In warm spring and summer regions, the ideal time to plant your celery is mid-late summer for harvest in late autumn or early winter. Celery is a cool-weather crop and is also considered a hardy biennial but grown as an annual.
Growing celery is not difficult but to grow celery, it is required that you start the seeds indoors after which you transplant the seedlings. This doesn’t mean you can’t start growing your celery from transplants but transplants are not that easy to get and do not succeed most times.
To grow celery, you have to go through the following processes:
1) Soil Preparation
To grow celery, get a site that receives full sunlight. Also, celery requires compost tend inches soil. Thus, loosen the soil to a depth of 12 – 15 inches using a garden fork or tiller.
Mix about 2 – 4 inches of aged manure and/or compost into the soil. You can Aldo work in some 5-10-10 fertilizer. A pH of between 5.8 and 6.8 is ideal for celery. Therefore, before growing your celery, ensure to get a soil test to confirm and be sure that you are on the right path.
Also, ensure that the soil is moisture retentive and doesn’t drain too quickly. Wild celery is known to grow in boggy ground. Thus, ensure consistent moisture for your celery alongside a sunny spot for healthy growth and development.
Also: learn how to grow celery from seeds here
2) Start Seeds Indoors
As a result of a long growing season, start your celery seeds indoors. For a spring crop, the seeds should be started 10 – 12 weeks before the first autumn frost date. The seeds however are tiny so it’s expected that you sow them with care and with a keen eye.
Before planting, soak your seeds in warm water overnight. This helps to speed germination. After that, fill your containers with a good-quality seed starting mix and then gently firm it level.
Afterward, press soaked seeds into seed-starting soil; for good germination, avoid covering with soil. Cover starter trays/containers/pots with plastic wrap so as to retain moisture.
Germination occurs in about 1 – 3 weeks. Once the seedlings appear, place a fluorescent grow light 3 inches above them for 16 hours per day and maintain an ambient temperature of 70°F – 75°F during the day and 60°F – 65°F at night. Harden off the seedlings before transplanting them. This is done by reducing water slightly and putting them outdoors for a couple of hours daily.
3) Transplants in the Ground
Plant celery outdoors when the soil temperature has attained nothing less than 50°F. For night-time temperatures, they don’t dip down below 40°F. Two weeks to planting, Start acclimatizing your celery.
Leave the plants outside for progressively longer every day, taking care to bring them back under cover if frost threatens. Apply organic compost to the soil prior to planting. You can as well, mix in fertilizer and water thoroughly.
For details about transplanting plants, check our step by step guide on how to transplant plants here
Celery needs a lot of water so ensure to always provide enough water during the entire growing season, most especially during hot, dry weather as inadequate water will make the stalks dry and small. Also, add a lot of compost and mulch around the plants to retain moisture. Also, learn how celery is grown from stump here.
- Celery and Celeriac: A Critical View on Present and Future Breeding, retrieved from here
- Propagation of celery (Apium graveolens, L. var.Dulce), retrieved from here
- Yield, Growth, Quality, Biochemical Characteristics and Elemental Composition of Plant Parts of Celery Leafy, Stalk and Root Types Grown in the Northern Hemisphere, retrieved from here