The Content Of The Article:
- Origin and appearance
- Location and ground
- Harvest and storage
- Mixed culture and crop rotation
- Diseases and pests
Origin and appearance
The celery (Apium graveolens var. Dulce), also known as celery, is derived from wild celery like the celeriac (Apium graveolens var. Rapaceum). This was already widespread in antiquity in the Mediterranean as a medicinal plant. All celery varieties are said to have an aphrodisiac effect, and their ingredients are anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive and diuretic. They were used in naturopathy, among other things for rheumatic complaints. Celery also contains many polyphenols that protect human body cells as radical scavengers.
The natural habitat of wild celery are the nutrient-rich and clayey, calcareous and saline marsh soils of the European Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. While in Europe mainly celeriac is grown, in the US celery are more popular. It does not produce tubers, but rather fleshy and highly aromatic, juicy petioles that can drive out of the heart of the plant and grow up to 60 centimeters long. A variant of the Stangenselleries is the bleaching celery. Depending on the variety, it is either planted so closely that the plants dispute each other's light, or they are cultivated in trenches and accumulated with increasing growth. Also common is the wrapping of the bars in wrapping paper about three weeks before the harvest date. The golden bars due to the lack of light have a pleasantly mild taste.
Bar and blanched celery are very popular in modern raw food cuisine. The bars are suitable for a variety of salads, as finger food for dipping and are also an important ingredient for the original Italian Bolognese sauce. In Scandinavia, sparkling wine with celery juice is a popular aperitif.
Location and ground
Celery prefers a sunny to half shady site. As a star collector, it grows best on nutrient-rich, loamy soils that must be as lime-containing and sufficiently moist as possible. If you have sandy soil in your garden, you should improve it with four to five liters of mature compost per square meter previously mixed with about 100 grams of seaweed lime.
Celery, like celeriac, must be brought to the windowsill or greenhouse at the latest in mid-March, as it has a very long culture period. Six to eight weeks of pre-culture are to be scheduled until the planting date in mid-May. The seeds are best allowed to swell in water overnight and then sown in seed boxes with potting soil. They are pressed well with a small board and about sifted about 0.5 inches high with sand. Then pour the earth with a fine stream of water and cover the box with a transparent lid. Then it is placed on a bright windowsill at 16 to 20 degrees room temperature. The temperature range should not be undercut otherwise, otherwise the seedlings shoot later very easily. After having two to three well-developed leaves, they are individually poked into small pots and continue to grow bright, but slightly cooler at 16 to 18 degrees. About two weeks after the pikieren you should supply the nutrient-needy plants for the first time with a liquid fertilizer. Before being planted in the garden bed, they are hardened on the terrace and slowly acclimated to the intense sunlight.
Plant the well-hardened seedlings in the middle of May at a distance of 50 by 50 centimeters into the prepared vegetable patch. If possible, do not lower the seedlings deeper than they used to be in the pot. This is even more important with celeriac than with celery, as it does not form tubers when planted too deeply. The soil is pressed well when planting and the seedlings are then thoroughly poured. If you want bleaching celery, you can reduce the planting distance to 20 by 20 centimeters in the so-called self-bleaching varieties. Conventional varieties must be planted in pre-excavated, about 25 centimeters deep trenches.
Flowering celery is no longer suitable for harvesting
If a cold period threatens after the planting out, you should cover the celery with fleece, in order to prevent the later shooting, thus the formation of seed stands. Celery needs good water and nutrients throughout the season. You can supply the plants with horn meal several times a year. Since they have a relatively high sodium and boron requirement as original coastal children, you should occasionally supply their celery with stale, saline cooking water, for example, with poured potato water. Alternatively, you can dissolve a level teaspoon of sea salt in ten liters of water and pour the celery every four weeks.At a ratio of one to ten dilute nettle-hives is also well suited as nitrogen and mineral supplier.
First, the planting trench is gradually closed, then you pour around the plants a small hill
If you prefer pale stalks, you can help out with green-breeding like 'Tall Utah'. Two to three weeks before the harvest, you pull the soil close to the perennials with your hoe. By deprivation of light the chlorophyll formation is suppressed and the base of the stem turns pale green to pale yellow depending on the duration.
Tip: First hold the stems together by hand and wrap them with a layer of corrugated cardboard. Make sure that there is no gap between the floor surface and the bottom edge of the cardboard, but the leaves are still visible.
Harvest and storage
Celery is ready for harvest in October. It is sensitive to frost in contrast to celeriac and should therefore be harvested before the first night frost. Just pull the whole plant together with the root out of the earth. The best way to store celery is to cut the stems about ten centimeters above the first leaf branches, wrap the plants in newspaper until the very heart of the heart, and dip their roots into a box of wet sand. So they stay fresh in a cool cellar for at least eight weeks. In the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator, they keep about four weeks without any special preparation.
Dig up celery with roots and store in sand in the cellar
Mixed culture and crop rotation
As a star collector, the celery needs an annual change of bed so that it does not leach the floor. It should only be grown on the same bed every four years to prevent reproduction diseases and soil fatigue. As a preculture, a green manure with nitrogen-collecting species such as Crimson clover or winter vetch is ideal. When cultivating celery between cabbage species, they are less affected by the cabbage white caterpillars, as the intense celery odor keeps the pests out.
The most common celery varieties are 'Darklet', 'Tall Utah' and 'Spartacus'. 'Darklet' is an early variety, which can be harvested in early sowing from the end of February in July. 'Tall Utah' is one of the highest and highest yielding breeds. It is ready for harvest from mid-August and has a relatively mild taste. The self-bleaching variety 'Spartacus' forms almost 50 centimeters long rods.
Diseases and pests
Celery can be infested with septoria leaf spot disease in rainy years like celeriac, but is generally considered to be less susceptible. Above all, closely planted bleaching celery is attacked more frequently because the leaves do not dry off so quickly after rainfall. The fungus is recognizable by its light brown spots with black spots on the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves, causing significant yield losses. Silica-rich plant broths, such as horsetail broth, are suitable for natural prevention.
If the heart of the plants suddenly cares and dies, many hobby gardeners suspect that a fungal disease behind it. Much more likely in this case, however, is a Bormangel, which can be easily remedied with some algal lime. Sprinkle it in the root area of the plants and then water thoroughly.