Celery is a cool season crop. It grows best in well-worked soil that is enriched with organic matter. If you are planting your celery on a piece of land that has not been planted with celery before, you should till the area in the fall and again in the spring before planting.
- Manure should be worked into the soil. If you do not have manure, you can use a complete fertilizer, such as 4-8-4 or 4-12-4. Fertilizer should be distributed at a rate of one pound per 50 square feet. Rake the fertilizer into the soil prior to setting out your celery plants.
- Celery seeds should be started indoors about ten weeks before the last expected frost of spring in your growing region. Most seed packets contain about 500 seeds. This will generally produce a celery row of 100 feet.
*You should know that many people prefer to purchase celery plants because growing celery from seeds can be a challenge - unless you have a greenhouse.
- The seedlings you have grown indoors, or the celery plants you have purchased, can be transplanted into your garden when you are certain that any frost dangers have passed. If you are growing your own celery from seed, you should only transplant the most vigorous seedlings.
- Plant your celery about 10-12 inches apart in rows that are spaced about two feet apart.
- Once you have your transplants in the ground, you should use a sprinkler to irrigate the soil. Keep the celery bed moist, especially during the first three growing weeks. Celery grows best when it is given at least an inch of water each week.
- You can cultivate the soil in your celery bed, but you should not disturb the soil below one inch. The root system of celery is very shallow and fibrous.
- Prior to blanching, you can add a quick-acting nitrogenous fertilizer to the celery beds. Use one pound per 100 feet of row.
- An easy method for blanching your celery is to hill them up by pushing the soil toward them. You want to keep the hills even with the plant's center and you do not want the soil to reach the center. Continue to hill up the soil every eight days until your plants are between 12-18 inches tall.
- To harvest, cut off the stalks about two inches below the ground. Trim off any leaves and store in a cool place.