How to grow celery & lovage?

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Nan6b
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How to grow celery & lovage?

#1

Post: # 15107Unread post Nan6b
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:00 pm

I just bought some red celery seeds and lovage seeds. What do I need to know? Any tricks to starting the seeds? When to start indoors, and when to plant outside? Can they grow in part shade? Do they want to be kept moist/damp more than other plants?
Thanks
Nan
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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#2

Post: # 15109Unread post Gardadore
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:41 pm

Lovage is a wonderful perennial that I use whenever I am making a stew, soup or pasta salad and want celery flavor. My gardening buddy plants celery seeds every summer and gets mixed results. She has given me seedlings but I tend to go for the lovage instead. You don’t need a lot to get that celery flavor.
One lovage plant is all I have and it gets quite large in the summer, flowers and begins to die back or throw new shoots. I have had it for years. It spreads a little so I have been able to give roots away.
Start both indoors. Since the lovage is a perennial start a few seeds so you are guaranteed to get one to sprout. Once it takes outdoors you should have it forever! I don’t remember how large the seedling was when I transplanted the lovage to outside. It is not in full sun but gets mainly afternoon sun. Doesn’t seem fussy about sun and water. I have to stake it once it reaches it’s height each summer. It will die down for the winter and regrow again in the spring. Enjoy your seeds!

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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#3

Post: # 15114Unread post Nan6b
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:05 pm

I didn't know lovage is perennial. That's great! I may put a few in different places around the yard to see where it thrives. I heard the seeds are difficult to germinate?
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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#4

Post: # 15116Unread post MissS
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:08 pm

I have never grown celery myself and I too would like to know what you all do.
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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#5

Post: # 15127Unread post Clkeiper
Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:20 am

Celery is a water hog. Start the seeds early(or asap... like yesterday or today) on a heat mat if possible. they take a long time to get to any size. I started mine weeks ago and they are all of one leaf right now, I plant a plant at every wet spot in my high tunnel where the drip tape fittings leaks. if they are planted where there isn't enough moisture it will be tough and bitter. Plant it out after no chance of frost.
there are several types of celery too. One produces more leaves and that is great for dehydrating, but either produces enough for most people.. a jar of dried celery leaf is fabulous in the pantry. it is very expensive to buy. the last time I looked it was 14.00 a pound. yikes. when I saw how pricey it was I started growing and dehydrating just so I had it in my pantry.
Mostly, I use it to make rice with. I usually sprinkle a bout a tablespoon over the rice along with salt pepper and butter when cooking to make seasoned rice.
Last edited by Clkeiper on Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#6

Post: # 15131Unread post Bower
Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:54 am

Pick a small container to start those tiny celery seeds. They do take a long time to get big enough to transplant, so you don't want them taking up space. Sow on surface. Keep them moist. I got fastest germination by putting them on heat mat just for the first day, or day on, night off. I shower them with the spritzer until they sprout.
Once they sprouted, celery seedlings will tolerate pretty much any indoor condition as long as you keep watering. If you don't have space to pot them all up, they'll just stay small in the original container until you want them. Likewise whatever size you pot up into, they will use up the N ferts and then stay the same size forever unless you feed em again or pot em up again.
Outdoors I would pick a sheltered spot as well as a damp spot or place to get regular watering. IMO high winds and temperature extremes tend to bring out the worst in celery (tough and or bitter). An indoor celery (which is easy to grow and doesn't even care how much light it gets) is a treat for tenderness and sweetness. Since the seedlings don't care how long they wait to grow up (pretty much) you can let the extras hang around the house and grow them up when you're ready. I have kept my extras from spring until fall and then potted up for a winter treat. A very easygoing vegetable.

Lovage - I think that's a great idea to plant a few in different places and see where it wants to stick. That's what I did, and my 25? year old clump is the one survivor. I don't stake mine, and it doesn't fall over. :)
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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#7

Post: # 15133Unread post maxjohnson
Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:41 am

I’m not that experienced, but I have moderate success. I started my celery seeds two months ago before last frost. They take time to germinate so just be patient and keep the medium moist but not too wet.

People blanch the celery plants weeks before harvest by covering the base of the plant, usually with dirt or wrap them with newspaper. I personally make a trench when planting them.

Celery actually grow very well in fabric grow bags. They are one of the last plant to die from the cold, but can likely survive the winter with a low tunnel.
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Last edited by maxjohnson on Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#8

Post: # 15141Unread post Nan6b
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:36 am

Celery likes it wet? I made a bog in the soggy portion of my yard. I'll try some there. Do you think they would enjoy growing in a pot in the pond, in maybe 2" of water? Or is that too much?
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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#9

Post: # 15147Unread post ddsack
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:13 am

For faster celery, I believe it was Bower who told us how to save the bottom inches of store celery cores, root them in water and they will regrow stalks. Can be replanted outside.
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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#10

Post: # 15152Unread post Clkeiper
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:35 am

Nan6b wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:36 am
Celery likes it wet? I made a bog in the soggy portion of my yard. I'll try some there. Do you think they would enjoy growing in a pot in the pond, in maybe 2" of water? Or is that too much?
they do exceedingly well in my wet spots in the high tunnel. as for in pots in 2" of water.. absolutely no idea. do an experiment and let us know. I would think its too much water but if you followed hydroponic methods maybe...
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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#11

Post: # 15181Unread post Nan6b
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:40 pm

ddsack wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:13 am
For faster celery, I believe it was Bower who told us how to save the bottom inches of store celery cores, root them in water and they will regrow stalks. Can be replanted outside.
That's a great idea! And I have a nubbin of celery in the fridge as we speak.
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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#12

Post: # 15227Unread post Gardadore
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:44 pm

Nan,
Please keep us posted on how your lovage seeds do? I will be interested to hear in what conditions it does best for you.
It has been such a long time since I planted mine and I really don't recall too much about the details. I bought the original pack in the shop at Hampton Court (Henry the VIII's home) in England. Just getting one seed to survive has been exciting enough. I don't even recall how many I tried but I know that the seeds were not viable for long - nothing germinated the next year. I still have the packet more as a souvenir!!
As for staking maybe I should clarify that. I put about 5 stakes around the plant and tie a string around it because if it rains really hard here it knocks the sides down. I like it to stand up so it is easier to access and clip pieces from. Also one caution - it is a much stronger flavor than celery so you don't need as much - experiment with your cooking to see how much suits your dish.
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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#13

Post: # 17289Unread post Nan6b
Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:04 am

Having heard all that you all have said about lovage, I planted a ton of seeds and wrote it off as a lost cause, thinking my seeds wouldn't be fresh.
I GOT LOVAGE! 11 sprouts so far. I just put them in a sprouting tray, covered, watered, no heat.
Nan

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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#14

Post: # 17320Unread post Bower
Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:18 pm

Nan6b wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:40 pm
ddsack wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:13 am
For faster celery, I believe it was Bower who told us how to save the bottom inches of store celery cores, root them in water and they will regrow stalks. Can be replanted outside.
That's a great idea! And I have a nubbin of celery in the fridge as we speak.
Wasn't me, but I've seen it on YouTube. ;)

I just planted celeriac seeds. Assuming the same treatment as celery. Patience... :roll:
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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#15

Post: # 18280Unread post Hatgirl
Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:44 am

Anyone know, when potting on celery seedlings, do I keep the base of the seedling at the top of the soil to prevent rotting, or can I bury the stem deep like a tomato?
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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#16

Post: # 18281Unread post Clkeiper
Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:47 am

Plant to the green/brown line of the plant (or where you can see the difference between the root portion and stem portion of the plant). celery grows its stalks (or actual term) petioles above ground. if you bury it a little bit at the single leaf stage (don't cover the cotyledons) it probably will adapt but as a rule I wouldn't plant it any deeper than its already growing.

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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#17

Post: # 18283Unread post Bower
Sat Apr 25, 2020 7:23 am

I do the same as CarolynK, keep the crown above ground, where the new stalks emerge.

My celeriac is up! :D Too little to transplant yet. I looked around for instructions, and they also say "do not bury the crowns" so I guess the same advice applies to both. :)
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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#18

Post: # 18285Unread post Labradors
Sat Apr 25, 2020 7:31 am

I received Lovage seeds in the Canadian Seed Swap (thanks to whoever sent them in :)). I started them on damp paper towel and they all sprouted very fast!

My lovage story is that I had always wanted a lovage plant, so we went to our friendly local nursery. They didn't have any for sale, but said we'd be welcome to take a large plant from their garden if we waited for them to dig it for us. The thing turned out to be as tall as me, and we were driving a sports car with a dog in the back at the time. It was a tight fit, but we managed to get it in, and I had that plant for years, until we moved.

Linda

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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#19

Post: # 18313Unread post Bower
Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:53 am

Linda, I read somewhere that old lovage plants are found throughout a certain area of Finland, where they continued to thrive for 100 years or more. :shock: It's like planting a tree... 8-)
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Re: How to grow celery & lovage?

#20

Post: # 18355Unread post habitat-gardener
Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:42 pm

I grew red-stem celery one year and, despite several moves of house and gardens since then, still have it. I've let it go to seed, and I find it in my containers. I just planted 4 of them in my new community garden in the past month. I never blanched it, and there didn't seem to be a time when the whole plant was ready to pick, so most of the time I picked small stalks and used them for soup. I've also grown Amsterdam Cutting celery, which I dried, so I have a jar full of celery-leaf dust to use as a seasoning.

In my climate, I found that celery is the ideal slug habitat. The slugs are protected from predators and are free to munch away at the walls of their habitat. It's not a nice surprise to pick some stalks and find all the slug hollows filled with slugs!! I asked someone at the farmers' market how they grow organic celery without slugs, and they said "a lot of picking" (picking off slugs).
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