| Celery is a vegetable that is popular with
the health conscious. It is almost absent of calories, yet contains important
vitamins and minerals. Despite their very mild flavor, people much on them all
day long. While some people complain that it has little taste, it's that mild
taste that makes it such a great tool for dipping into your favorite dip, salad
dressing, or sauce. It also adds a little crunch to recipes.
Know? Celery has negative calories? Being almost absent of calories, the
process of eating consumes calories, netting you a negative calorie meal or
snack! Celery is not commonly found in the home garden, despite the fact that
is is a very common item in the grocery store.The reason is because celery is a
little more difficult to grow than the common garden fruits and vegetables.
Celery requires a longer growing season, lots of water, and prefers
cooler temperatures. Without the proper care and conditions, Celery stalks can
be very dry and stringy. The more demanding conditions and attention that
celery needs, sometimes causes home growers to rise to the challenge. A high
proportion of growers look for a different vegetable or variety each year, as a
challenge to their gardening skills.
Why not make growing celery your
next challenge? Celery originated in the Mediterranean. It has been grown as a
food crop for thousands of years. It has also had many other uses dating back
to ancient times, including medicine, funerals and more.
There are a limited number of varieties of celery on the market. Varieties that
require blanching are little used in the home garden, as they require a lot of
extra work. As previously mentioned, it is difficult to find them in seed
catalogues and are usually available as seedlings in garden stores. You may
even have to shop around for seedlings as many garden stores will not carry
We recommend you start seedlings indoors. The seeds are very
tiny, difficult to sow, and later to thin. In addition, the longer growing
season may necessitate an indoor start. 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
As they continue to grow, thin to one per pot(individual slot).
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.
Celery is a heavy
feeder. It also requires lots of water. Make sure to provide plenty of water
during the entire growing season, especially during hot, dry weather. If celery
does not get enough water, the stalks will be dry, and small. Add plenty of
compost and mulch around the plants to retain moisture. Add general purpose
fertilizer as you work the soil before planting ,and fertilize regularly. Add
mulch as needed, to help retain soil moisture and add nutrients.
Harvest after the stalks have reached a foot or more. The outside stalks may be
discarded or used in soups if undamaged by slug and other insects. The inner
stalks are more tender and taste best uncooked. Hardiness: Celery is
susceptible to both spring and fall frost. Set plants outdoors after the last
frost date for your area. Because they require a long growing period, be
prepared to cover your crop in the early fall to protect them against frost
just prior to the maturing of the plant. If frost does damage the plant, the
inner leaves should still be good.
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