Celeriac is a root vegetable that is not always the first thing folk want to grow in their garden or allotment. With its knobbly appearance, it might not be a good looking veg, yet it has a tasty celery-like flavour with a hint of spice.
Celeriac is delicious in salads, soups and a variety of other dishes.
Sowing Celeriac Seeds
Celeriac seeds should be sown indoors in springtime, either March or April.
Sow seeds either in a seed tray, or in modules, using a seed compost. If you sow celeriac seeds in a tray, they will need to be pricked out once they start to grow.
Once sown, put the tray in a warm position that gets lots of light, as the seeds need light to germinate. A sunny window sill works well. The germination time for celeriac seeds is approximately two or three weeks.
Planting Celariac Plants
Once the young plants are approximately five inches, they are ready to be planted outside. However, this must be when there is no risk of a late frost.
Before planting out celeriac, they need to be hardened off so they get used to the change in temperature. Do this by placing them outside for increasing periods of time, starting slowly and bringing them inside again at night. It should take a week to ten days to get the celeriac ready to be planted outside. Using a cloche is a good idea, as it is easier to cover the celeriac plants than to keep moving them.
Once the celeriac plants are used to the outside temperature, they can be planted. A sunny spot works well.
To grow celeriac, you need a soil that retains moisture, but drains freely. It is also important to prepare the soil by adding in some well-rotted manure or good garden compost.
Space the celeriac plants approximately 15 inches apart, and if planting more than one row, space the rows 15 inches apart.
Growing Celeriac in Pots
It is possible to grow celeriac in pots, although you must make the conditions for growth as easy as possible. Make sure you use large pots to allow the root to grow, and keep an eye on the moisture in the soil as pots tend to dry our more quickly.
Caring for Celeriac
Moisture is key to growing celeriac successfully. Being a shallow rooted vegetable, it is prone to drying out in hot weather. Water plants well whenever the soil looks dry.
Keep the area around the celeriac bulbs free from weeds.
When growing celeriac, lots of foliage is produced. Removing a few of the outer leaves can help the bulb to grow larger.
Celeriac is usually ready for harvesting in October to November. Ease them up from the soil once they are at a size that is worthwhile eating.
Celeriac can be stored for a few months in a cool, dry place.
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