Sunday, January 13, 2013
Try an easy to grow garden staple-celery.
Celery’s grandparents grew wild from the Europe to western Asia, known as smallage. It was very bitter. Celery was developed in Italy in the 1500‘s to what we would recognize today. It was grown for its medicinal properties to help hangovers, kidney stones, digestion, and as an aphrodisiac. It became popular in English cooking in the 1700’s.
I had always heard that celery was difficult to grow. I decided a couple of years ago to give it a go. I looked at my neighborhood big box stores, hardware stores and nurseries.
I ended up finding them when I was in another state, checking out a local nursery. I bought them and started them in my Aerogarden. I planted out 3 seedlings in the back yard between two trees. They did great. They even came back again this year.
In the fall, I dug up one and put it in the garage. The nursery had told me you could keep them all winter in the garage and take a cutting whenever you needed it for cooking. Thought I would try it out, and it worked! In the spring, I took it back out to the garden and re-planted. It did great all summer.
I have discovered that celery is a prolific self seeder. In other words, you get many volunteers/new baby celery plants with no effort on your part. Since they survive the winter, you are good to go again next spring with a new crop of celery.
I had several celery plants in pots (more volunteers) and they did great there too. A word of caution, they love water! They don’t share well with others when it comes to water so I would keep them in a pot by themselves.
These plants seem to grow well wherever they sprout, regardless of water, fertility, sun, shade. So, if you like celery to snack on or cook with, give them a try.