Growing and Saving the Seed Of Celery and Celeriac


Celery (Apium graveolens) and celeriac (Apium graveolens var. rapaceum) originated in the Mediterranean. Celery was selected for its succulent stalks, while celeriac was selected for its large, sweet root. Both are related to carrots and parsnips.


 

HISTORY

Woven garlands of celery were found in Egyptian tombs. During the Classical Period of ancient Greece, celery was considered a holy plant. Celery stalks were used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine to treat colds and flu. Celeriac is a European favorite, especially among the French.

USES

  • Many culinary uses

 

 


 

  • Celery and celeriac are long-season crops, and they must be sown in the late winter/early spring and harvested in the fall.
  • Start seeds indoors 8-12 weeks before the last frost.
  •  Surface sow, pressing the seeds lightly into the soil.
  • Seeds germinate in 15-20 days.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 70-75 F.

     

  • Celery likes moisture from sprout to harvest. Keeping consistent moisture throughout the growing cycle will aid in achieving upright, large stalks.

     

     

     

    .


 

  • Celery and celeriac like rich, moist soil and full sun.

     

  • Before planting celery, it is highly recommended to add plenty of well-composted manure to the bed. Some growers will dig a trench in celery rows to retain moisture during times of drought.

  •  Plant celery 2 feet apart. Celeriac can be planted closer together, about 8-12 inches apart. For good root growth, keep celeriac moist and plant in a rich bed heavy with organic matter. In zones 7 and higher, celeriac can be planted in summer for a winter and spring harvest. 

  • Celeriac can handle extreme temperatures a little better and can survive some mild frosts.
  • When celery stalks begin to splay, tie them loosely together to keep upright and off the ground. 
  • Harvesting celery stalks 1-2 inches above the base will allow new stalks to grow.
  • Celeriac should be harvested after a light frost and allowed to sweeten. Uncleaned, it will keep several months in a root cellar or cold storage.

PESTS/SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Celery and celeriac are insect pollinated and should be isolated by 1 mile from each other to ensure seed purity.
  • Both plants are biennial and must either be dug and stored or be left in the ground to overwinter and flower the following spring.
  • Harvest the flowers when they have completely dried on the plant.
  • When properly stored, celery and celeriac seeds will last for 5 years or more.

     

     


 

  • Celery and celeriac are insect pollinated and should be isolated by 1 mile from each other to ensure seed purity.
  • Both plants are biennial and must either be dug and stored or be left in the ground to overwinter and flower the following spring.
  • Harvest the flowers when they have completely dried on the plant.
  • When stored properly, celery and celeriac seeds will last for 5 years or more.