Growing Celery That Has Real Taste

I always like growing celery because I think the home grown ones have a real taste.

The stuff you buy in the store is essentially water wrapped around some fibre. Crunchy stuff in a salad and that's about the extent of it.

The vegetable you grow yourself has leaves with flavour for soups and stir fries and the stalk itself also is worth using (although it might be a little tougher than "store-bought").

celery stacked up


Early Celery

If you want some very early crops, sow the seed indoors the end of February. The seed should be very shallow – one sixteenth of an inch or so (lay the seed down on the pot or flat and cover so you just lose sight of the seed).

The seed will germinate in 15 days (plus or minus 5 to 7 days) if you keep the seed flat around 72F.

Commercial growers raise the daytime temperature to 75 and lower the night temperature to 65 for increased germination.

Maintain Dampness

If you want to succeed at growing celery, do not allow the seeds to dry out (don't swamp them either) as a steady moisture level will assist in germination. (I use lukewarm water when watering).

When the plants germinate, grow them at 65F for good stocky plants. If you let them get too cool in this growing-on stage (55F)they will tend to bolt in the field and go to seed rather than give you a leafy stalk.


The seedlings should take 3 months to get three to four inches tall and can be transplanted outdoors after all danger of frost is finished.

If you screw up and your seedlings are taller than this – simply whack them back to four to five inches with scissors. This will check their growth but you'll get a better plant in the long run than if you put them outdoors and they're leggy (they flop around and don't do well when leggy.)

Before transplanting – the rule with growing celery as with any crop is to harden off the transplants before planting. Hardening off will give you a better chance of success. At this stage, be very careful because if you get your plants too cold, they will bolt (flower) in the garden rather than grow leaves.

Plant the celery transplants six inches apart in the row. Rows should be 30 inches apart.

Shallow Rooted

This is a very shallow rooted vegetable so you have to make sure it doesn't suffer from drought (it will get tough) root damage from cultivating too close (it will get tough) and lack of food (it will get tough). Feed every few weeks with a liquid fish emulsion to keep the plants growing well and avoid – what else – toughness.

Book cover Vegetable Gardening

I Hope The Main Point Is Clear

I hope the message got through that celery wants warmth, and pampering or it will get tough. If your previous attempts have produced something less than ideal results, just think pamper this plant and you'll do fine.

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