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How to Grow Celery

Celery is popular in the kitchen. It's used in a wide range of recipes, and on veggie trays. Celery is popular with the health conscious crowd, too. Native to the Mediterranean, Celery has been grown as a food crop for thousands of years. Despite requiring little garden space, it's not as popular in the home garden. Here's why...........

Celery can be a little difficult to grow. Without extra attention, home grown celery can be dry and stringy. Celery requires a longer growing season, lots of water, and prefers cooler temperatures.

Celery is absent of calories. It has few carbohydrates, either.  It does have important vitamins and minerals. if you're health conscious, you can munch on them all day long..... as long as you don't load them with dips, dressing, and sauces, or...peanut butter.

Thought for the Day: While Celery is very popular, can you think of a single recipe for celery where it is the main ingredient? 

How to Grow Celery:

Grow celery plants in full sun and cool weather. They prefer a rich, loose garden soil. Mix in plenty of compost prior to planting. Soil should be kept moist at all times.

Celery is grown from seed. It can be directly sowed into your garden. Celery seeds are very tiny, difficult to sow, and later to thin. We recommend you start seedlings indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost in your area.

Sow seeds in individual pots or containers. As the seed is 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.

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.

Fertilize regularly, every two to three weeks.

Perhaps the biggest key to success, is to keep the plants well watered. Without a constant supply of water, celery stalks will be small and dry.

Mulch around the plants to retain moisture.

Celery is susceptible to both spring and fall frost. Set plants outdoors after the last frost date for your area. Cover plants if frost is predicted.

Harvesting:

Days to Maturity: Approximately 120 to 140 days.

Harvest after the stalks have reached a foot or more. The outside stalks may be discarded or used in soups The inner stalks are more tender, and taste best uncooked.

Insects, Pests, and Disease:

Problems can occur with Slugs, Aphids, Leafhoppers, Celery flies, and more.

Leaf spot and blight are the most common disease problems. 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.

Splitting of stalks is a result of dry weather and too little moisture .

More Information:

More on Growing Celery

Garden Recipes - Find Celery recipes and garden recipes galore!

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