Growing root celery

growing root celery Blog

Celery native to the Mediterranean, this spicy plant is grown for its greens, roots and petioles. Cultivation for greens is within the power of even a novice gardener, but growing petiole and root celery will require some effort. Of course, it is easier to buy a ready-made root crop in a store, but it cannot be compared with root crops from your own garden. This is due to the fact that when buying vegetables, no one can guarantee that the plants did not receive increased doses of chemicals and fertilizers. Therefore, we will tell you in more detail how to grow root celery yourself.

root celery cultivation and care

Root celery, cultivation and care

Celery has a long growing season, in late varieties it is about 200 days. For growing celery in open ground in an unfavorable climate, with a shortage of sun and heat, it is better to use the seedling method.

Varieties of celery root

VarietyCharacteristics
“Prague Giant”An early maturing variety that takes 120 days to form decent ripe tubers. Root crops are quite large, delicate structure. The pulp is light, aromatic, with high taste characteristics.
“Cascade”Mid-season variety, needs a five-month growing season. The root crops are medium, the shape is round, the pulp is white, dense.

Gribovsky
Popular mid-season variety. Technical maturity occurs after 120 days, consumer – after 150. Average weight. The color of the pulp is yellowish with yellow spots. The flavors are wonderful.
“Diamond”Mid-season variety, requiring 150-160 days for full ripening of root crops. Large-rooted, with snow-white pulp.
“Apple”The most early-ripening variety, which, under favorable conditions, can ripen in 3.5 months. Rounded small root crops are rich in sugars and have a sweetish taste and delicate aroma. Has high keeping quality.
“Strongman”Late variety. Ripens in 170-180 days. Very large root crops (up to 400 g, while the average weight of a commercial celery root crop is 200 g). The pulp has a yellow tint. Contains a large amount of mineral salts.
“Giant”This variety, although it requires a long ripening period (190-200 days), is distinguished by the largest root crops. The weight of some of them, with good care and favorable weather conditions, is 700 g.
“Maksim”The longest maturing variety. Ripens in 200 days. Forms many lateral roots. It has fruit sizes up to half a kilogram. The flesh is creamy, aromatic and slightly sweet. Keeps well until spring.

Sowing seeds

Unlike other crops, celery seedlings do not outgrow, but if the sowing is late, the yield will decrease significantly. Let’s talk in detail about celery root cultivation from seeds.

Seeds have a characteristic smell, which is due to the large amount of essential oils. These oils slow down the germination of seeds, so the seeds are pre-soaked in warm water for a day, changing it every 4 hours. Coated seeds do not need to be soaked, preparation is only necessary for untreated seeds.

Growing root celery

The container for planting is 2/3 filled with prepared soil mixture, which is compacted and watered. Then the seeds are planted in rows, according to the 2×2 scheme, given that a double pick will be required in the future. Then the containers are covered with a film or glass on top and placed in a warm place. As a rule, soaked seeds germinate after 9 days, for dry ones it will take 2 times longer.

Seedling and care

In the first month after planting, seedlings require maximum attention, the temperature should not drop below +19 … +20 degrees. Do not over-moisten the soil, otherwise the plants may die from the black leg. After germination, they need illumination, in February 6-8 hours, in March 4 hours, in equal shares in the morning and evening.

The first pick is carried out after the appearance of the first 2 leaves, the second in a month. A week before picking, all weak and diseased plants are cut with scissors. When it is carried out, the length of the root decreases each time by about 1/3, and the diameter of the pots increases by 1-2 cm.

Growing root celery
It is convenient to sow seeds in separate containers

By April, the seedlings should be strong and developed, planted in pots with a diameter of 10 cm. It should be hardened, taking it out to the balcony every day, gradually increasing the time spent in the air.

Landing in the ground

Let us dwell in more detail on how to properly grow root celery after planting in the ground. In late May-early June, seedlings are planted in prepared soil. It should be prepared in the fall, including fertilization. You can also dig up the soil in the spring, no later than 2 weeks before planting, introducing humus and complex mineral fertilizer. Plants are planted in moist soil at a distance of 20-30 cm from each other and between rows, transferring together with an earthen clod. It is strictly forbidden to deepen the seedlings into the soil; after planting, re-watering is carried out.

growing celery root in open ground

Evidence of the rooting of seedlings is the violent growth of young leaves. In order for the root crops to be large, lateral roots are cut during this period. To do this, the soil is raked and the roots close to the surface of the earth are cut with a knife to a depth of 5 cm. Pruning is recommended to be done twice, otherwise the roots will grow “bearded”. Celery leaves are not removed, with the exception of the lower ones. If this is not done, the roots will grow flat.

Correct weeding

Weeding celery must be carried out the entire period after planting until harvest. To facilitate weeding, you can use a special tool, it is best to carry it out after rain or watering.

Soil loosening

Not all gardeners consider loosening a mandatory procedure, believing that it does not affect the yield. In fact, the roots also need oxygen, and air penetrates very poorly into dense soil. After each watering or rain, the top layer is also compacted, water is retained without penetrating inside. To prevent this from happening, the soil should be regularly loosened, starting from a depth of 5 cm, gradually doubling it.

Mulching

The procedure is not mandatory, but desirable, greatly simplifies care and prevents the rapid growth of weeds. As a mulch, a layer of sawdust, tree bark or wood chips is used. Young seedlings are not mulched; mulch covers the soil of mature plants with developed roots.

celery root care
Mulching celery root

fertilizers

Celery, like other plants, needs top dressing, their composition depends on the growth phase. Let’s name the general rules for top dressing.

1. Organic fertilizers, especially unripened manure, are applied in autumn for digging.

2. It is forbidden to feed sick, pest-affected plants. It is impossible to carry out top dressing immediately after transplantation.

3. Fertilizers in granular form are applied before watering, in liquid form after it.

4. For the formation of green mass, plants need nitrogen, and with the beginning of the formation of tubers, potassium. The introduction of phosphorus significantly increases the yield.

fertilizer for celery root
Fertilizer for root celery

Collection and storage of root crops

By late autumn, the tubers accumulate the maximum amount of nutrients, gaining a significant mass. Celery is cold-resistant, some varieties can withstand temperatures down to -3 degrees. Therefore, you should not rush to harvest celery , the tubers can be in the ground until the 1st half of October.

harvesting celery root
Harvest horse celery

Cleaning technology:

– tubers are cleaned from the ground, roots are removed;
– leaves together with the upper part of the tuber are cut off;
– if the weather is dry, the root crops are laid out on the beds to dry;
– plants are stored in the basement or cellar.

Tips on how to properly grow celery root in the country are not as complicated as it seemed at first glance. Try to grow this vegetable on your site in the upcoming summer season and you will not regret it.

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