With its peppery flavour and loud crunch when eaten raw, celery is a low-calorie snack option that is good for overall health with the nutrients on offer, and is a popular crop to grow in gardens.
Celery is a biennial plant – meaning it produces flowers and seeds only during the second year. However, it’s grown as an annual for the stalks which are eaten raw, or as an ingredient in salads, or even as a flavouring in soups and stews.
It’s also a key ingredient of ketchup, and it can also be made into salt. Celery salt has a peppery flavour to it and some connoisseurs would say a green grassy flavour too.
It’s thought that the first cultivation of celery was in the Mediterranean, but archaeological remains have shown that celery seeds were being transported as early as 4,000 BC.
Celery seeds can be sown between March and April, either in in seed trays or pots filled with peat-free all-purpose compost. You can sow the seeds directly into the ground, but it’s ideal to start them off in trays and transplant the seedlings when they’re large enough.
Come May and June, the seedlings should be big enough to handle and can be planted out.
Celery is a marshland plant, so they’re moisture-loving and require a rich, moisture-retentive soil preferably in sunny spot. Bear in mind that you don’t want the soil to dry out.