How to Grow Bigger Onions

The leftovers.

The leftovers.

A Facebook friend in Gardenaholics Anonymous mentioned that Dixondale Farms in Texas grows great onion and leek plants, and in fact they also sell those same plants to the supplier I had been using.

Not only do they have a better selection, we saved $20 on 6 bunches; that is a big price difference.

The plants arrived healthy and the bunches were quite generous. Also in the box were some pretty interesting planting directions that can help grow bigger onions.

Two trenches.

Two trenches.

Basically, you dig a trench 4″ deep and wide, about 6″ away from where your onions will be planted. To this add 1/2 cup of a fertilizer that is high in phosphorous for every 10 ft. of row.
The middle number on a bag of soil amendment represents phosphorus, so we used this bone meal.

The ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium.

The ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium.

Then you plant your onions 1″ deep and 4″ apart.
Water them in well.

Now I admit we are used to planting this close together, but never this shallow.
It actually felt a little uncomfortable, as if it would do them harm.
And we did cheat just a bit and made double rows, planting in a zig-zag fashion to give them those 4″ of growing space.

Ta da!

Ta da!

But we are basically going to go with what the experts suggest, and see if we get bigger bulbs than in previous years. They were quite adamant about the depth, as any deeper will “inhibit their ability to bulb.”
There is more information in the pamphlet as well, and we’ll look at those instructions as the season progresses.

We put in 100 Copra onions, as these are really wonderful for storing, lasting up to a year.
Fifty Red Zeppelin onions can be stored for 6-8 months, but will most likely be eaten before that.

Another 25 each of Walla Walla and Sterling, all together should keep us in onions for about a year.

In a few months we will start to see the results, and we’ll give you an update.
In the meantime, you can check out their site and even download their planting guides here.

Not only did we save quite a bit of money, there are plenty of onions leftover for my daughter and son-in-law to plant.

Apparently Sprout’s tastes lean towards garlic and onions, and we are more than happy to comply.

April 20, 2014  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Posted in: How to Grow, Onions & Leeks, The Experiments

7 Responses

  1. Leslie - April 20, 2014

    If I could keep the gophers out…I would grow great ones and have been planting shallow for a while…buggers! I go diagonal too…just the gardener in me wantin to get some good area to help em grow!

  2. gj - April 20, 2014

    I hear ya! The more you can get in, the better. Don’t get me started on gophers, they must be The Worst gardening nemesis ever!

  3. Mark - April 21, 2014

    I just planted my onions on Saturday so too late to do it exactly like this but I may put a strip of bone meal between the rows. I had uneven onions last year that I blamed on the close spacing so this year I went to 6″. Maybe that wasn’t necessary. If they’re better this year I won’t know if it was because of the spacing or the fertilizer. Either way, I’ll just be glad to have better onions :)

  4. gj - April 22, 2014

    Right, either way works. Good luck!

  5. Lydia Higginson - April 30, 2014

    Fantastic info

  6. gj - April 30, 2014

    I agree Lydia, and from the pics they show I think they know what they are talking about.

  7. Gardening Jones5 Varieties of Long Day Onions » Gardening Jones - July 27, 2014

    [...] How to grow bigger onions. Information and plant source: Dixondale Farms. Check out their website for lots more information and onion varieties. [...]

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