Celery is a flavoursome ingredient for casseroles, soups and other cooked dishes, as well as a crunchy and healthy salad or snack. A popular staple vegetable that is fairly easy to grow. There are many varieties that differ in hardiness, resistant to disease and size, sowing times and so on.
You can sow celery seeds from March indoors. It is important that the seeds are kept at a regulated temperature - Germination needs warm temperatures but as the seedlings grow, not too humid. Celery is a thirsty plant and will require plenty of watering.
After hardening off and planting out later in May onwards, an ideal spot would be a semi-shady one with moisture retentive soil. Full sun and dry conditions can cause the celery to bolt. Dig in plenty of compost or well-rotted manure beforehand and ensure the soil does not dry out quickly.
Sow and plant out close together in blocks; approximately 8 inches apart so that the celery plants offer shade to each other.
You may need to add some protection from the sun with extra shade during hot and dry spells. Also, slugs can be an issue as well as celery leaf mining fly.
You can harvest celery from August onwards until into autumn and should be all lifted including the roots before the threats of frost begins. They can be stored in a cool place, covered in damp sand or compost for a few months. Alternatively, you can protect with fleece against frosts and colder weather.
Celery can be harvested as soon as it is ready before the leaves start to turn yellow and the celery becomes stringy.