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The Seed Program
Growing Hints

This is one of the many growing hints that are available as a bonus with a registered copy of The Seed Program.

Celeriac

Celeriac is a close relative of celery that is grown for its large fleshy root rather than for its stems. The flavor is milder than celery, but definitely the same taste. The consistency is similar to that of radishes, but not quite as crisp. Celeriac can be used in any soup or stuffing recipe that calls for celery, and makes a fine addition to salads as well. If you like the taste of celery, but are bothered by the sometimes tough and stringy texture, you have to try celeriac.

Starting celeriac seed is essentially the same as starting celery. The tiny seed is just pressed into the surface of the soil or barely covered with soil. It must be kept moist and will usually germinate in about two weeks. The plants start out very small and grow slowly at first. Getting plants established directly out in the garden is challenging because of the tiny seed and long growth period. It is difficult to keep the tiny plants clear of the vigorous weeds that will appear in most gardens.

Like celery, celeriac is a heavy feeder and will grow best in soil that has been generously amended with plenty of compost or well composted manure. Side dressing periodically during the growing season with an organic fertilizer high in nitrogen is also helpful. Celeriac loves wet soil. You cannot water it too much, and a thick layer of mulch will help tremendously in keeping soil conditions favorable for celeriac.

Celeriac can be harvested in late summer or early fall. Generally, the longer you leave them in the garden, the larger the root will grow, and they seldom get tough or woody when large, as some root crops will. The first few frosts won't bother the plants any, so the main harvest can wait until after the last of the warm weather crops have been picked. They will keep for several weeks in a cool cellar or in the refrigerator. I find that the roots are usually covered with small hairs that hold a lot of soil, so it is best to rinse them off outside with a hose rather than bringing all that dirt inside.

For more crops, more complete gardening information, a garden journal and a planting schedule you can customize for your region, purchase The Seed Program!

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