UK – Royal Horticultural Society said “Wild celery plant from which cultivated varieties are selected is found on boggy riversides and marshy ground, giving a clue to the growing conditions it needs. Soil should be moisture retentive and never dry out.”
Celery is perhaps the most difficult vegetable to grow in most USDA Zones. Prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade.
Celery needs a rich soil, high in organic matter with pH 6.0 to 7.0 and consistent, plentiful supply of moisture. Can tolerate soils that are less than well drained.
Seeds need to be started indoors and are difficult to germinate. Cold weather after transplanting can cause bolting. Needs plentiful moisture and long season, but doesn’t tolerate heat well. Celery can tolerate light frost but will be damaged by a moderate frost.
Do not plant celery seed until your potting soil has reached 70%F. Your seed will germinate in 14 to 21 days. Hint Fertilize with a N-P-K of something like 10-5-5 fertilizer. Do Not allow your soil to dry out.
Celery seeds need light to germinate, so don’t cover seed deeply. Keep soil moist and warm (about 70 F to 75 F) until seeds germinate. After germination, grow indoors in a cool location (about 60%F to 70%F).
Plant Celery transplants 6 to 12 inches apart, rows 18 to 24 inches apart, about 1 or 2 weeks before average last frost.
For a milder flavor, blanch by wrapping stalks two weeks before harvest with paper, cardboard tube, PVC pipe or other material to exclude sun light.
Here are a few varieties for your consideration.
Days to Maturity: 72 – 85
Cutting celery. Resembles parsley in growth and use. Cut younger leaves as needed. Older leaves may be too strong. Withstands heat and drought and is cold tolerant. Fussy to germinate – start indoors.
Days to Maturity: 80 – 100
Open-pollinated, Utah type with upright growth and well developed hearts. Performs well under heat and moisture stress.
Days to Maturity: 80
Early variety produces full, upright heads. Performs well under heat and moisture stress and in soils of average fertility.
Days to Maturity: 100
Bolt-resistant plants produce strong, upright, lightly ribbed apple green stalks fading to white at the base.
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