To grow your celery from seed, begin the planting process about 10 – 12 weeks before the last spring frost. To help your celery seeds germinate, soak them overnight and proceed to fill your container with soil.
When doing this, put it at the back of your mind that your seedlings will only attain heights of about 2 inches before being transferred and also, know that celery loves rich soil with a neutral pH of about 5.8 – 6.8. For better results, mix half aged compost with half sand.
Read on for detailed step by step guide on how to grow celery in containers.
How to grow celery in containers
1) Planting the Celery Seeds
Plant the seeds in rows which are spaced about 1 inch apart. Cover the seeds with half inch of sand. Next, add a layer of damp sphagnum moss or burlap which can be left there until the sprouting of the celery.
Locate a bright area and keep your budding celery seeds there but avoid direct sunlight. Celery is known to enjoy daytime temperatures of about 75°F and night-time temperatures of close to 60°F.
Good air circulation is ideal for celery. Also, ensure to keep the soil moist but well-drained. Finally, treat your celery babies to regular misting.
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2) Transplanting your Celery
Transplant your celery seedlings when they reach heights of about 2 inches. Transplant them to individual pots. Once the celery are in their containers, get them used to the outdoors by placing them outside and exposing them to the sun a few hours daily.
Once the plants reach roughly 6 inches tall, have the plants transferred into a garden bed rich in organic matter, leaving about 6 – 8 inches between plants in rows. Spread 2 – 3 feet apart.
Plant them deeply similar to the depth they were planted earlier in the container. Celery loves cool, cloudy climates of about 60 to 70 degrees. They however, despise high heat.
Once transplanted, start off by watering each seedling with compost tea. This is water in which compost has been steeped, making an addition of nutrients and potentially helpful microorganisms to the water. After that, apply a few inches of mulch to the bed.
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3) Fertilizing & Continued Care
To grow celery, you will need at least an inch of water per week. This is because the soil needs to be moist at all times but not waterlogged. Also, ensure to thoroughly weed the beds every week and have your celery treated to compost tea or a balanced 5-10-10 fertilizer every 10 – 14 days.
If night-time temperatures fall below 55°F, cover your crops for a few days. Watch out for caterpillars. They can be picked by hand. If your celery has cracked stems, spray the plants with liquid seaweed extract every 2 weeks.
Your celery should be ready about 125 days after transplanting is done. Two weeks before then, tie the tops of the stalks together and have the soil formed into little mounds at the base.
Cylindrical sleeves will also be required and these cylindrical sleeves are to be put around the tied stalks so as to prevent getting the leaves and stalks wet before harvesting, which can result into rot.
When watering, ensure to water the soil between the plants and have the boards positioned in a way that they block out the sun. When harvesting your celery, cut just below the soil line.
This article explains all you need to know about growing celery in containers. Ensure to follow the necessary steps and you will have your celery successfully grown. Also, if you want to grow celery commercially, read this guide to growing celery commercially.