Celery

Health Power

Excellent source of Vitamin C, antioxidant that fights free radicals and plaque build up in blood vessels. Phthalides linked with lowered blood pressure by helping arteries dilate. Lowers cholesterol. Diuretic helps get rid of excess fluids. Promotes overall health and optimizes function of immune and vascular systems.

Vitamin and Mineral Content

Vitamins – K, C, B6 (Pyridoxine), B1 (Thiamin), A and B2 (Riboflavin)
Minerals – Potassium, Folate, Molybdenum, Manganese, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Iron

Disease Prevention

Celery contains many antioxidants including coumarins that decrease the build up of cancer precursors and promote white blood cell activity. Acetylenics also stop cancer cell growth.

How to Grow

Two types of celery, self blanching and blanched. Prefer areas where growing seasons are long, moist and cool but not frosting. Choose site with minimum 6 hours daily sunlight. Requires soil that easily retains moisture; digging in organic matter is a must. Get started celery plants at nursery. If you begin from seed, start indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost. Celery likes soil pH near 6.5. Add lime to bring toward neutral. Harden off seedlings and transplant to garden when temperatures are consistently above 50˚F. With blanching celery, dig a small trench for optimum growth. Before transplanting, dig a trench one spade deep and long enough to space celery plants 12 inches apart. Place a shallow layer of compost, manure and/ or plant mix in bottom. Cover organics with thin film of soil. Plant seedlings one foot apart and wrap stems with cardboard or a semi-resilient material. Keep soil saturated and feed animal manure liquid fertilizer or sprinkle another organic fertilizer on half-way through growing season. Mid-season and in one month intervals, fill trench with soil up to bottom of leaves. This is the blanching process. For self-blanching types, plant on flat ground in organic-rich soil. For both, keep soil moist and weed free.

Insect control

Susceptible to slugs, celery fly and celery leaf. See Artichokes for anti-slug treatments. Celery fly causes leaves to turn pale green, then brown and shriveled. Remove affected leaves and destroy immediately. Celery leaf spots are brown spots on leaves and stems caused by fungus. Immune seeds available are treated with non-organic fungicide. For natural treatment, remove affected leaves and spray every two weeks with Bordeaux mixture until two weeks before harvest.

Tips

Harvest self-blanching celery before the first frost. Use blanched types from first frost until well into winter. Use Golden-self blanching plants. If blanching yourself, do not let soil pack against the stems, which can cause rot.

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