How to plant celery

 

Planting celery. Difficult to grow successfully but yields a rich reward. Celery can be grown in gardens in virtually all parts of the country during some time of the year. It must have very rich, moist, crumbly, deep soil and cool, even weather; soils varying from sand to clay loam and peat may be used if these conditions are fulfilled. Unless the soil is very fertile, use generous applications of well-decayed manure and commercial fertilizer, 4 or 5 wheelbarrowfuls of manure, plus 5 pounds of good, complete fertilizer per zoo feet of row. Prepare the soil a week or two before the plants are set.

The ground also must have an ample supply of water. About 10 weeks are needed to grow food celery plants for transplanting. Seeds are very small and germinate slowly. Soaking overnight in a muslin bag is recommended. Then mix the seeds with sand and sow in flats or in seed beds and cover extremely lightly, not more than an eighth of an inch, with leaf mould. Cover the flat or the bed with moist sacking.

The seedlings are delicate, requiring careful attention, and must be kept free of weeds. When transplanting to the garden, set the plants out on a cool, cloudy day. Space the rows 2 feet apart, with a 6-inch clearance each way between the plants. Generally it is better to set celery in rows rather than in beds; it facilitates banking the plants with earth. If the soil is dry when the celery is set out, cover the roots lightly, water, and then place more soil around the roots.

If the weather is bright, it is a good idea to shade the plants for a day or two after setting: simply stick some small, leafed branches into the ground around the plant. When the plants begin to gain some size, the leaves should be drawn together and soil worked up around the plants to hold them upright. Do not get soil into the hearts of the plants during transplanting or when working the soil up to them. Early celery may be blanched by wrapping black paper around the stalks. Late celery, after the arrival of cool weather, may be blanched by banking the soil up to the leaves. Do not bank the soil during warm weather; it rots the stalks.

Celery today is more widely used without blanching than formerly; the higher vitamin content and the taste qualities of the green celery are more greatly appreciated. Golden Self-Blanching and Easy-Blanching are widely used varieties of early celery. For fall, Giant Pascal and. Utah are fine green types.


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