Celery!

Newly emerged celery

Celery has been surging up over the last day or so, 10 days after seeding. This is Utah 52-70, a pretty common variety. Celery is a member of the carrot family (Apiaceae), along with parsley, parsnip, fennel, Gotu Kola, caraway, cumin, CARROTS, cilantro/coriander, chervil, dill, anise, hemlock. Cool family! It also has a reputation for being hard to grow: maturity in up to 4-5 months, cold-sensitive seedlings, needs lots of moisture. Any two of those three can make it a challenge in this garden, especially with the crazy weather. As great as it would be to grow, celery hasn’t been high on my list! Well, it’s started now, and we’ll see what happens…

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10 Responses to “Celery!”

  1. Katie says:

    Hey Mike,

    Good luck with the Celery. I started ‘Utah Tall’ 12 weeks before our LFD, and sowed a ton of it hoping for the best. It all germinated, I thinned, but to no avail. The seedlings never got larger than the ones in your picture.

    I certainly hope you have better luck than I did!

    Katie

  2. Steve Mudge says:

    I planted some seed in February ’07 (one year and a month ago) of the Utah variety. It grew slowly and survived the Texas summer I think because it was in the shade…as the weather cooled down it started to take off and now we still have a celery plant to use, a year later! Only caveat is that it is quite leafy and strong flavored, so its great for soups and flavoring but too intense for eating raw–the key I think is to grow as fast as possible to develop fatter stalks–they love cool moist conditions, in fat celery grew wild(escaped) on the moist seeps on the shady cliffs overlooking the beach I went to in SoCalif. I think they are biennial so ours will probably flower this spring. Also–it has survived 21 degs F and two snows this year without damage, so that may give you and advantage in leaving it out in the field longer into the fall.

  3. Bob Tome says:

    Hey, I have also planted some herb recently, to start indoors. My growing season doesn’t start for awhile, but I couldn’t help myself! I have cilantro, corn, squash, sweet peas, green beans, and tomatoes all pushing their way through the soil. I was wondering if anyone has tried any of these products – Bountea.com – and do you think it would be ok to use one or more as a nutrient source for my young seedlings?

  4. Mike (tfb) says:

    Katie, Steve:: Thanks for the celery stories. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I’m crunching away come fall…

    Bob: Hadn’t heard of Bountea, but I took a look at the site and it sounds great, they have a lot of interesting products. It’s a well-written site! For me, I always try to avoid buying fertility. I’d try some if it introduces beneficial microbial life that would establish itself in the garden. I think I’ll email ‘em with questions!

  5. I have done some research on how to grow it, but I have found it difficult to cultivate as well, in spite of my best efforts. I did have enough luck to get some leafy stalks going. I ended up harvesting the slender stalks just before the frost and dehydrating the leaves for use as an ingredient in soups and stews.

    Will

    • Mike (tfb) says:

      Will: This was my first season of celery. It grew well, BUT, I didn’t thin it, there were two plants together at 12″ spacing. I experimented with multiplanting this year, growing several onions together, also doubled up broccoli and cabbage, and they all worked out, but not the celery! The plants were crowded, and the stalks stayed thin. The taste was good, but got steadily stronger, bordering on the unpleasantly so for raw use. In the end, I only used a bit, but it was a good growing experiment, and I intend to be back at it next season!

  6. Teki says:

    Hi,

    I started celeri seeds indoors 3 weeks ago under fluorescent grow lights. It took like 4-5 days to germinate and still after 3 weeks, its like 7 cm tall with 2 sets of leaves, but it has a long thin stem despite the growing lights being. In fact, I’ve grown basil, tomato and okra and they are all fine.  Is this normal for the thin stem?
    I want to transplant those seedlings in my garden in 2 weeks, should I bury the seedling till the first set of leaves. Please advise. I live in Québec, Canada.

    Thanks

  7. john says:

    try the tendercrisp variety. i’ve grown it for years and it is an heirloom so i grow from my own seed. i just cut what i need and leave the plant growing, i dry the leaves and use all year as a spice. john

  8. Marney says:

    Want to try growing in Ontario, Canada.  Do some of our readers actually have success?
    Live in a sandy beach are just on the Ottawa River.  Love to have some tips from those who had good luck. Cheers.  2011-sep-01

  9. John says:

    I start my seeds mid january. it is really important to not crowd, try keeping seeds an inch apart pushing down 1/16″ with a pencil. i keep soil moist and let them grow in the window until they are about 1″ tall and transplant into paper cups with holes in the bottom. by early june i transplant to the garden. i also sold $90 worth of plants this year to pay for the whole garden. my grandmother told me that when she was a little girl she would wrap the plants in newspaper up to the leaves when they get bigger and tie with string to avoid the strong taste in stalks, blanching them. that would have been in the late 1800′s. john

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