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Growing and using celery

Celery is one vegetable that I never used to like before I grew it myself.  Silverbeet is the other one.  Celery from the supermarket is usually stringy and tasteless, and depending how old it is, may also be a bit limp.  Homegrown celery is crunchy and tasty.  Here's how I grow and use celery.



How to grow celery
I have had no luck growing celery from seed that I planted, and resorted to buying seedlings, however, celery that then went to seed seems to have now produced more celery seedlings.  I still don't know how to get celery seeds to germinate, so if you're new to gardening I recommend buying seedlings to avoid disappointment.  Celery needs plenty of moisture and I have observed that it will not grow well when we get very hot and dry conditions.  It does grow through winter here though (surviving light frosts) and thrives any time we have warm and wet conditions.  If you keep it growing long enough it will eventually go to seed and die off, however it seems to keep growing for several months, nearly a year, in my garden.

Traditionally celery is "blanched" by mounding up or putting covers over the stalks to blanch them white.  Personally I can't be bothered with this and I like the flavour of green stalks, so I just let my celery grow free.  I don't harvest entire plants, rather just picking a few stalks as I need them.



How to use celery
Celery is a surprisingly versatile and useful vegetable.  It is a key ingredient for homemade stock, many soups, a component of a mirepoix casserole base, a vege to add to the evening meal or just a crunchy fresh vege to dip into something tasty.  I generally chop off the leaves and put them in a bag in the freezer for my next batch of stock.  And then depending on how I want to use the stalks, I'll chop them too.


Do you grow celery?  How do you use it?


Comments

  1. ever since i started cooking for myself, quite a few vege got ditched, celery was one of them, i just can't stand the taste, even in soups. have been told that celeric? i think it is, is much nicer for those of us who don't like normal celery. i've not grown it yet, perhaps that may improve the taste also?
    great post
    thanx for sharing

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  2. We have not grown celery ever and I don't know why as I love the stuff. Imagine if I love the cruddy grocery store kind how much I'd like the real stuff? Something to add to next years garden for sure.

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  3. I have tried and failed to grow it from seed and seedling but I have had success with cutting the base of a brought bunch and planting it in very damp soil and growing it in a shade house. I cut the base off allowing about 5- 7 cm and it sent up shoots from the middle. We don't eat that much so I have never made it a priority to grow.

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  4. I grow celery and use it a lot when I make stews and soups. I start off base of things like that with a chopped onion, garlic and celery which I then gently fry. I don't like raw celery but my husband does so I will often cut up a stalk and add it to the salads he takes to work. I've never grown it from seed either.

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  5. I love to have a few celery plants in the garden to pick a few stalks when I need them. No soup or casserole/stew is complete without a bit of celery. Brian did use the long bits of poly pipe to blanch the stalks, but I took them off. I like the stalks to be green and I like to break the stalks off, which I couldn't do with the poly pipe wrapping them. Also, the earwigs loved the cosy comfort of the poly pipes. He grew them from seed, in punnets, in the glass house, before planting out in the garden, but he has green fingers and a horticultural degree.... For us normal folk, growing from seedlings is a much easier option though. ;)

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