decay. Discard any decaying onions. Never let a single decayed onion touch another, since the decaying process will spread.
Any tips for storage?
Store your onions in a cool, dry place. Sweet onions store for a maximum of three months, but storage types will last throughout the winter. The best way to store them is in mesh nettings or pantyhose, hung in a well ventilated area.