On this week’s episode, the guys air an interview with Bruce Frasier of Dixondale Farms. While at a meeting in Chattanooga, Bruce and Greg had a chance to sit down and record a conversation for the Row by Row Garden Show. Dixondale Farms is the largest onion plant producer in the United States. As Bruce explains, if you purchase onion plants for your garden, there’s a very high chance they were grown in Texas. Dixondale grows over 800 million onion plants per year, which include short-day, intermediate-day and long-day varieties. Bruce explains that the type of onion you grow will depend on your climate. Greg mentions that the Texas Legend is his favorite variety to grow, and Bruce provides some other great variety suggestions for those living in northern climates. Bruce also mentions that they’ve recently started carrying shallots and leeks which are fun to grow and great in soups.
On the Show & Tell segment this week, Greg has some pickled beets that a friend gave him. The guys have been growing beets consistently for a couple years now and they intend to try picking some this year. Travis explains that he prefers to transplant beets as opposed to direct seeding them into the garden. This is because he can control the germination easier and get more consistently-sized beets and greens.
On the Q&A segment, they answer questions about weeding slow-germinating crops like carrots and cover crops for clay soils. For slow-germinating crops like carrots, Travis suggests several techniques that can be used to control weeds until the plants are able to outpace the weed growth. These techniques include flame weeding and wire weeding in addition to ensuring the weed seed bank is reduced as possible. For clay soils, the guys recommend rooted vegetable cover crops like purple top turnips and daikon radishes. Because their roots penetrate deep into the soil, they do a great job of making the soil more workable while adding quality organic matter.