Anybody Here Grow Celery?

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GoDawgs
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Anybody Here Grow Celery?

#1

Post: # 57828Unread post GoDawgs
Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:25 pm

For some strange reason I've decided that I'd like to try growing a little celery this coming spring, or rather, probably next fall considering the temperatures down here. I spent time this evening reading various articles on the subject, putting together my own "grow sheet" combining information and tips from five different sites online.

I'm in east central Georgia.What I've read says I need to find a spot with 6-8 hours of full sun (six minimum) but shade during the hottest part of the day. Seeds are slow to germinate, plants need constant watering, high temps are not helpful, etc. It sounds like a challenge I'd like to tackle just for fun.

Do any of you grow celery? If so, what variety has suited you best and what tips can you pass along?

Inquiring minds want to know! :D
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Re: Anybody Here Grow Celery?

#2

Post: # 57831Unread post Julianna
Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:37 pm

I grew the Chinese Pink Celery from Baker Creek. It is a lot smaller but more tolerant of drought and temps. Good flavor. I would do it again.
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Re: Anybody Here Grow Celery?

#3

Post: # 57832Unread post GoDawgs
Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:51 pm

@Julianna , did you grow it for fall or spring harvest? And did you do the "cut and come again" harvesting?

So far I'm thinking about 'Tango' for it's shorter DTM and the self-blanching thing along with supposed heat tolerance. We get a lot of hot sultry summer days with no breeze so if I plant it in the spring it will have to deal with summer. If I plant it for fall that initial time in the ground will be hot but necessary so it finishes before it freezes late October.

Maybe grow it in a big bucket on the porch in the fall so I can haul it inside when that first frost comes around. :o
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Re: Anybody Here Grow Celery?

#4

Post: # 57837Unread post Julianna
Sun Nov 21, 2021 8:55 pm

@GoDawgs I started it in January via winter sowing. I transplanted plugs into my containers in March. I kept waiting for it to get bigger and missed most of it. I harvested all at once in May or June.

That plan may work! Or you could trial some each way?
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Re: Anybody Here Grow Celery?

#5

Post: # 57849Unread post mama_lor
Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:02 am

I've grown root celery and I found out it really needs good sun. Also I found out that's it's better to buy the transplants since it takes forever to grow them.
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Re: Anybody Here Grow Celery?

#6

Post: # 57850Unread post GoDawgs
Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:29 am

I've never seen celery transplants around here. If there were any I sure would have noticed because it would seem so odd or out of place among all the usual tomatoes, peppers and herbs. Maybe they don't sell any here because of the hot weather.

Once I figure out when the weather and soil temp will fit the plant-out requirements I'll start the seed 10 weeks prior. And I'm going to try both spring and fall plantings just to see how it goes. It will be a fun experiment.
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Re: Anybody Here Grow Celery?

#7

Post: # 57852Unread post rossomendblot
Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:49 am

Similar to parsley, germination takes forever and the seedlings stay small for an age, but once they get going they romp away. I usually sow celery in February/March and keep the plants on a windowsill until May as low temperatures early in the season can trigger bolting. Planting them quite densely can help with self-blanching. My plants wilted quite a lot in the dry, hot part of summer this year (I wasn't watering them enough and that raised bed gets invaded by tree roots) so they would definitely need some shading in your climate.
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Re: Anybody Here Grow Celery?

#8

Post: # 57853Unread post Spike
Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:53 am

Julianna wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:37 pm I grew the Chinese Pink Celery from Baker Creek. It is a lot smaller but more tolerant of drought and temps. Good flavor. I would do it again.
I grew the Chinese White Celery, in a large flower box, that sits on the railing, of our porch. Was easy to grow, was delicious and plan on trying the Pink this coming year. Planted it in the Spring, on the East facing porch. Had sun all morning and shade all afternoon. Took no care at all, just some water. I have no idea how tall it would actually get as I was eating it as fast as it grew. Seriously delicious.
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Re: Anybody Here Grow Celery?

#9

Post: # 57854Unread post Bower
Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:09 am

I've grown Utah several times and celeriac once here, and kept both going for a second year to get seed. My friend prefers Tango at the farm, as it is less prone to get bitter when underwatered. I agree with mama_lor that celeriac benefits from extra sun and heat - there was a big difference between those I kept under row cover and those that were in the open. Maybe the extra humidity under the row cover helped as well.
Some of the "challenging" things I read about celery before I tried it were a bit misleading though.
I have not found celery at all prone to bolt in the first year, in spite of the extreme ups and downs of our climate here. The Utah though became tough and bitter pretty quickly when exposed to any kind of extremes: cold, heat, wind, drought.... You don't want to leave them for a day in the wrong conditions. I think dry wind and cold was the worst of the conditions, they stayed tender in the greenhouse heat much better than moved out by the door. That was in a shady position though. Stalk celery seems very shade tolerant to me, and maybe prefers it. They need lots of N fert to grow, and will just stop growing if they're not getting enough, and take a leap any time you pour it on.
Secondly, I found the seedlings, although slow growing, are super tolerant of cramped conditions as long as you keep them moist. Celery is a heavy feeder and they just stop growing if not fed, but they don't seem to mind it, they just stay small and wait for their chance.
Being that the seed is so tiny, it's almost inevitable to get too many to plant. I start mine in a re-used mushroom container without drainage holes. Sprinkle seed on the surface and keep it misted. Continue to water them by misting until they are big enough to transplant into cells, as many as you want. And then, what happened here is that the leftover celery seedlings stayed viable in a partly shady window for the entire season, until I was ready to pot some more up in the fall. I've never seen a vegetable more contented with neglect, given a drop of water!
It does take patience for them to get big enough to handle, and they may be slow to germinate as well. So start them 6-8 weeks before you plan on potting them up - or even earlier, if you have a spot where they can hang around for months patiently waiting for your attention.
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Re: Anybody Here Grow Celery?

#10

Post: # 57855Unread post brownrexx
Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:35 am

I have also grown Utah and it did well. I have a small bed that is heavily composted and I watered the plants often. They really like to have a constant watering schedule.

I started seeds in February and the plants were tiny. They are like blades of grass.

My plants grew well outdoors with no insect or other problems. I did blanch them by wrapping with newspaper and rubber bands because we like the light colored celery. The only problem with doing this is that slugs can be drawn to the wet newspaper. I didn't have a huge problem with that but I did get a few.

I harvested my celery all at once and it was really good. I froze a lot of it chopped and unblanched and it worked well in cooking.

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Re: Anybody Here Grow Celery?

#11

Post: # 57917Unread post svalli
Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:05 am

I have tried growing celery from seed, with no luck. Then I found out that, if I plant the small inner stalks still attached to the base of the store bought celery, it will take root and grow. When I plant them outdoors the stalks tend to get tough, but I use then just the leaves.
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This winter I may try growing the rooted celery under lights
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Re: Anybody Here Grow Celery?

#12

Post: # 57923Unread post Bower
Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:47 am

@svalli you won't be disappointed with the tender celery grown indoors. Winter greens under lights are also so lovely and tender, I look forward to them as much as spring! :)
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