Gardening

How to plant celery

Apium graveolens var. sweet

There are several cultivars of celery, also known as celery, which can be classified as traditional cultivars, naturally bleached or self-bleached cultivars, American or green cultivars, and leaf cultivars. Traditional cultivars have whitish, pink or reddish green leaf stems, and usually undergo a bleaching process to acquire a sweeter flavor and a characteristic aroma. Natural bleaching cultivars are suitable for planting with a high density of plants, so that the foliage itself performs the shading and thus the partial bleaching of the leaf stems. These cultivars usually have pale green or yellowish cream stems. American or green cultivars have stems that are consumed without bleaching. Leaf cultivars are more suitable for producing leaves that are used as a condiment, but their stems, which are thinner, can also be used as vegetables. Traditional cultivars are considered to have the best flavor, but require more work from the horticulturist in their cultivation.

Climate

Celery or celery grows best if grown in mild weather, with temperatures between 15 ° C and 21 ° C. Some cultivars withstand light frosts, but low temperatures can induce the plant to flower early.

Brightness

Celery or celery grows best if it has direct sunlight for at least a few hours daily, but tolerates partial shade with high light. In warmer regions, you may get better results if celery is grown to avoid direct sunlight in the hottest hours of the day.

Ground

Cultivate in well-drained, fertile soil, rich in organic matter and rich in nitrogen. The plant is tolerant of soil pH.

Irrigation

Irrigate to keep the soil moist, but not soaked.

Planting

Celery or celery seeds may need a long time to germinate, usually 2 to 3 weeks or more. Leaving the seeds in the water for a day can hasten germination. The seeds should not be covered with much soil, as germination does not occur if there is not enough light. The ideal is to leave the seeds on the moist soil surface or under a thin layer of sieved soil.

Sow the seeds in the final location of the garden or in beds, sowing, modules or other containers and transplant when the plants have 5 or 6 leaves.

The recommended spacing is generally 20 to 25 cm between plants of naturally bleached cultivars, and 35 to 40 cm between plants of other types of cultivars.

Celery or celery can be grown in large pots, at least 30 cm deep.

Cultivation

In cultivars where bleaching or stiolage is performed, this can be done by loosely wrapping each plant in a cylinder of dark, thick paper (or other opaque material), approximately 23 cm high (for plants approximately 30 cm high) , tied with string or elastic, leaving the end of the stems and the leaf limbs exposed.

Another possibility is to pile and tie the leaves loosely with string or elastic, approximately 2/3 of the height of the plant. Soil is then heaped around the plants, leaving only the tip of the stems and the limbs of the leaves exposed.

Bleaching is carried out about two weeks before harvest. Not everyone bleaches traditional cultivars. Some people appreciate the natural flavor of the celery grown in their home gardens.

In natural bleaching cultivars, when the plants reach about 20 cm in height, a thick layer of loose straw can be spread around the plants to aid in bleaching.

Harvest

Celery or celery can be harvested 75 to 150 days after planting, depending on the cultivar and cultivation conditions.

The plant can be harvested whole, cutting it close to the ground with a knife, or the leaves can be cut individually when necessary, except for traditional cultivars that go through bleaching (without bleaching these cultivars have stems with a pungent or bitter taste, which not everyone appreciates).

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