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Celery question

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Celery question

Post  dixie on 7/14/2011, 2:04 pm

This is my first year with celery & it's coming along great, have been harvesting stalks as I need them. Question is, does it need some protection from the intense heat? It was in between 2 sections of corn, which have now been pulled up, so it is in full sun. It seems to be doing well, but I don't want it to get bitter. Just wondering.

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Re: Celery question

Post  westie42 on 7/14/2011, 5:07 pm

If it already was a deep green then it already has quite a bit of chlorophyll and you like it that way. If it is lighter then you like it mild due to the shading it had gotten and lesser chlorophyll. But about now in hot weather a bit of shade could keep it in better shape so I’d opt for some temporary artificial shade so as to not shock it. Cooler weather should make it look real good until frost. Next year grow one in a deeper pot so you can bring it inside, they don’t dig up all that well. But I have never before had one in MM so they may pot up better from the SFG.

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Re: Celery question

Post  CindiLou on 7/15/2011, 1:00 am

westie, how does celery grow in Iowa? And do you start from transplants or seeds?
And when do you plant?

I love celery but have never planted it.

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Re: Celery question

Post  dixie on 7/15/2011, 1:04 am

Thanks. It was already a deep green & we liked the flavor just fine. I will shade it & blanch a few just to see how we like it.

Is it frost-hardy?

I got my seeds from Baker Creek, direct sowed in the Spring.

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Re: Celery question

Post  westie42 on 7/15/2011, 10:01 am

Celery is a biannual and is not winter hardy but in your zone you can try blanketing it to get thru the winter sometimes. Potting and taking it inside for the winter should work to get it thru the second seed bearing season. In the second season it will produce seeds but probably not quite the same good quality tops. Some have saved the base or stump from store celery and have grown it from there. Have heard about a soup celery that is more like a bush which is quite winter hardy. Most of celerys excellent nutrient value is in the leaves so use them in salads or dehydrating for flavoring later is beneficial. I also grow lovage a herb with similar flavor for soups flavoring at least it generates conversation and a grin. Try this site for more information. www.innvista.com/health/foods/vegetables/celery.htm Here is an interesting UK page of celery seeds that has a gazillion other interesting seeds too. http://www.nickys-nursery.co.uk/seeds/pages/veg2.htm

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Re: Celery question

Post  westie42 on 7/15/2011, 10:32 am

CindiLou, I find it surprisingly easy to grow here. The seeds start slow and are delicate little threads for a while about like starting parsley. Start mine in Late Jan or early feb or about 12 weeks BLFD. Set them a lot deeper when they get second set of leaves and grow lights are very helpful to make lush strong sets. Some years I just buy them from Earl Mays or Goodes that depends on what kind of a bind DW has me in. Usually knotted and in a vice but thats a topic for another forum. Occasionally some stalks get looking like the brown scales on rhubarb. I trim and use what I can of that but try to keep them removed. Seems to do that in hot dry weather in strong sunlight. Once in a while somebody thinks it is too strong but usually they love home grown celery for its much richer flavor. It is much more than just a filler in a wide variety of dishes, salads, soups, tuna or chicken spread or just plain finger food. For something that does not take much room or effort it really brings satisfaction for it’s versatility and extra flavor. I plan to dehydrate some this year, leafs especially.

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