CELERY for fresh eating or storage
GREENHOUSE: For EARLY crops, sow indoors from February 15 -March 1. Sow 2 mm deep, at 6-8 seeds per 25 mm at alternating soil temps of 18-24°C for 10-20 days. Seeds should be lightly covered and kept moist. If the soil dries out, it will delay germination. After seedlings appear, keep greenhouse night temps at 18°C and never below 13°C to discourage bolting. When seedlings are about 8cm. high-about 10-12 weeks after seeding, transplant into the garden when the danger of prolonged cool periods or actual freezing is over. If plants become too tall and spindly before moving them to the field, clip them back to 13 or 15 cm in height. Untrimmed plants are preferable because they receive less check in growth. Harden plants slightly before transplanting by withholding water about 7 days before setting plants outdoors. Never try to harden celery plants by lowering the temp below 13°C or you will cause severe bolting to seed in the field. Late crops may be started indoors provided irrigation is available. Sow 15-20cm apart at 25 seeds 31cm in a seedbed, thin to 15 cm apart.
TRANSPLANT in rows 75-90 cm apart. Keep well watered and spray with a good fungicide once a week.
STORAGE: Do not try to store celery damaged by frost, disease, or rough handling. Maintain a relative humidity of 95-98% at 0 to 2 C . Store in a room free of odors from other crops because the plant absorbs the foreign flavor. Remove field heat from mid-summer crops by cooling before placing it in large storages. Single stalks store well wrapped in aluminum foil and refrigerated.
HOME GARDENERS: Sow seed into 6 cm. peat pots- Between February 25- March 15 or 10-12 weeks before transplanting outside. Sow thinly at 8 seedlings per 25 mm. or 4 seeds per pot and maintain a soil temp. of 21 C for 10-21 days. Do not transplant outside before June 1 as cold nights will cause bolting. Celery is a heavy feeder and drinker. Fertilize every 2 or 3 weeks, keep well watered. Sow late crops outdoors in flats by April 15. The seed germinates in 3 weeks.