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Growing Celery

Growing Celery

Tango Celery

Tango Celery item #01754


Celery is a cool season biennial vegetable available in both standard (stalk) types and and tuberous rooted (sometimes called turnip rooted) forms called celeriac. Celery dislikes hot weather and requires a fairly long growing season.

How To Grow

Start seed indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost in spring. Plant the seed about an eighth of an inch deep and germinate at 70 to 75 degrees. Expect germination in 14 to 28 days. Transplant seedlings to the garden after the last spring frost. Plant with the roots slightly deeper than when growing in pots.

Cold night temperatures can cause early flowering, so celery is best transplanted outdoors after night temperatures reach 55 °F. Space celery plants 8 to 12 inches apart with 24 inches between rows and celeriac plants 6 to 8 inches apart with 24 inches between rows.


Celery is somewhat challenging to grow. Plant in full sun and fertile, moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Plants are shallow-rooted, require consistent moisture, and benefit from mulching. Blanching for 7 to 10 days before harvest lightens the color of the stalks and gives them a milder flavor. Stems can be blanched by mounding soil around the stems or putting sleeves made from large cans or paper milk cartons around plant bases. Self-blanching varieties do not require this treatment.

After harvest, stalks can also be blanched in hot water for 1 to 2 minutes before using to moderate the flavor. Stalks can be harvested individually as needed, or whole plants can be cut. If plants are cut an inch or two from the ground when harvested, a small secondary harvest of a few new shoots is often produced.

Lower leaves of celeriac plants naturally yellow and die in mid to late summer as the root matures. Harvest celeriac in fall before frosts occur.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Celery is a heavy feeder that requires regular fertilization. Use full rates of  ALGOplus All Purpose 6-6-6 liquid fertilizer or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1.

Common Problems

Celery is usually free of significant problems when sited properly. Carrot rust flies and tarnished plant bugs sometimes attack plants. Disease including blight, pink rot, and septoria are occasional problems.

Alternative Products

Cutting Celery is an easy-to-grow leafy herb with a strong celery flavor.

Product Recommendations

Use plantable 3" Round Jiffy Peat Pots when starting seed indoors to minimize transplant stress. Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew can be used to control insect pests, and 70% neem oil can be used to prevent disease problems.

Celery Facts

Celery has a long history of cultivation and was initially more commonly used as a medicinal herb than as a vegetable. Celery is related to carrots, parsley, and dill.


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