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Celery Celebrity is a self blanching type with short petioles which hold well. It has very little stringiness for a self-blanching type and is slightly quicker to mature than Victoria.
Celery needs plenty of moisture for a succesful crop, and is a slow grower so sow seeds early.
The best method for starting off celery seeds is to sow the seeds indoors in mid to late March and throughout April in cell trays. Sow 2 - 3 seeds per module and lightly cover with no more than 0.5cm of sifted compost. Water gently using a watering can with a fine rose attachment. A constant indoor temperature of 21c (70F) is best for germination. After germination, which takes around 10-14 days, thin out leaving only the healthiest seedling in each module.
Keep the plants under cover and keep them constantly watered during this growing period. When they reach about 8-10 cm tall the plants can be transferred to a cold frame or cloche for hardening off. Because celery is very sensitive to extremes of heat and cold, it’s very important that the juvenile plants are properly acclimatised before planting out at the end of May or early June.
Celery plants will thrive in moist soil conditions with a neutral pH value. It’s important that the soil retains moisture and does not dry out, so ensure the soil is well prepared at least 2 months before planting out, incorporating a generous amount of organic matter, typically well-rotted manure or garden compost. Celery plants also need around 5-6 hours of sun each day so the location of the celery bed is also an important factor to consider. Bear in mind celery do not like to be exposed to high temperatures and so a location that is also in partial shade during the hottest part of the day is ideal.
Although, it has a long growing season celery will not tolerate extremes of heat or cold. After the young plants have acclimatised for at least 10 days and the outdoor temperature is fairly constant at between 13C (55F) and 21C (70F), which should be around the end of May, transfer the plants to their permanent growing positions. Plant the seedlings at 25cm apart as block. Ensure the soil around the base of the plants is firmed down and that the plants are well supported. Water well with a watering can and rose attachment. A light sprinkling of a high nitrogen fertiliser every 2-3 weeks will help the plants grow strong and provide them with the essential nutrients they need.
Celery has a long growing season of around 5 months or more but is well worth the wait. Harvest the stems at intervals from August until the first frosts, cutting at the base of the plants with a sharp knife.
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