Petiole celery is not easy to grow on site. It takes a lot of effort to grow seedlings first, and then a real powerful plant. And the result is not always obtained, which was originally aimed at.
Many varieties of this plant are grown in a trench way, that is, in deep trenches. Gradually, as the plant develops, the stems are sprinkled with soil to whiten and acquire a more delicate taste. If celery grows in an ordinary bed, then its stems can also be bleached. You need to do this process about a month before harvesting.
Bleaching celery stalks consists of fencing off or isolating them from the sun's rays in various ways.
When and how to bleach stalked celery properly
The best time to start this procedure is the first week of September. Celery by this time should have reached more than 30 cm in height. Isolation from sunlight is necessary for the plant to get rid of the bitter spicy taste and lighten the color of the stems.
First, you need to carefully collect all the greens in a bunch and lightly tie it with a small strip of fabric. Then, using thick paper, cardboard or other suitable material, wrap the entire plant in a circle so that the top of the wrapper is below the leaves, and the bottom of it is firmly pressed to the ground. The wrapper is fixed to the plant with tape or fabric strips.
Celery should be in such a package for about 20-25 days, after which it must be dug up along with the roots.
Many summer residents do not welcome the bleaching of celery by hilling it with earth, since the plant has an unpleasant earthy taste. You can hide plant stems from sunlight using various packaging waste or building material residues. For these purposes, ordinary newspapers (in several layers), wrapping paper, medium-thick cardboard, boxes of juice or milk, as well as penofol, trimming corrugated pipes and even plastic bottles made of dark plastic will do.
For example, you can make tall cylinders from plastic bottles by cutting off their top and bottom. They are, as it were, put on a plant and pressed tightly to the soil. The voids in the plastic cylinder must be filled with falling leaves or sawdust. In the same way, cuttings from wide plastic or corrugated pipes and cardboard packaging from food products are used.
You can also use straw to close celery from sunlight by building a dense shock around the stem.
It is recommended to use only the material that does not have any foreign odors, as the plant absorbs them.
No bleaching celery varieties
There are a lot of varieties of stalked celery. They all have their pros and cons. For example, common varieties taste great and have a long shelf life, but stem bleaching is required. There are self-bleaching varieties that do not need to be fiddled with for a long time, but they are short-lived in storage. Plants of such varieties quickly deteriorate, they need to be eaten as soon as possible, and they are also very afraid of cold weather. Self-bleaching varieties include: "Tango", "Golden", "Golden Feather", "Celebrity", "Latom".
Bleaching stalked celery
Growing stalked celery seedlings
Fragrant or Fragrant Celery is a type of herbaceous plant that belongs to the genus Celery from the Umbrella family. It is a food and medicinal crop, it can be root, leaf or petiolate. Botanically, the varieties are very similar to each other, the way they are grown is different. Caring for stalked celery in the open field is easier than for root, but it takes more time to dilute the leaf.
Description of culture
Celery is a well-known herb. It is perennial and belongs to the umbrella family. This vegetable crop is characterized by a sweet-spicy taste and rich aroma. Initially, the plant grew in the Mediterranean countries, but over time it spread throughout the world.
The petiolate celery is prized for its juicy, aromatic stems. Its petioles can be light green or white. If in the process of cultivation the stems are covered with earth, then they grow white. They taste very tender, have less bitterness and last longer.
Celery Stalk Bleaching Tools
The classic method of bleaching the petioles involves covering them with earth as they grow. But most summer residents do not like it. And troublesome, and celery takes on an unnecessary earthy aftertaste. How, then, to close the petioles from sunlight? Seasoned gardeners have a whole list of possible "packaging materials":
|Several layers of newspaper or wrapping paper|
|Dark cylinders (their role can be played by ordinary dark plastic bottles with cut-off bottom and top). Such cylinders are put on top of the plant, pressed into the soil, and all the free space between the cylinder and the plant is filled with sawdust of deciduous trees or leaf litter.|
|Tall boxes without bottom|
It should be borne in mind that the packaging material should not have extraneous odors - celery absorbs them like a sponge. In addition, do not wrap the petioles in a dark film - they can rot.
Growing stalked celery at home. Preparing for landing
When growing seedlings of stalked celery, germination of seeds, preparation of soil mixture and containers, and creation of favorable conditions in the room play an important role.
The seed coat contains a large amount of essential oils that reduce the percentage of germination. Therefore, it is preferable to grow stalked celery through seedlings. Direct sowing in open ground is carried out with complete confidence in the quality of the seed and its freshness. It happens that producers indicate inaccurate information about the expiration date, and the buyer runs the risk of purchasing expired seeds that will not germinate.
For safety reasons, it is recommended to germinate the seeds: soak in warm water for 3-4 hours, wrap in a damp cloth and leave at room temperature until white seedlings appear. Sowing of germinated material is carried out in areas with early spring and long summer. In such conditions, there is a high probability of getting early shoots and harvesting before the cold weather.
Wet sawdust is used to germinate seeds. A clean glass or plastic tray is filled with wet sawdust, and seeds mixed with river sand are placed on top. Without closing the lid, the container is placed in a warm, lighted place. The sawdust is periodically sprayed with a spray gun to maintain constant humidity, while waiting for the sprouts to appear.
There is another way to prepare seed material - stratification. The seeds are placed in a damp cloth and left at room temperature for a week. Then the tissue bundle is placed in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Thus, favorable conditions for germination are created, close to natural: the grains winter in the ground, and in spring they sprout together.
Seeds from well-known manufacturers are disinfected before packaging. Seeds collected by hand are subject to mandatory disinfection in a solution of potassium permanganate or "Fitosporin".
Advice. To increase the percentage of germination, soak the seeds in a growth stimulator - "Epine" or "Zircon".
To grow celery seedlings, use a substrate from shops for gardeners or prepare the soil yourself from:
- equal parts of turf, sand, peat, sawdust and ground eggshell
- peat, vermiculite and humus (3: 1: 1)
- peat, humus and wood ash (3: 1: 1)
- vermicompost and sand in equal proportions.
Before use, the soil is disinfected in an oven, microwave oven, double boiler. However, when heated, not only pathogenic, but also useful microflora perishes, so farmers recommend watering the substrate with a dark solution of potassium permanganate, "Baikal-M" or "Shining".
To increase the nutritional value, 200 g of wood ash and 20 g of urea are added for every 10 kg of soil mixture.
Container and place of cultivation
For growing seedlings of stalked celery, plastic boxes, containers, trays, tetrapacks are used. The grown seedlings are seated in disposable glasses with a volume of 300 ml. Holes are made in the bottom to drain excess water.
Before use, containers are washed and disinfected with a solution of copper sulfate or potassium permanganate.
An ideal place for growing celery seedlings is a sunny windowsill. The duration of daylight hours should be at least 12 hours, optimally 16 hours. With a lack of sunlight, the seedlings are supplemented with a phytolamp.
Cultivation of stalked celery. How to avoid mistakes when growing and caring for stalked celery
Caucasian cuisine cannot be imagined without celery leaves, in Russia they prefer a white root, growing stalked celery and caring for it is typical for residents of North America, Great Britain, Mediterranean countries, and it is also appreciated in Japan. In comparison with the root and leaf variety, petiole (salad) varieties are more tender, juicy, healthy. Only from them can you make juice - a drink for health and maintaining an ideal shape.
The petiolate variety of celery wins the hearts of Russian gardeners
Biological features of culture
Petiole celery is cold-resistant, so many gardeners have a question whether it can be grown as a perennial plant or not. Immediately, we note that this is a two-year culture of the Umbrella family, which in the first year gives a rosette of succulent roots and leaves, in the second - seeds. In the south, provided that the soil freezes slightly, celery is cultivated as a perennial, but only to obtain greenery. High-quality petioles, like the root, can be obtained only in the first year of the plant's growing season.
The vegetable belongs to long-growing crops - from full-fledged shoots to ripening, it takes 140-180 days, depending on the variety of stalked celery. During this period, a powerful bush will grow up to 65 cm high with a rosette of thick stems and large pinnately dissected leaves, often dark green, glossy. The petioles have a curved shape, slightly ribbed on the outside, the pulp is juicy, crunchy, with a piquant aroma and light bitterness. The old varieties are more fibrous, the new ones are delicate, practically have no hard fibers. Light green, bleached or yellow-fleshy petioles are sweeter, more bitter - green or reddish.
One plant of stalked celery, with proper cultivation techniques, gives from 300 g to 1.2 kg of marketable products.
Note! Root celery also has large, thick stems, but unlike the petiolate variety, they are not fleshy, but sinewy, besides they are hollow inside.
In the garden centers there are seeds of domestic and foreign varieties of stalked celery. When choosing, pay attention to the ripening time - for regions with a cold climate, early and mid-early varieties are preferable, medium-late varieties are also suitable for greenhouses.
Gustatory characteristics play a role. If you like a savory bitterness, plant celery with green stalks, adherents of traditional neutral flavors will love self-bleaching or yellow-fleshed plants. Here is a brief description of several of the most successful varieties.
Celery Utah is bred by Italian breeders. The petioles are long, light green, very tasty, practically without fibers. In terms of ripening - the variety is average, the yield of stems with leaves - up to 3.5 kg / m².
Malachite is one of the earliest varieties (85 days), allowing you to enjoy healthy products in the middle of summer. Productivity - 1.2 kg of petioles per plant.
Nughet is a variety of stalked celery of Czech selection. Among the pluses is an early ripening period, a neat, tightly closed rosette of stems, a pleasant taste and aroma.
Tango is a common cultivar with bluish green petioles. It ripens for a long time - the growing season is 180 days. Attracts with delicate pulp without fibers, high yield (1.0 kg per plant), excellent keeping quality.
Gold will appeal to lovers of self-bleaching varieties. Up to 800 g of elastic petioles with light pulp, pleasant taste and aroma are collected from one plant.
How to avoid mistakes when growing?
To avoid disappointment, you need to know and follow the cultivation technique of stalked celery. It is in many ways similar to the other two varieties, but has a number of nuances. What mistakes are most often made by novice gardeners?
The seeds are sown too late. Since the culture has a long growing season, it is recommended to plant seedlings at the age of 70–80 days. And given the fact that the seeds of celery are tough-growing, you need to sow it already in February, in extreme cases - in early March.
Seedlings are planted early, in cold soil and the plant goes to the arrow. The paradox of this culture is that despite its cold hardiness, it is thermophilic. Seedlings of petiolate celery will not die with early planting, but the cold oppresses it, it stops growing. In addition, the plant perceives this as a forced dormant period and moves on to the "second series" - expels the flower arrow.
The petioles are sinewy, with a bitter taste. This happens if the vegetable is planted in poor soil. The plant itself is large, in order to grow actively, it requires a lot of nutrition. If it is not there, it sits in place, the stems coarse. The petioles will be fibrous without watering. An important agricultural technique that allows you to remove bitterness is bleaching the stems. Many do not know about him.
Sowing in open ground
Seeds for direct sowing in the garden are prepared in the same way as for growing seedlings. To speed up the process of awakening the planting material, in addition to stratification, additionally carry out:
- soaking in warm water for 5-7 days
- germination in a damp cloth or gauze for 7-10 days (the water is periodically changed)
- soaking in hot water at a temperature of 50 ° C (the seeds are placed in a linen bag)
- germination in wet sawdust.
After all procedures, the seed is dried.
Pre-preparation accelerates germination... Seedlings appear two weeks earlier than expected.
For direct sowing of seeds in open ground, the site is prepared in the fall.: carry out deep plowing and fertilize with humus. In the spring, the land is plowed again, loosened and the beds are watered with a solution of potassium permanganate or copper sulfate.
Sowing scheme and technology
Sowing seeds carried out after warming up the soil to + 10 ° С... In the southern regions, this occurs in mid-April. Furrows are made in the soil with a depth of 1-1.5 cm, wood ash is poured and the seeds are sealed with an interval of 2-3 cm. Sprinkle on top with a layer of peat and watered abundantly with warm water.
To protect against frost at night, the beds are covered with black agrofibre.
Agrotechnics of celery in the open field is simple... The main thing is to follow the basic rules of caring for him:
- Celery is poured with warm, settled water 2-3 times a week. Watering should be abundant, but infrequent.
- After each watering and precipitation, the soil is loosened and at the same time cleared of weeds.
- It is recommended to mulch celery beds with rotted straw, burlap or dry grass. This will protect plants from frost and pests, slow down the growth of weeds.
- Celery is fed every two weeks. Mineral fertilizers (20 g of nitrophoska for 1 bucket of water) and organic fertilizers are alternated (manure is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10). Before feeding, plants must be watered with plenty of clean water.
- Self-bleaching celery must be earthed. They begin to do this when the stems reach a height of 15 cm.
- When growing varieties that need bleaching, their petioles, when they reach a height of 30 cm, are wrapped in a damp cloth.
Attention! With rare watering, the stems become bitter.
Diseases and pests
Celery is not as susceptible to disease as other crops. But sometimes it is also affected by fungal, bacterial and viral diseases.
The list contains the most common ones:
- tobacco mosaic virus
- bacterial spot
- late burn
- rot (white or heart-shaped)
If you follow the rules of prevention, the risk of developing pathologies will be minimal:
- Compliance with the principles of crop rotation. Celery is not planted after other greens and carrots.
- Removal of plant residues. Pathogens may remain on them.
- Temperature. Celery is planted only after the night frosts have passed.
- Disinfection. Disinfecting solutions are used to treat all tools and materials with which plants come into contact.
- Compliance with the rules of watering. Do not allow stagnant water or drying out of the soil.
During epidemics, it is recommended to spray the plantings with a solution of copper sulfate, potassium permanganate or "Fitosporin". Diseased plants are removed so that they do not infect healthy specimens.
Celery is often attacked by pests. They not only spoil plants, but also carry pathogens throughout the garden:
- snails and slugs
- carrot fly larva.
To protect celery from pests, it is sprayed with a decoction of bitter herbs (wormwood, dandelion). The beds and aisles are sprinkled with ash.
Important! A rotten core indicates that bacteria have entered the stems.