Celery is a long standing staple in the kitchen, but doesn’t seem to be very popular for home gardens. Why is this? Celery can be kind of choosey with its growing conditions. It takes a long cool weather season making it important to start seeds indoors. If you are willing to start the seeds though, there really isn’t a reason not to add celery to your regular garden plans.
Types of Celery:
Trenching - For the best crisp tasting stems you need to aid the blanching process by mounding the soil against the stems. This type is given the label of trenching because planting the celery in a trench is the easiest method for continuing to mound the soil as the celery grows. This is similar to the process used when growing asparagus.
Self-blanching - These varieties are able to naturally blanch due to the growing habit of their leaves. This results in better tasting stalks because the leaves block out light that would cause darker coloration in the celery stalks. The darker color leads to more of a bitter flavor that is generally less desirable.
Soak seeds overnight in warm water to speed up germination times
Press seeds into the soil, do not cover seeds
Germination can take up to 3 weeks at 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (room temperature)
Keep the soil moist as celery prefers to grow in boggy conditions
Harden off seedlings before transplanting
Harvest individual stocks, or the entire plant
How to use Celery:
Celery is popularly used in soups, casseroles, cocktails, salads, curry, snacks, etc. It is also popular in oriental cooking such as Kombu Celery. For celery ideal in Asian food dishes check out our Kitazawa varieties. In addition to cooking with celery you can greatly benefit from its juice properties. Because it is full of antioxidants and water, it is ideal for lowering inflammatory responses in the body and detoxifying the liver.