Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Advice please on celery - my challenge for this season
Having read that expert gardeners could enjoy celery from June to November, I felt it was time to plant mine out last week. You can probably see from the size of the plants that I started them off too late for an early crop!
I haven't grown celery before. Uncle David had a crack at it on his allotment last year, to commemorate the centenary of my grandfather's birth. Grandad used to bring a beautiful white celery for our family to share at Christmas teatime, so it was a nice way to remember him. Unfortunately David didn't have much success, despite years of veg growing and horticultural experience. Slugs love celery so it was probably a bad season for it, even though there was so much rain, which should be good for such a tender and hungry crop. So what tempted me into growing a veg which seems generally accepted to be extremely fussy?
I confess it was lack of research. I read the very positive write up of Full White Celery by the Real Seed Company. This was designed to sell celery seeds, of course, and make it seem really simple, so I ordered them and didn't actually read up about growing it until the seedlings were well underway. Ah well, challenge is good. I've kept them frost free and well watered and they have done well so far. Let's see how they grow in the new deep bed.
RSC's write-up said that this variety doesn't need earthing up, I can just put an elastic band around the stems, or wrap them in newspaper as they grow. But I would like white celery rather than green, the flavour is milder and less bitter. So I've buried the plants, leaving just a couple of leaves above the ground. I've no idea if this is the right way to do it, but four plants I put into a big pot in the garden at home seem to be doing ok, they've put more leaves and stalks up and I'm earthing up as they grow. We can only wait and see! If anyone's got positive experience, or any advice about this I would be grateful.