Grow celery

When to grow celery?

Celery is a cool-season plant in regions with mild winters. It is a great addition to the herb garden. Although it won’t look like store-bought, home-grown celery is tasty and very aromatic. Here is how to grow celery in central Texas.

grow celery in central Texas

Should you grow celery from seed or transplant?

Growing celery from seed is very tempting, for all the varieties offered by seed catalogs. However, there are some criteria to follow to help you decide.

  • If you are expecting to harvest tons of celery to consume or share, you may be better off starting from seed. The packet holds a good number of seeds that will save you some money.
  • If Growing for your own use, buying transplants will be the easiest route. A six-pack of celery transplants is not that expensive and will pay for itself easily. Use the cut-and-come-again harvest technique for an endless supply of celery.
  • You need some Patience to start celery seeds. They are a bit tricky to get them to germinate. It will take more than a month of care before they show up.
seedlings

How to start celery seeds?

Celery seeds are small in size so you need to be handle them with care and sharp eye.

  • Start seeds around August for fall planting.
  • Use a shallow container or seed starting cells with drainage holes.
  • Fill the containers with a premoistened good quality seed-starting mix.
  • Sprinkle the seeds with care keeping space in between.
  • Celery seeds need light to germinate, so do not cover them with soil.
  • Water well then place under grow-light.
  • Keep the temperatures even 70F-75F (20C-23C)
  • Be patient. It will take about 7 to 8 weeks before they emerge.

When to transplant celery?

If you start from seeds, the seedling should be about two inches high before plating out. You should harden them off, and that is acclimating them to the natural elements before transplanting.

Celery is a cool-season plant. In central Texas, it grows from fall till spring. Plant out as soon as the temperature is stable at 75F (25C) or below. Exposing it to warmer temperatures will cause it to bolt (flower) and taste bitter.

What soil type does celery need?

Celery requires a well draining soil rich in organic matter. It also need a balanced pH ranging between 6 and 8.

How much sun does celery need?

When planting celery, choose an area with full sun for optimum growth. Even though celery is a herb, it still needs more sun than its peers to make nice stalks. Provide no less than six hours of direct sunlight, and you will be pleased with the result.

How to space celery plants?

Plant your celery plants 10 inches (25 cm) apart. This will shade the surrounding ground of each plant, discouraging weed growth and allowing self-bleaching.

What can you do in the garden in December

How much water does celery need?

Since celery grows in the cool season, rainfall may provide it enough water. However, central Texas does go through frequent droughts, so you may need to supplement it with extra irrigation. Water celery deeply twice a week to avoid any drought-related stress. Mulch celery beds well to retain moisture.

Does celery need fertilizing?

Amend the soil with compost or slow-release organic fertilizer before planting. During the growing time side dress with some compost, dry fertilizer or even coffee grinds.

Blanching celery?

Blanching is the process of blocking the sun from certain parts of a plant to stop photosynthesis. By doing so you get more white parts of the given crop. This is mostly done for celery, leeks, and cauliflower.

To blanch celery stalks hill the plant with soil as they grow. Some celery varieties are self-bleaching and do not require covering their stems. To name a few Galaxy, Tango, and Loretta.

Tie celery branches to prevent them from sprawling. This will keep them neat and tidy.

Note

Store-bought celery is lighter in color because it is grown in greenhouses, and kept away from the strong sun.

When and how to harvest celery?

You can harvest celery whenever you wish, just cut from the outer layers, keeping the plant intact. To get thicker stalks, allow the plant to reach its final size. The bundle should firm and sturdy. Do not allow the flower stalk to form that may cause induce bitterness. When harvesting the whole plant, use a clean sharp knife and cut it at the base.

How to store celery?

There are different ways to store celery after harvest. Before storing, make sure to clean thoroughly to get all the hidden dirt out.

How to clean celery?

  1. Cut it into desired pieces.
  2. Submerge them in cold water for a few minutes to allow the dirt to sink.
  3. Scoop the celery pieces with or hands or a slotted spoon.
  4. Drain well before storing.

How to store celery?

Depending on what you intend to use your harvested for, there are a few different ways to store it for future use.

  • Make celery powder/ salt by drying the leaves and young stalk. Then grind them into a powder. You may add salt to the powder to make celery salt.
  • Fill up zip bags or food saver bag and shut them airtight. They can keep in the freezer for a year. They won’t keep the crunch, but they still make great soups.
  • Some people also can celery stalks. Make sure to sterilize the jars and follow all canning guidelines.
  • You can also make cream of celery soup. It comes in handy for many crockpot recipes or just by itself.
grow celery

Nutritional value of celery

One of grandma’s remedies for heartburn was munching on a celery stalk. In fact, celery has an alkalizing effect on our bodies due to its richness in minerals such as magnesium. It is also used as a salt substitute for low sodium diets for its content of sodium. But the most well-known use for Celery is cleansing drinks and soups for weight loss. Read more here.

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