Homegrown celery is more flavorful than typical store-bought types. This cool-weather crop requires 16 weeks of cool weather to come to harvest. Here’s our advice on sowing, growing, and harvesting celery.
Celery is a hardy biennial grown as an annual which is mainly grown for its edible 12- to 18-inch stalks.
Unfortunately, commercial celery is one of the most pesticide-laden crops available. So, not only is garden celery better-tasting, but also it’s less chemically-laden.
In cool spring and summer regions, plant celery in early spring. In warm spring and summer regions, plant celery in mid to late summer for harvest in late autumn or early winter.
Though this edible stalk has the reputation of being fussy, it’s really quite easy if you understand its specific needs:
- A long-growing season (130 to 140 days). Celery requires about 125 days of a long, relatively cool growing season.
- A cool, cloudy season where growing temperatures range between 60°F and 70°F. Celery can’t tolerate high heat.
- A constant, unfailing water supply. The soil must stay watered at all times. If celery has a spell without water, it will be problematic (stringy, tough, and/or hollow stalks).
- Rich, fertile soil with plenty of organic matter mixed in. Celery is a heavy feeder and needs to be fertilized during its growth period, too. Because celery roots are shallow (just a few inches deep), make sure nutrients are in the top of the soil.
Transplants are hard to find, so be prepared to start plants from seed.