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So You Think You Can Not Grow Celery

 
 

Celery is one of those vegetables that many gardeners seem to ignore.  One reason is that the cost of celery in the store is very reasonable and in doing so does not warrant a space in the garden.  But, on the other hand, celery is one that is treated highly with pesticides.  One way of avoiding this is to buy organic celery but another way I would suggest is to grow your own.

Growing celery in the home garden is not as hard as it may seem.  Celery seed is one of those seeds that typically have a low germination rate.  So plant more then what you think you will need.  Also, depending on where you live, the seeds will need to be started indoors.  In areas that have hot summers and mild winters, celery will need to be started indoors during the late summer and planted in the garden during the fall.  Any other area will require the seeds to be started indoors 10 to 12 weeks prior to ones local frost-free date.

Once the seeds have germinated, place them in a sunny location and keep them moist.  After the seeds have developed 5 leaves and the nighttime temperatures are remaining around 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, move the plants outside so that they can harden off.

Next, the garden space will need to be prepared.  Celery needs a lot of water and as a matter of fact can tolerate being in water logged soil.  To create this water logging environment, dig a trench in between what will be the rows for the celery.  These trenches can then be flooded with the additional water.

To harvest celery and encourage additional growth, cut off the whole stalk about ½- inch from the top of the soil.  This will allow the celery to grow back.

If you do not harvest all your celery, do not worry.  This plant is considered a biennial and will reappear the following year.  But instead of the plant spending a lot of energy in vegetative growth, it will concentrate on flower and/or seed production.  At this point, one can either let the plant go and the seeds fall, which will allow for reseeding in mild areas of the country or you can save the seeds.

To harvest the seeds, simply cut the flower stalks after the flowers have spent and place in a paper bag.  Hang the bag up in a warm room and check often by shaking the bag.  If the contents inside the bag rattle, the seeds have dried and are ready to eat.



 
 








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Gardening-tip:

Growing Caladium

Caladiums grow from tubers sold in the spring.

You can buy the tubers and plant your own, but buying a full-grown plant is the easiest way to know what color the leaves will be.

Give your Caladiums high humidity or the leaf margins may turn brown.


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