Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

User avatar
Bower
Reactions:
Posts: 664
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:44 pm
Location: Newfoundland, Canada

Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#1

Post: # 9554Unread post Bower
Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:54 am

I was looking at some videos last night after reading through Mike's thread about starting onions from seed.
Deeper pots were mentioned as the key to big starts, even for mass plantings.
Another point was to give them liquid ferts once a week.
Then on youtube I caught sight of the bundles of starts that someone bought from Dixondale. Those are a really nice size! Like pencil thick or better afaict. They come with the roots trimmed and iirc the tops are trimmed too, but they are so luscious and big I bet they get new roots in no time.
So my question is, how deep of a pot do you need to grow starts of that size?
If the pot is really deep, is it okay/good/beneficial to trim the roots at planting?
What would be the optimal density for a mass planting, if you hope to grow honkin big starts?
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

User avatar
Rajun Gardener
Reactions:
Posts: 989
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:00 am
Location: Lafayette La

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#2

Post: # 9561Unread post Rajun Gardener
Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:36 am

Check out their youtube channel, they grow them in the field densely seeded and fertilized.

These guys are rolling along harvesting starts. https://www.youtube.com/user/DixondaleFarms/videos
Zone: 9A
Climate: Hot and Humid
Avg annual rainfall: 60.48"

User avatar
Bower
Reactions:
Posts: 664
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:44 pm
Location: Newfoundland, Canada

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#3

Post: # 9578Unread post Bower
Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:04 pm

I guess the big question for me is, how can I do that indoors under lights. They are definitely densely planted but in the field there's no restriction of the depth. They didn't trim the roots though. Unless that is when they pull them out of the ground.
In containers you end up with a mess of long roots and if the container is shallow they even grow along the bottom.
I did some onions in 9 cells (72 per 1020) and they definitely were bigger and produced a better onion than mass planted at the same depth.
But I may be able to do better in a deeper container - if I can find something.
I have lots of standard 4 inch pots I could use, but I wonder if the extra inch is enough depth.
Also the trouble with them, they don't fit neatly in a 1020 tray and so you end up with wasted space.
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

User avatar
worth1
Reactions:
Posts: 806
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: 25 miles southeast of Waterloo Texas

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#4

Post: # 9597Unread post worth1
Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:09 pm

I did but outside.
Here is a sample.
I waited to post here till today my pulling and planting day.
The best were about the size of a pencil.
You dont want them any bigger than that and always plant some smaller.
Reason is they dont trigger to seed until they get around six or seven leaves.
If they have less they wont trigger due to weather or at least that is how I have understood it from them.
I planted these and hammered the soil with 13-13-13.
20200209_161556.jpg
20200209_165945.jpg
20200209_165959.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Worth
Paul Prudhomme Is The Head Chef In Heaven

User avatar
Bower
Reactions:
Posts: 664
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:44 pm
Location: Newfoundland, Canada

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#5

Post: # 9611Unread post Bower
Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:16 pm

Those look awesome Worth!
Dang I can't do mine outside, it's a snowbank. :x :lol:
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

User avatar
ddsack
Reactions:
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:26 pm
Location: Northern MN - USA

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#6

Post: # 9615Unread post ddsack
Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:54 pm

Bower, I now start my onion seeds in the round shallow bulb pots, I'm guessing they are 5-6 inches deep and 8-10" across, don't have any in the house right now to check. Also use cut down plastic gallon milk jugs, about the same depth. They easily will fill up the containers with roots, no matter the depth. I suppose that since the seedlings are grown in such tight quarters, they send out deeper roots instead of the shorter side roots that bump into their neighbor. I am lazy about starting onions early, but this year I will try to do it sooner than the end of March.
Once they germinate, as long as the day temps are above freezing, they go outside during the day next to our wood siding which reflects some heat, but always back in at night.

User avatar
MissS
Reactions:
Posts: 1005
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:55 am
Location: Wisconsin Zone 5b

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#7

Post: # 9626Unread post MissS
Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:10 pm

I usually sow them in a coffee can. That gives them enough space until they are planted out. The roots fill it pretty well too.
Life is Good
~ Patti ~

User avatar
worth1
Reactions:
Posts: 806
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: 25 miles southeast of Waterloo Texas

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#8

Post: # 9637Unread post worth1
Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:54 am

One of those rectangular aluminum roasting pans would be perfect.
Mine were grown in my no drain sight tube tubs.
I can assure you I could have grown them bigger but they were pretty much neglected.
The things were inundated with weeds.
Sticky grass to be exact.
There was one huge crab grass plant in it that was so tender and succulent that you could have eaten it.
This due to the fertilizer.
The tub you see the starts in are where the seedlings were grown.
A little crowded but I'll thin for green onions.
The store bought green onions I planted are over the top good and tender
And huge too.
Worth
Paul Prudhomme Is The Head Chef In Heaven

MsCowpea
Reactions:
Posts: 429
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:01 pm
Location: S Florida USA Zone 10

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#9

Post: # 9872Unread post MsCowpea
Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:50 pm



This goes from seeding to harvest. I Just used his planting out recommendations for some short day onions transplants I found at a big box store while on a trip. My local store only had long day onions and we need short day onions. I planted them in a cluster.
"When we kill off the natural enemies of a pest we inherit their work."
Carl Huffaker

User avatar
Bower
Reactions:
Posts: 664
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:44 pm
Location: Newfoundland, Canada

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#10

Post: # 9984Unread post Bower
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:52 am

My browser won't play that video for some reason. :(
What I would like to know, if you fill a coffee can or 6-8 inch or deeper with roots, do you trim the roots when you plant them?
@worth1 your beautiful onions have little short roots like the ones at Dixondale. Trimmed? or grew that way in the 'secret ingredient' ie Texas soil! ;)
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

User avatar
worth1
Reactions:
Posts: 806
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: 25 miles southeast of Waterloo Texas

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#11

Post: # 9999Unread post worth1
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:19 am

No I just yanked them out of the soil and the roots broke off.
The container was full of roots.
Worth
Paul Prudhomme Is The Head Chef In Heaven

User avatar
worth1
Reactions:
Posts: 806
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: 25 miles southeast of Waterloo Texas

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#12

Post: # 10005Unread post worth1
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:39 am

The onions don't really need the long roots so they trim everything up for shipping.
The roots will grow back fast.
I have taken onions I pulled and let sit in the yard all summer long and re planted them in the fall for green onions.
Onions are hard to kill.
My store bought onions in the garage are sprouting and growing roots this time of year.
Worth
Paul Prudhomme Is The Head Chef In Heaven

MsCowpea
Reactions:
Posts: 429
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:01 pm
Location: S Florida USA Zone 10

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#13

Post: # 10025Unread post MsCowpea
Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:23 pm

Bower, if you google Charles Dowding and ‘you tube’ can you play the videos that come up?? He has the most informative videos. And many he edits to include the whole growing process from start to finish. In ‘How to Grow Spring Onions and Onions’ he plants seeds, shows how to plant the transplants, then harvests them.
"When we kill off the natural enemies of a pest we inherit their work."
Carl Huffaker

User avatar
Bower
Reactions:
Posts: 664
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:44 pm
Location: Newfoundland, Canada

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#14

Post: # 10084Unread post Bower
Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:27 pm

@MsCowpea I just tried and got the same - my browser doesn't recognize the available format, something about HTML5. :roll: Sooner or later my browser will catch up, or Charles will realize he lost a few peeps by being up to date. :twisted: ;)
@worth1 that's what I needed to know, thanks!
As long as a deeper container and way long roots doesn't mean I need even deeper soil to plant them out into, it'll be okay.
I will see what I've got and maybe experiment with different depths? Always looking for the minimum soil demand in mid winter. And must fit under lights.
I measured, and the cell packs are a measly two inches. 4 inch nursery squares are 3 1/2 inch deep. catbox 5 inches.... don't worry, no cat! :lol:
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

User avatar
worth1
Reactions:
Posts: 806
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: 25 miles southeast of Waterloo Texas

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#15

Post: # 10105Unread post worth1
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:07 pm

Sometimes I lay in bed at night thinking about onions and garlic.
No kidding. :roll:
I still dream about growing the worlds largest onion under lights. :lol:
Worth
Paul Prudhomme Is The Head Chef In Heaven

patihum
Reactions:
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:25 am
Location: Southeast Kansas

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#16

Post: # 10286Unread post patihum
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:20 pm

When starting from seed the most important factor for me in getting healthy, husky seedlings is keeping the tops trimmed to 2 inches or so while they're growing especially under lights.

User avatar
worth1
Reactions:
Posts: 806
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: 25 miles southeast of Waterloo Texas

Re: Can you grow onion starts as big as Dixondale's?

#17

Post: # 10395Unread post worth1
Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:39 am

patihum wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:20 pm
When starting from seed the most important factor for me in getting healthy, husky seedlings is keeping the tops trimmed to 2 inches or so while they're growing especially under lights.
I can agree with that even though I have never grown an onion under lights.
The things get way tall if you dont.
I trimmed mine at plant out so they wouldn't fall over and break their necks.
If the necks get broke ant any time before harvest it is game over.
I collected some scrap grid wire from work to make hoop supports for many of mine.
One year it came a massive down pour right when they were starting to bulb up.
Al the necks got broken and that was it.
Ticked me off big time. :x
I had onions with 13, 14 and 15 leaves maybe more they would have been huge. :cry:
Worth
Paul Prudhomme Is The Head Chef In Heaven

Post Reply

Return to “Onions”