Celery is a popular vegetable but it takes a great deal of effort and attention from gardeners to grow them. Celery demands a lot in growing and maturing. It requires rich soil, even moisture, and regular attention.
Planting celery is started indoors around 4 weeks before the frost ends. They are spread into small containers or pots and thinned to two or three sprouts in each container or pot after growing enough. The seeds are allowed to be hardened before they are to be transplanted outdoors. They are only transplanted outdoors when the frost is over and it can get around 6 hours of sun every day.
Outdoors, celery plants are planted a foot apart and rows of them are spaced at least 2 feet apart. In maintaining celery plants, they are heavy feeders. The soil should be kept moist so they should be watered regularly. They should also be fertilized regularly to continue their growth. Pests should be prevented and moisture should always be retained. To avoid water and nutrients competition, the weeds around them should always be removed. A lot of work, isn't it? But the diligence that it takes when growing celery will be rewarded to the gardener come harvest time.
Harvesting Celery Plants
A couple of weeks before
the celery plants are harvested, blanching methods should be carried out to
keep them from too much of the sun's heat and to make them turn
greener. Methods of blanching celery include mounding soil around the plants so that it is the same height as the stalks; wrapping the plants in newspapers; or totally shading the plants by use of wooden boards.
The quality and taste of celery harvested right from the gardener's soil surpasses those that are sold. They are way much better. All the diligence spent in growing the celery plants is worth it.
Once you have harvested your celery, odds are that there will be a large surplus that no amount of eating salads or dips will get through. Although Celery will last for upto two weeks in the fridge, you will need to store your celery in order to keep them fresh for longer term use. When you are harvesting it is best to handle the celery marked for storage in a different way to that which you intend to eat straight away. Make sure that the plants you pick for storage are disease free healthy specimens, as diseases can spread quickly in a confined storage space and may destroy all of your stock.
Ideally you should pick the celery plants towards the end of the growing season with their roots still attached. The celery can then be planted upright into pots with their roots planted into sand. They should then be covered by a frame and stored in a cold humid room with a temperature of around 32 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit. During storage it is important to keep the roots moist, so you will need to water them; however do not water the body of the plants as this could lead to rotting and disease.