The Versatile Celery
Celery has so many uses it is truly a versatile vegetable: from a swivel stick for your ‘bloody mary’ to salads, to soups and stews and casseroles it adds a distinctive, yet not over-powering flavour and texture.
Nowadays, it is easier to plant celery from seedlings – in May or June. Older varieties had a reputation for being difficult to grow, but the new varieties are easier as they are self-blanching and do not require a layering of soil to make them blanch.
Like many vegetables, celery prefers a well-drained, friable and moisture retaining soil to thrive well and deliver to you happy produce.
Like other vegetables too, you do not have to be put off growing them because of a lack of space. You can assimilate them into the ordinary or ornamental garden quite happily. They can also be planted into long and deep pots.
Prepare the soil well before planting and rake in some general purpose fertiliser at least a week before – and water it all well. Use plenty of compost mixed with well rotted manure.
If you want to grow from seed, this will have to done indoors – about March or April. When they have germinated, plant them into small pots of their own – then before you plant outside, gradually toughen them up first – in a protected part of the garden.
Plant about a foot apart making sure the crown is above ground level. They will do better planted in a grid pattern rather than in the usual rows.
Keep the weeds down and ensure good watering – don’t let them dry out. Boost growth with a liquid fertiliser about a month into the growing season.
If you stagger the planting times, you should be able to have harvesting opportunities from mid August until the frosts come.