Recently harvested celery.
image by Apium/Flickr.com
Celery is a member of the Apiaceae family. Celery is easily planted in both at-home vegetable gardens and commercial gardens. The stalk portion of the celery is the part that is eaten, and the celery leaves are usually removed. Celery can be grown in a container, or directly in the ground.
Add organic compost to the area you are planning to plant your celery seeds two to three weeks before planting celery seeds. If you are using a container, add a third compost to two-thirds soil. If you are planting your seeds directly in the ground, dig a patch of the lawn or garden where you will be planting and remove about a third of the soil. Add a third compost and stir with your trowel until thoroughly mixed.
Plant celery seeds in small containers in the spring, once the temperatures outside have reached above 55 degrees F. You can purchase celery seeds at your local nursery or garden supply store. Place a little of the soil combination in each container, then place five seeds in each container, about half an inch deep. Keep seeds inside near a window and keep temperatures at about 70 degrees F.
Weed out the smaller plants that are not growing as well as the stronger plants. The strongest plants should remain in the small containers and can be moved outside after four to five weeks. Gently remove the entire plant with your hands, including the soil in each small container. Plant the entire root structure underground, leaving the rest of the plant exposed above the soil. Space each celery plant about 8 inches apart.
Water frequently. Celery stalks contain mostly water and will get a great crunch depending on how well they are watered. Water generously whenever the soil feels dry.
Harvest celery stalks by cutting them right at the soil line with a sharp knife. The stalks should still be intact when they are removed, but the roots should still remain in the ground. Celery stalks are mature and ready to be harvested when they reach between 10 and 12 inches in size.