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Plant description:

You don’t need a large garden to grow celery but you must have enthusiasm and a taste for this delicious vegetable before committing yourself. There are two kinds, the self-blanching type that is picked green, and one that needs to be earthed up to blanch the stalks. A cool-season crop, Celery needs cool, moist conditions to mature well.

Family: Apiaceae

Synonym:  Apium dulce

Botanical Pronunciation: AY-pee-um

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Botanical name

Apium graveolens

Plant Care

Size

Categories

Common name(s)

Celery

Planting instructions

Sow fresh seeds thinly into seed boxes or trays and cover with 5mm of soil.Shade temporarily with newspaper to obtain uniform germination and gradually harden off by exposing plants to the sun for longer periods every day.When three true leaves have developed, prick out the seedlings and plant out into rows 300mm apart.

Maintenance

Draw a little soil up round the base.Water and feed regularly to ensure fast growth, otherwise the stalks will be stringy.

Soil conditions

There are two kinds, the self-blanching type that is picked green, and one that needs to be earthed up to blanch the stalks. A cool-season crop, celery needs cool, moist conditions to mature well.

Uses

Celery can be eaten fresh and the seed can be used for tea. Celery is an excellent addition to soups, stews and sauces.
Celery is an excellent compost maker. It helps to quickly break down the compost.
Medicinal – Celery is a detoxifier, a cleanser, an antiseptic, a diuretic, anti- spasmodic and a sedative. Celery eaten fresh will ease gout, arthritis and rheumatism, lower high blood pressure, it will dispose of the urates that cause the stiffness and pain associated with arthritis and reduces acidity in the body.

Interesting planting ideas

To produce white or pale green stalks (blanching), wrap strong brown paper round the plants and tie loosely.
Plant rows of celery near marigolds, beans, broccoli, cabbages, calendulas, kohlrabi, land cress, leeks, pansies, parsley, spring onions, tomatoes and violas, nothing will get eaten, wilted or burned.

Interesting info

This is a very well-known and popular herb, although it is usually thought of as a vegetable. The whole plant, from the leaves to the root, can be eaten, and it can be used in salads and hot dishes.

Common pests and diseases

Aphids, leaf miner and cutworm. Leaf spot and heart rot during humid and cloudy weather. (Heart rot causes the centre of the plant to become slimy.)

Harvest

With green celery, pick outer stems with sideways tug to break them off at ground level.Blanched celery must be lifted with the roots.

Yield

Six plants will be enough to supply greens and stalks for a family of four.

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