Growing Celery That Has Real Taste
I always like growing celery because I think the home grown ones have a
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").
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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