How to Grow Celery Plants
Celery is a vegetable that is popular with the health conscious. Celery stalks
are almost absent of calories, yet contains important vitamins and minerals.
Despite their very mild flavor, people much on them all day long. While some
people complain that it has little taste. Fresh garden grown celery usually
has a stronger taste. And, the mild taste is what makes celery stalks such
a great tool for dipping into your favorite dip, salad dressing, or sauce.
It also adds a little crunch to recipes.
Did you Know? Celery has negative calories? Being almost absent of
calories, the process of eating consumes calories, netting you a negative
calorie meal or snack!
Surprisingly, Celery is not commonly found in the home garden, despite the
fact that is is a very common item in the grocery store. This is because
it is a more difficult to grow than the common garden fruits and vegetables.
Growing Celery requires a longer growing season, and prefers cooler temperatures.
Celery originated in wetland ares, and requires lots of water. Without the
proper care, Celery stalks can be very dry and stringy.
The more demanding conditions and attention that celery needs, sometimes
causes home growers to rise to the challenge. A high proportion of growers
look for a different vegetable or variety each year, as a challenge to their
gardening skills. Why not make growing celery your next challenge?
Celery originated in the Mediterranean. It has been grown as a food crop
for thousands of years. It has also had many other uses dating back
to ancient times, including medicine, funerals and more.
Varieties of Celery Plants:
There are a limited number of varieties on the market.
Varieties that require blanching are little used in the home garden, as they
require a lot of extra work.
As previously mentioned, it is difficult to find them in seed catalogues
and are usually available as seedlings in garden stores. You may even have
to shop around for seedlings as many garden stores will not carry them.
We recommend you start seedlings indoors, using a germination mat. The seeds
are very tiny, difficult to sow, and requires thinning out seedlings. In
addition, the longer growing season may necessitate an indoor start in many
areas of the country.
Sow celery seeds in individual pots or containers. The seeds are very tiny.
Put as few as possible into each pot. After they have germinated and are
large enough to thin, remove all but two or three. As they continue to grow,
thin to one per pot (individual cell).
Transplant outdoors after the last date for frost in your area.
Space plants one foot apart, in rows 2 to 2 1/2 feet apart.
Ideal soil ph: 6.0 - 7.0 More on soil
Growing and Caring for Celery Plants:
Grow Celery in the lowest area of your garden. The plants require lots of
water. Make sure to provide plenty of water during the entire growing season,
especially during hot, dry weather. If the plants do not get enough water,
the stalks will be dry, and stringy.
Did you know? Celery plants are native to areas along creeks, where
constant moisture is present.
Celery plants are heavy feeders.
Grow Celery plants in full sun.and in a rich a rich, garden soil. Add plenty
of compost and mulch around the plants to help retain moisture. Add general
purpose fertilizer as you work the soil before planting, and fertilize regularly.
Add mulch as needed, to help retain soil moisture and add nutrients.
Late in the season, blanch inner stalks by tying the stalks together with
Days to Maturity:
Approximately 120 to 140 days.
Insects and Pests:
A broad range of insects and pests are attracted to Celery. These include
Slugs, Aphids, Leafhoppers, Celery flies, and more.
About slug and snail control
Leaf spot and blight are the most common problems. Splitting of stalks is
a result of dry weather and too little moisture . As with most plants, blights
occur most frequently in wet weather and should be treated early with fungicide.
Bacteria can also cause rotting in the center of the stalk.
Harvest after the stalks have reached a foot or more. The outside stalks
may be discarded or used in soups if undamaged by slug and other insects.
The inner stalks are more tender and taste best uncooked.
Celery plants are one to the hardiest plants in the vegetable garden. They
will survive frosts and light freezes. If frost does damage the plant, the
inner stalks should still be good.
Most critters shy away from Celery. And, many gardeners will be ecstatic
to know, that deer do not eat it!
Recipes: May we suggest:
Tip: Get kids to eat more celery. Put peanut butter on it, and serve
it as a healthy snack.
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