Long-storing favorite for soups and sauces.
Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.
Fruit Size The average size of the fruit produced by this product.
Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.
Spread The width of the plant at maturity.
Height The typical height of this product at maturity.
Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.
How to Sow
Sowing Seed Indoors:
- Sow celery seeds in the north indoors in a warm, well-lighted area or in a hotbed about 10-12 weeks before they last heavy frost date in spring. In the South, and other mild areas, sow from fall to early spring.
- Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed starting formula.
- Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days.
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots.
- Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Planting in the Garden:
- Select a location in full sun with a light, rich, moist to wet soil.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones. Work in organic matter prior to planting.
- Space plants 6 inches apart in rows 18 inches apart. Be careful when transplanting as celery develops a tap root that is easily damaged.
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding.
- Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth. Celery grows best when it has constant moisture, and relatively cool temperatures. It cannot tolerate high heat conditions.
- Tie celery plants together to prevent sprawling and to blanch the interior.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Celery can stand a light frost.
Harvest and Preserving Tips
- Harvest celery in about 115 days from setting plants in the garden.
- Harvest stalks by cutting the base at soil level with a knife.
- Celery is great as a fresh snack or diced for use as a seasoning vegetable.
- Celery leaves are also edible. Eat leaves while still tender, before they become fibrous.
- Collect celery seed after flowering and grind up or use for celery flavoring in cooking.
- Wash celery after harvest, pat dry, keep refrigerated.
- Celery may be frozen for later use in cooking, but it does lose its crispness when it is frozen.
- Celery leaves may be dried in a dehydrator.