How to Grow Celery and Regrow the Stump at Home
One main reason why people love to learn how to grow celery because own grown celery tastes much tastier than celery that you buy at the supermarket. Also, the celery you buy at the supermarket usually comes with pesticides, and you can avoid that by growing your celery garden.
Facts on Celery
Celery’s scientific name is Apium Graveolens, and it belongs both to vegetables and herb plants. So, celery is in the same family as other herbs such as parsley, coriander, and celeriac. You can use celery in soups, salads, stews, and also stir-fries.
This vegetable needs up to 17 weeks before you can harvest. If you live in cool summer and spring area, you can start planting celery in early spring. In the warm summer and spring area, you can begin planting celery in the middle of summer so you can harvest your celery in late autumn or early winter.
Apart from tasting delicious, celery is high in folate, potassium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K.
Type of Celery in the Market
Trenching celery – This type of celery is usually planted into around five to six-inch deep trenches, and soil makes sure to cover the stems to result In pale and crispy stems. Some farmers are using pipes or cylinder cardboards to save time and energy.
Self-blanching celery – Research and development on the genetic of celery plants have resulted in self-blanching celery. In contrast, you can grow celery with pale stems without needing to cover the stem with soil. It is easier to grow this celery variety than trenching celery.
How to Grow Celery – Planting Bed Preparation
- Celery needs five to seven hours of sunlight daily, so make sure to choose an area that receives maximum sunlight.
- Till the soil up to 15 inches to loosen the soil, clear the area from any rocks, weeds, or branches. Then mix the soil with some compost and aged manure. The soil should not be waterlogged as celery’s roots will rot due to the water.
- Celery is considered thirsty vegetables, and it is best to have soil that will retain moisture for a long time.
- You should check your soil’s pH as celery will grow best in soil with a pH around 5.8 to 6.9.
How to Grow Celery – Sowing Seeds
- Celery takes three to four months to mature, and it is recommended to start germinating celery seeds indoors.
- When dealing with celery seeds, you have very carefully and focus as the seeds are tiny.
- Get your seeding tray or pots and fill them in with high-quality seeding peat.
- To boost the germination process, you can soak seeds in warm water for one night.
- Drain the soaked seeds and take a cotton bud. Pat the cotton bud onto the seeds and let some seeds stick to the cotton bud. Tap the cotton bud so that seeds will fall at the ideal space of one inch apart for each other.
- Don’t cover the seeds with soil, and pat the seeds lightly to stay firm on the ground.
- It is best to cover the seeding tray with plastic or cardboard to maintain moisture in the soil. Celery seeds germination will occur in about one to three weeks.
- Regularly check the tray for any germination. If any of the seedlings start to come out, remove the plastic wrap or cardboard.
- Make sure to wet the soil by spraying lightly daily.
- When the seedlings reach one or two inches, place the tray outdoor for two or three hours daily for two weeks, so they familiarize themselves with the outdoor condition.
- Then, it is time to transfer them into the soil at a distance of two inches from each other.
How to Grow Celery – Transplanting Seedlings
- Cold temperature occurring after transplanting may cause the seedling to start bolting.
- What is plant bolting? It is a natural condition for a plant that happens when the temperature shifted from cold to warm. The plant will start making seeds to reproduce and redirect all the nutrients for that process. Thus it will retard the development of roots and leaves.
- Bolting will halt the seedling’s development, and they will not grow as they should be.
- Please make sure to check the soil temperature before transplanting. Soil temperature should be at least 50F, and at night, the weather should not be lower than 40F.
- Make a one-inch deep hole two inches apart to transplant the seedlings. Handle the seedlings with care and put them in the hole one by one.
How to Grow Celery – Plant Care
- Celery is a very thirsty plant, and you need to water them adequately, especially during the hot summer season. Water is essential to growing the stem; if the celery does not get enough water, it will be skinny. The celery stem should be thick and crispy.
- Make sure to add mulch and some compost around the celery plants to prevent weeds and retain moisture in the soil. Another alternative is to apply used coffee ground rich in nitrogen for plant growth and is pH neutral.
- If you need to weed, do it extra carefully as celery’s roots are shallow and packed on the soil’s surface.
- Celery stems tend to sprawl when they reach a height of one or two feet. Tie the stems together to keep them in place.
- If you plant the trenching celery variety, you can start covering the stems with soil after the branch reaches about 1 foot. Do it regularly along the growth season to make sure the stems are always covered with soil.
How to Grow Celery – Harvest
- You can start harvesting celery stems when they reach about eight to nine inches tall.
- Young celery is as tasty as matured celery so that you can take the celery stems whenever you need them for your soup or salad.
- Celery can be harvested as a whole plant, or you can cut one stem each time you need it. The second method will help the celery to grow further and keep producing over time. So you will always have celery ready in your garden whenever you need some.
- Cut the outer stems one by one during harvesting.
- You can keep the celery for almost a month in your garden if you cover the plant with soil so that it can maintain a warm temperature.
- Celery can withstand light frost but not the continuous temperature drop. Celery contains a high water percentage; thus, the cold temperature will result in the water in celery freezing and expand. Then the celery’s stems will break and wither.
- To keep celery fresh in the refrigerator for at least three weeks, you can use a plastic bag to store celery and put it in the vegetable section.
How to Grow Celery – Best Celery Varieties
1. Tall Utah
Tall Utah is the most popular celery variety for United States farmers. It takes around 95 to 100 days for this celery to reach maturity and can be harvested. The stems grow up to 11 inches, and the overall height for this celery variety can go up to 24 inches. The branch is dark green and compact, perfect for people with limited space in the garden
Pascal celery is the perfect variety for gardeners who live in USDA, zones 2 to 10. This variety will thrive in cool climates, unlike other celery varieties. It will take at least 130 days for the stems to mature. Pascal celery’s ideal temperature is below 75 F and between 45 and 60 F during nighttime. The cold weather will boost its growth and make the stems thicker.
Alfina celery requires only 50 to 60 days for it to be harvested and perfect for the container. It can grow up more than 20 inches in a short time compared to other celery varieties. This variety does not have a thick stalk but more towards a leafy type of celery. The Alfina celery leaves have a strong flavor and aroma than the regular celery variety. It looks like parsley, but it tastes like celery, and usually, the leaves are dried for extended storage. Alfina celery is commonly used in stews and soup for a refreshing flavor.
4. Tango Hybrid
This celery variety is one of the favorites among kids due to its sweet and very crunchy stalks. Slab some peanut butter on the stalks, and you have the most straightforward and healthy snack for your kids. Tango hybrid celery can grow up to 18 inches in only 85 to 90 days after sowing the seeds. This variety is recommended because it can withstand fluctuated temperatures but not extreme frost.
How to Grow Celery – Common Disease
1. Brown Stem and Circular Spot on Leaf
Bacterial blight, known as Pseudomonas Cichorium, is the cause of brown spots on celery stalks and circular spots on leaf blades. This bacteria will result in leaf blades rot, and there is nothing much you can do to save the celery plant. It is best to pull it out and burn it somewhere else. Please do not throw them in your compost because the bacteria can spread.
The best prevention is to ensure the distance between celery plants should be at least 12 inches apart so the infections cannot spread to other celery plants.
2. Soft Rot at The Plant Base
Soft rot disease will turn your celery plant’s base into mushy, slimy, and smell rotten. The bacteria causing this disease are P. marginalis, E. chrysanthemum, and Erwinia carotovora. This disease will also attack the roots causing the plant water absorption function disrupted.
Regularly check the celery plants’ base and if you detect soft rot disease infection, pull out the plant throw it away. Always make sure to use clean water, and the soil is not waterlogged.
3. Mosaic Virus
Aphids are the main spreader of the mosaic virus. The main indication of mosaic virus infections is the curl leaves. The leaf color becomes light green, and you can see the leaf size is smaller compared to healthy leaves.
Aside from using the pesticide, plant cover might be an excellent alternative to manage aphids. If you detect any mosaic virus infections, pull out the infected plants to not spread to other plants.
4. Fusarium Fungus Disease
Fusarium fungus will cause the leave, and the stalks become yellow and brown. Ultimately the leaves will die and fall off. Tango hybrid celery variety is one of the types that are resistant to Fusarium fungus disease.
How to Grow Celery – Common Pests
Aphids are the host for the mosaic virus that causes celery to die. An organic way to control aphids is by introducing ladybugs in your garden. Ladybugs love to eat aphids, but ladybugs will not damage your celery.
In any garden of any size, aphids have been the major problem for gardeners to control. Aphids can cause significant damage to the crop; thus, preventing and controlling them must be done at a very early stage.
Thrips are insects that have long white bodies and also wings. They love to drink the plant fluid, which puts celery on top of the list. Celery’s stalk contains a high amount of water, thus making the thrips attack celery.
To check any thrips attack on your plant, check for black dots on the leaves. The black dots are the thrips poop which indicates they are here. Neem oil is recommended to be used to control thrips.
3. Celery Leaftier and European Corn Borer
These two moth types will attack the celery leaves and stems. The moth’s size is about three-quarters of an inch, but they are heavy eater that can make big holes on celery leaves and stem.
If you see any of them in caterpillar form, you can use the pyrethrum to eliminate them effectively.
How to Regrow Celery from the Stump
- Cut the celery 2 inches from the base.
- Fill in a jar with clean water with a depth of around 1 inch.
- Place the celery stump in the jar.
- After four to five days, you can see the baby leaves appear on top of the stump, and roots will start to grow at the bottom.
- Transfer the stump to the soil. The stump will begin to rot if you leave it in the water for too long.