Celery will add some fine flavour to your cooking and salads. Most modern varieties do not need blanching so they are much easier to grow. It can be difficult to get really clean unblemished plants but don’t worry as the inside stems will be clean and good for salads while you can use the outer stems in soups and stews.
Early Belle is a very fine celery which gives lots of leaf, instead of the fleshy stalks. It also produces fine seeds for soups and stews.
How to grow: Grow in the miscellaneous section of your rotation. Celery can be started as early as February or March in trays or modules with heat. They can also be started in a cold greenhouse during April. Do not cover the seed as they require light for good germination. Pot up module-grown seedlings as required. Prick out seed-tray plants when they have true leaves and grow on until you have sturdy plants of about 10-12 cm. Harden off before transplanting into the growing site in late May or June, about 30 cm between plants. Keep well-watered. Celery does better in rich soil in shade/semi-shade and will need watering during dry spells. Harvest from June onwards. Celery is quite hardy and will stand a light frost. Pests and diseases: Slugs are the main problem for Celery. As a member of the parsley family, it can also be affected by carrot root fly. How to cook: Celery’s fresh crispness is a great addition to salads and perfect for dips. It goes particularly well with nuts and cheese. Its flavour becomes more mild when cooked and it is a wonderful addition to stocks, soups and stews.
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