When I was researching what to grow this year, I invariably came across celery being described as everything from difficult to grow to the devil’s food. That was enough to make me want to do give it a go.
We decided on ‘Full White’ self-blanching celery from the Real Seed Company. We planted them in seed trays, transferring them individually to 10cm pots until the roots were well established and peeping out the bottom and then finally planting them out in their raised bed – the photograph above is shortly after planting them out into a block of 30 plants.
The two biggest threats to celery are lack of water and slugs. We kept them fairly well-watered and benefited from regular rainfall, but planting them in a block seems to be the best help as the leaves shade the earth and minimise weeds. And as for slugs – we just ignored them. Yep, they were there, but their actual damage was minimal.
Celery is key to a good vegetable stock, another benefit to our kitchen garden – no need to use those artificial stock cubes. We have also added it to salads and as part of bean stews. The flavour out of the ground is really spicy.
One thing is for sure though: two people don’t need 30 heads of celery! In fact, RB keeps harvesting them and we end up composting 90% of each head as it remains unused, even though in a little water they last a week.
Now that we have conquered growing celery, we may have a debate on our hands about how much we grow again next year, if any.