Posts Tagged ‘growing celery’
People avoid growing celery for a variety of reasons. Some people swear off planting celery after a crop failure caused by planting the seed directly in the garden. Other reasons for failure are planting the seed at the wrong time of year, planting the seed too deeply, or not giving the tender plants enough moisture and organic matter. Or, maybe the whole idea of growing celery, with its completely different shape, seemed like an exotic adventure. If you avoid buying celery seed every year, maybe this year it’s time to try something new and grow some crisp, delicious and fragrant celery. It’s easy, if you follow a few rules.
The most important thing to remember when growing celery is the temperature must be just right. Not too hot or too cold. A daytime temperature in the 60’s with nighttime temperatures between 40 and 55 degrees F. is ideal. In most locations, this is early spring soon after the last average frost date. Celery can handle a light frost, but will bolt, or flower, if temperatures remain consistently below 40 degrees F.
Start seed in seeding trays or individual pots eight to ten weeks before the last average frost date for your area. The seed is very tiny and is available in pelleted or coated form which makes finding it much easier. Use a soilless potting medium which is specifically suited for starting seed. It is sterile, has a small amount of fertilizer that is safe for tender young roots and wetting agents to stay moist. It is important to use a sterile mix because it takes celery seed as long as three weeks to germinate. The time lapse gives mildew and fungal diseases, which thrive in unsterilized potting soil, plenty of time to grow and attack young seedlings.