How to Grow Celery

Celery is a cool-season crop that can be grown in the spring and fall. It is a bit more challenging to grow but is well worth the effort. Follow this guide to learn how to grow delicious celery using organic methods.

What You’ll Need

  • Celery seeds or transplants
  • Well-draining soil
  • Compost
  • Watering can or hose
  • Mulch

Choosing the Right Variety

Celery comes in several varieties. Some popular types include:

  • Pascal: Traditional, tall stalks.
  • Golden Self-Blanching: Compact, yellowish stalks.
  • Chinese Celery: Thin, flavorful stalks.

Preparing the Soil

Celery prefers well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0-7.5. Here�s how to prepare your soil:

  1. Loosen the Soil: Till the soil to a depth of 8-10 inches (20-25 cm). Remove any stones or debris that could impede root growth.
  2. Add Compost: Mix in 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) of compost to improve soil fertility and structure.
  3. Add Organic Matter: Incorporate well-rotted manure or homemade compost for added nutrients.

Planting Seeds or Transplants

Celery can be grown from seeds or transplants. Here�s how:

  1. Starting Indoors: Sow seeds 10-12 weeks before the last frost. Transplant seedlings outdoors after hardening off, spacing them 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) apart.
  2. Direct Sowing: Plant seeds 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) deep in rows spaced 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) apart. Thin seedlings to 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) apart once they have a few true leaves.

Watering and Care

Celery needs consistent watering and care. Follow these tips:

  • Water Regularly: Keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Water in the morning to reduce evaporation.
  • Mulch: Apply a layer of mulch around the plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Fertilizing

Celery benefits from organic fertilization. Use compost tea or fish emulsion every 2-3 weeks during the growing season.

Harvesting

Celery is ready to harvest when the stalks are 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) tall. Here�s how to harvest:

  • Check Regularly: Harvest celery when the stalks are firm and have reached the desired size. Use a sharp knife to cut the stalks from the plant.

Storing Celery

Celery can be stored in several ways:

  • In the Fridge: Store fresh celery in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer. Use within 1-2 weeks.
  • Freezing: Chop celery and freeze in airtight containers for up to 6 months.

Tips and Tricks

  • Blanching: To keep the stalks tender, mound soil or mulch around the base of the plants to blanch them.
  • Companion Planting: Grow celery with beans, onions, or herbs to maximize garden space.

Conclusion

Growing celery using organic methods will help you achieve a bountiful harvest of delicious, homegrown celery. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy fresh celery from your garden all season long.

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