Growing Tips: Celery

Quick Reference:

Plant seed 1/8 inch deep. Germination: 10 to 20 days. Seed spacing 1 inch apart. Seed must be started indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost.

When and where to plant:

In Alaska celery should be grown on a high ground not subject to early frosts and in a sandy loam soil. Celery likes cool weather, is a heavy feeder, requires more time and attention than most vegetables and a continuous supply of water. Celery grows slowly and must be started indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost. Seedlings are VERY small and may take up to 30 days to emerge. Keep soil evenly moist and be patient. The growth rate of the seedlings increases as the plants increase in size. Fill individual 4 inch plastic pots that have drainage holes with a good loam soil, plant 2 to 3 seeds per pot, cover seed lightly with fine soil, water well for good seed-soil contact, place the containers in a sunny location. Grow at a constant 65 degrees F or better, apply plant food every two weeks and never let the soil dry out. When seedlings are 1 to 1 ½ inches tall, snip off the tops of all but the healthiest plant and grow indoors until after the last frost and outdoor temperatures are in the mid 50's, plants are very sensitive to frost. In a sunny outdoor location, cultivate, enrich the soil with plant food and plenty of organic matter then transplant plants in a checkerboard pattern, 10 to 12 inches apart so the plants shade each other. Form shallow trenches around plants, 1 to 2 inches deep to hold water, mulch the soil surface to conserve water and keep the soil continuously moist as celery plants are shallow rooted and dry out easily. Provide shade over the plants until they become accustomed to the outdoors. Water plants with a liquid plant food every 2 weeks.

Care: Keep weed free. Water daily morning and night as the soil must be kept continuously moist and apply a liquid solution of plant food every two weeks throughout the summer.

Harvest: Cut stalks before the first frost.