Celery – good things take time

Like most ‘winter’ veg, celery takes time to grow and mature. Maybe it’s cheaper and it’s certainly easier to buy from the supermarket. But as many of our customers know, growing your own vegetables is about more than that. Namely, knowing what’s gone on to your food before you eat it, and the sense of satisfaction and enjoyment from growing it yourself.

To grow great celery, the first thin you need to do is prepare your soil. Celery likes soil that’s well-drained and sweet (and in a full sun position), so make sure you add lime before planting. If you’re equipped to measure PH levels, the reading should be between five and six. Celery also grows best in a garden that’s raised and filled with potting mix – so if you can make this combination happen, you’re off to a great start. 

Once your soil’s ready, head to our online store and order some Awapuni celery seedlings. If you order by Monday morning they’ll arrive at your house by Wednesday or Thursday so you’re all ready to plant in the weekend.

When you’re ready to plant, dig a hole approximately 3cm deep. Pop in your seedling and use compost to create a mound around the plant. This blanches the base of the stems and keeps them tender. The good news is you don’t have to keep mounding like you do with some plants – just keep your celery watered and that should do the trick.

Plant each seedling 20 – 25cm apart and continue this process in rows across your garden. Celery grows best this way, making it a good companion plant for dwarf beans, carrots, spring onions, parsley and bok choy. In fact, if you have any of these in your garden and they’re ready to harvest, celery is the perfect replacement plant.

Your plants will develop slowly at first, but in about 12 – 14 weeks, your celery should be ready to harvest. Here’s a tip: slide your thumb down the inside of the fattest stalks and gently twist to pull them off the plant. Don’t cut the stalks off as the stumps left behind will rot and hinder the health of the whole plant.

You may notice the home-grown version doesn’t look quite as perfect as the supermarket variety, but it will definitely taste as good – maybe even better thanks to the knowledge that you grew it yourself.

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