The stranger from the Mediterranean, celery, today, firmly established in our kitchens, having won their place through a specific pleasant aroma and its excellent taste and medicinal qualities.
Celery is a biennial vegetable plant, in the first year of cultivation forming a rosette of glossy dark green leaves, sometimes fleshy petioles and, depending on the cultivar, the root crop or the root. In the second year after sowing celery leaves grow in early spring, is formed a straight stem, the height of which, depending on the grade, equal to 30-100 cm, and umbrella inflorescence. Blooms celery by the middle of July and in early August, ripen its seeds. Almost immediately after that the plant dies.
Late varieties of leaf and petiolar celery and celeriac root is grown only seedling method, early maturing first two types can be sown directly in the garden.
Sowing celery in the ground must produce as much as possible early, but not before April 20. Pre-seeds need to soak for a day in room temperature water, this will speed up the germination, then sow at a depth of about 0.5-1 cm in pre-prepared holes (grooves).
The cultivation of celery seedling method
Celeriac sown seedlings in early March, the shoots appear in about a month later. To sow celery are best in containers filled with lightweight soil mix consisting of 3 parts peat, 1 part humus, sod of earth and sand. For every 10 kg of this mixture need to add 20 g of urea and a glass of wood ash.
To get a more friendly and strong shoots, celery seeds need to be stratified for: put them in a wet cheesecloth, aged at room temperature for about 6-7 days, and 12-14 days put in the fridge (the bottom shelf). Only after all these steps, the seeds are sown.
Immediately before sowing the soil should be thoroughly watered. When the moisture is absorbed, sprinkling celery seed (past stratification sealed to a depth of 0.5 cm, the seeds without pre-treatment is left on the surface is not closing up their land) and covering capacity on top of the film, leave at room temperature. Prior to germination, as the drying of the soil, it is necessary to moisturize from the sprayer with warm, pre-settled water. About two weeks after sowing the seeds the soil needs to be sprayed.
Immediately after germination of celery to lower the temperature in the room with seedling containers to the level of +13 °to+16 °C. With the advent of the first true leaf seedlings dive celery root and 14 days before planting in the ground harden. To dive the seedlings be careful not to damage the taproot of the plant, otherwise the roots will grow ugly and small. For permanent seedlings planted celery root by the end of may.
To grow seedlings of celery it is possible and without picks, but in this case, it will grow weaker and worse take root when transplanting.
If you are not able to grow seedlings of celery, it can get, but remember: good planting material is plant, which reaches a height of 13-15 cm, with a strong root system and four or five leaves.
Celery prefers a humus-rich light sandy loam neutral soil and open, Sunny spaces, and its predecessors can be any vegetable crops. From autumn on land destined for planting celery, you must add humus. Planted in open ground celery start with the second decade of may, planting under the scheme 20×20 cm in the rows or between the beds of onions, garlic, potatoes, cabbage, cucumbers and so on. Vegetables such neighborhood will benefit because a strong smell of celery deters many pests.
At the time of planting in each hole you need to pour handfuls of humus and ash, and seedlings of celery need to bury the cotyledon to the knee. Immediately after transplanting seedlings of celery well watered immediately after tillage. After that, you need to make the shadow with a damp paper.
Caring for celery
Care celery is weeding, watering timely, rich line and feeding. So, in order to prevent the evaporation of moisture and provide the plant’s roots more oxygen immediately after planting celery the soil around it is necessary to mulch with peat, sawdust or just cut grass.
After about a week and a half after planting the celery fed complex fertilizer. Repeat the feeding again — two weeks later. If the celery leaves become pale and the plant should be fertilized with urea spreading 0.5 g of the powder in 1 l of water.
When growing celery, different varieties plant care also needs to be different. In addition a number of the above-listed agricultural activities, three weeks before harvest the plants are petiolate celery is needed to produce high hilling. This will contribute to the whitening of the stems, reduction in their number of sharp-smelling essential oils as well as the disappearance of bitterness.
Care root celery also needs to include a number of specific techniques. To get the most quality root in mid-summer it is necessary to release from the ground its top part, breaking off lateral roots. Thanks to this simple agrotechnical reception in the autumn the plant will form as large a root. To enhance the growth of the root celery, should be pressed to the ground its leaves, petioles during this procedure, the crack that is plants only benefit, does not harm the growth of the root.
Cleaning of all kinds of celery should be made in October. Petiolar and root is completely removed, and the sheet can be used for distillation of green in winter, which plants to dig up with a small lump of land and planted in small pots.
The types and varieties of celery
There are three types of celery: self-blanching or yellow (leaf celery), green or Pascal celery and celeriac: they were obtained as a result of selection from wild form, which was hard, thin, not edible root.
Most importantly, what is cultivated celeriac — a root vegetable that reaches the weight of 500-900 gr.
All varieties of celery root are more late maturing — 140-190 days, and should be grown only through seedlings.
Leaf celery is cultivated to obtain vitamin fragrant leaves throughout the summer-autumn period, but he does not have a developed root.
Green or Pascal celery
This celery is grown to fleshy petioles, thickness of which reaches 4-5 cm. As he and leaf celery roots do not form in the food consumed only the leaves and petioles.