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Sow under glass
Plant outside
Showing schedule for Southern England in United Kingdom

Soil facts and preparation

Quick facts..

  • Soil Type Fertile
  • Ideal Ph range 6.0 to 7.0
  • Site Full Sun
Very fertile soil with plenty of organic matter is required for growing celery. Your site can be in full sun or partial shade and doesn't have to be particularly well drained (celery's ancestors were wetland plants).

Dig in lots of well rotted manure or fresh compost a few weeks before planting. Remove as many stones from the soil as possible - use a soil sieve if the soil has a lot of stones. Apply a general purpose fertilizer to the soil surface a week or so before planting.

Sowing and planting

Quick facts..

  • Germination 14 to 21 days
  • Sow 0mm deep
  • Sow Spacing 10mm
  • Rows 400mm apart
Sow seeds inside or in a heated green house in cells or seed trays filled with fresh compost. Celery seed is very small so take a small pinch of seed and sprinkle thinly over the soil. It is best to water the soil before placing seed so that the seed is not swamped and displaced. Cover the sown seed with a dusting of fine compost or vermiculite, the seeds need light to germinate so do not cover too deeply.

After germination thin seedlings to one per pot or cell, make sure seedlings in seed trays are not overcrowded. Transplant seedlings to 7.5cm pots when the first true leaves have developed and keep in a cool location. Young plants will tolerate light frosts but are prone to bolting if subjected to a prolonged spell of temperatures just above freezing. Harden plants when they are 10cm tall by reducing watering before planting out 2 weeks before last frost date. Plant 30cm apart in a grid rather than long rows.

Growing a bumper crop

Celery plants have a shallow root system so keep a constant moisture level in the soil by watering regularly. Periods of drought will make the celery stalks woody and bitter. Keep the area around the plants weed free, mulching will help suppress weeds and preserve moisture in the soil. Give plants an extra boost by feeding with a liquid fertilizer.

Harvesting the fruits of your labour

Quick facts..

  • Yield 450g per plant
Gently lift celery with a small garden fork when required up until the first frosts in your area. Take care not to disturb neighbouring plants when harvesting.

Optionally blanch the stalks by covering with a cardboard or paper 2 weeks before harvesting. Blanching produces a milder flavour

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