Information About Wild Celery
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What Is Wild Celery: Uses For Wild Celery Plants
By Teo Spengler
Wild celery is no relation whatsoever to garden celery. It usually grows under water where it provides many benefits to underwater organisms. Growing wild celery in your home garden is not possible. Find more wild celery plant information here.
Learn About Celery
How to Sow
Sowing Seed Indoors:
- Sow celery seeds in the north indoors in a warm, well-lighted area or in a hotbed about 10-12 weeks before they last heavy frost date in spring. In the South, and other mild areas, sow from fall to early spring.
- Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed starting formula.
- Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days.
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots.
- Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Planting in the Garden:
- Select a location in full sun with a light, rich, moist to wet soil.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones. Work in organic matter prior to planting.
- Space plants 6 inches apart in rows 18 inches apart. Be careful when transplanting as celery develops a tap root that is easily damaged.
Pascal celery is grown for it's crisp stalks and distinctive flavor
Most garden celery is grown for its large, crisp stalks harvested from the base of the plant. The two most popular types of stalk celery are green and yellow, distinguished by taste and growing methods.
Green celery (aka Pascal or trench celery) is the common variety found in grocery stores. It has a long curved stalk topped with a small bunch of green leaves. It has a strong flavor and fibrous texture that maintains its crunch during cooking. Pascal celery is grown in trenches so the stalks can be blanched toward the end of the growing season.
Yellow celery has a milder taste and paler color than green celery. It is a self-blanching variety which doesn’t require the extra step of covering the stalks.
Celery leaves are too often forgotten and end up in a compost pile instead of on a plate. Leaf celery (aka smallage, cutting celery, or Chinese celery) is closely related to wild celery. It has a stronger, more assertive flavor than the stalk varieties and adds more depth of flavor to soups, sauces, and stews. It can also be used as a garnish in place of other herbs like parsley or cilantro.
Leaf celery looks like a larger version of Italian parsley, with tall, thin, hollow stalks. The stalks can be tough and fibrous and are better used for making stock than for eating raw. Leaf celery is easier to grow than stalk celery.
Celery seeds add a delicate celery undertone that is similar to anise or fennel. Cooks use it in pickling, curry blends, bouquet garni, salad dressings, and soups. Although all celery plants form seeds, not all celery varieties are used for seeds. Since celery stalks become woody and unusable after flowering, stalk celery is harvested before allowing seed production to begin.
Celery seeds come primarily from leaf celery, forming after the plant produces its tiny white flowers. Seeds are harvested after the flowers have dried and wilted. Since celery requires a long season to reach flowering size, growing it for seed is practical where winters are mild.
Celeriac (aka celery root, turnip-rooted celery, or knob celery) is cultivated for its large bulbous root. It has a crisp white interior with a rich celery flavor and parsley undertones. Celeriac is grown and prepared like parsnips, carrots, and potatoes. Once peeled it can be eaten raw in slaw or salad, or boiled and mashed or roasted like potatoes.
Garden celery has smaller, shallow roots that grow just beneath the soil surface. You can harvest and eat the smaller roots of common garden celery as well. The growing period for celeriac is long, so patience is a virtue - roots can take up to 200 days to fully mature.
Celery prefers cool temperatures and cloudy days, thriving between 58°F and 80°F. In regions where summers are hot and winters are mild, celery can be grown as a fall or winter crop (it's hardy to 10 degrees F). Further north, it's planted in the spring and harvested later summer or early fall.
Look for celery plants at your local garden center in early spring
When choosing a location, keep in mind that celery plants need partial sun (4 to 5 hours of sunlight a day). Remember that trees may not have all their leaves in early spring and avoid areas that will be too shaded later in the season. For best results, avoid sites that tend to be dry - celery prefers rich soil high in organic matter that holds moisture well but drains freely.
Before planting, prepare the site by removing debris, loosening the soil, and breaking up any clumps that are larger than an apple. Add compost or other organic garden mix to provide nutrients for healthy growth. Celery needs calcium for best growth, so mix in bone meal or gypsum. Bone meal is a good all-purpose amendment. Gypsum has the added benefit of improving the texture of clay soil.
Celery needs attention to be sure it has adequate water and nutrients to grow strong crisp stalks and mellow their bitter flavor. With adequate sun, water, fertilizer, and patience, you'll be rewarded with an impressive harvest and a sense of accomplishment.
Space celery plants about eight inches apart to enable plants to shade each other as they mature yet allow adequate room for growth. Stagger plantings every two weeks to have celery all season. If growing trench celery, place plants at the bottom of a 3” deep furrow. This will be filled in later in the season when it’s time for blanching.
Celery has very shallow roots and needs constant moisture. Water plants every morning from the bottom to keep soil wet and leaves dry.
Mulching is essential for retaining moisture, especially in warmer weather.
Celery plants need some support so they grow upright and even. As the plants mature, tie the stalks together to help keep them manageable, using twine or strips of cloth. Check periodically and loosen the ties if they start to cut into the plant as it grows wider.
Celery is a heavy feeder and needs regular feedings for healthy growth. Once plants are established, apply a nitrogen rich fertilizer every three weeks.
Celery takes 4 to 5 months to mature, but you can harvest a few stalks throughout the season
Celery takes 4 to 5 months to fully mature, but you can harvest a few stalks throughout the growing season once plants are 6 to 8 inches high. Simply pull off a few outer stalks and leave the inner hearts intact to continue to grow. At the end of the growing season, cut down or uproot the entire plant before the seed stalks appear. Cut the outer stalks away to use in soups and stews and use the tender inner stalks for snacks and salads.
Take advantage of plants that grow well with celery, deterring pests, improving taste, and beautifying the garden. The following plants are good companions that serve celery well:
Pungent vegetables like onion, garlic, and chives ward off aphids and slugs.
Cosmos, snapdragons, marigolds and nasturtiums repel many insects and provide some shade to the soil to assist in moisture retention.
Nasturtiums also increase celery’s overall health and taste.
Aromatic herbs like thyme and dill deter aphids.
Several edibles make good neighbors by helping to improve growing conditions for each other. Take full advantage of these plant combinations to improve health and vigor:
Tomatoes and cabbage provide shade to help celery plants retain moisture, preventing the stalks from drying out.
Spinach can be tucked between celery plants to enjoy the shade from the hot summer sun.
Green beans and peas affix nitrogen in the soil, helping provide celery with a needed nutrient for healthy growth. Be sure to look for dwarf varieties that won’t overshadow the celery plants.
Leeks can be grown in the same trench and earthed up for blanching along with the celery.
Conversely, steer clear of planting corn or asters near celery as they increase the risk of yellow aster disease
2. Best Growing Conditions For Celery
Celery is a cool season crop. You can learn how to grow celery in most areas of the United States. If you live in the Pacific Southwest – that is, Southern California – or in the Deep South of the United States, you can learn how to grow celery during the winter months. In the Upper South and the Northern United States you can learn how to grow celery as an early spring or late fall crop.
Celery grows best in full sun but will also tolerate some shade. Keep this in mind when you are selecting your site for how to grow celery. Make sure you are not planting it in an area that gets too much shade during the day. And when you are planning out your garden, make sure the celery, which will grow up to two feet at most, will not be shaded out by bigger plants to the south of it. In the Northern hemisphere, summer shadows tend to fall on the north side of plants and other objects, because the sun is still predominantly in the Southern sky. Plan your garden accordingly. You may want to plant shade tolerant vegetables, such as greens or root vegetables, on the north side of your celery.
Celery needs rich, moist soil and mild, even temperatures. And condition that can interrupt its growth will cause problems. You will need 120 to 140 days to produce a crop. Because it is so slow growing and delicate, learning how to grow celery can be a bit of a challenge, and it is often only taken on by experienced gardeners. But if you are a beginner, and still want to learn how to grow celery, you should not let that dissuade you. If you choose one of the easier kinds to learn how to grow, such as red celery or soup celery, you should be successful if you take good care of it and follow the steps outlined in this guide.
When you are preparing a garden bed for how to grow celery, there are three main things you should keep in mind: moisture, warmth, and food. While it is germinating and still a small plant, celery needs plenty of moisture and warmth. While it is growing, celery needs moisture and food. One of the best ways to meet all three needs is by making a raised bed. This is a common practice among expert gardeners that solves a number of problems simultaneously. Raised beds that have been deeply dug and enriched with well finished compost hold water better, but still drain well so that oxygen levels are optimal. Nutrients in a raised bed are part of a living system of decomposition and uptake so that plants can use them as needed. The soil in raised beds warms up much more quickly than soil at ground level, so you can plant your celery or other vegetables sooner and be certain they have the right amount of warmth to germinate and grow properly.
Before you plant celery, I recommend amending the soil to make sure that it is rich and full of nutrients. If you have a compost pile, work well finished compost into the upper six to twelve inches of the soil. It is best to do this a few months before you intend to plant your celery. That will allow the nutrients in the compost to leach into the soil over the weeks leading up to when you are ready to plant the celery.
Compost is an important part of maintaining soil fertility. The plants in your garden are the actors responsible for taking nutrients from the soil: in practical terms, every part of the plant was once an element or molecule in the soil. And unless those elements and molecules are returned to the soil, you will find yourself buying synthetic fertilizers to make up for them. But if you compost the plants growing in your garden, you can return those elements and molecules to the soil yourself. This will greatly reduce the need for outside sources of soil nutrients. Once you have a healthy compost pile going in your garden, you will be able to create a self sustaining system that consistently maintains nutrient levels and soil richness year after year.
Celery grows best in soil that has a pH level of 6.0 – 7.0. This is ever so slightly on the acidic side of the scale (7.0 is neutral). You can find out what the pH level is in your garden beds with a simple home test kit that is available at most gardening supply stores. You can test the soil’s pH in just a few minutes with these kits, and they do not cost too much money. I recommend using one, because the time you spend testing your soil’s pH will be time well spent.
In all likelihood the pH of your soil should be pretty close to neutral, and it may even fall right in the perfect range for celery. Fortunately, the best pH range is more or less the same for the majority of vegetables grown for food in gardens. So unless your soil’s pH is drastically higher or lower than this range (and that shouldn’t be the case), you probably will not have to correct its pH. Generally in the United States garden pH is slightly on the lower end if it isn’t optimal.
Raising the pH of the garden bed is a simple matter of adding lime to the soil. One of the best ways to do this is to add ashes to the soil. Wood stoves and fireplaces are great sources of ash. If you don’t have one, hopefully you have a neighbor who does. Wood ash is loaded with a number of nutrients like potassium and calcium that are important for healthy plant growth, and also can quickly correct low soil pH. Add five pounds of wood ashes per 100 square feet. Work it into the top four inches of the soil, and then water the soil liberally to help the nutrients in the ash leach into the garden bed.
Celery - history, uses, benefits and growing tips
In Holland, where I come from, celery root, or celeriac as it is sometimes known, is one of the staples in any household. When I occasionally find it in grocery stores here, I immediately grab it, after which I have to deal with puzzled looks from fellow shoppers and check-out assistants. ?WHAT IS THAT?? they inevitably ask. Celery root looks like a giant turnip, but tastes more like a cross between celery and jicama. I nearly always take a few minutes to educate people on the wonderful qualities of this ugly root.
(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on January 20, 2008. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)
Upon arriving in the US I was mystified to find that here usually only the green stalks of the celery are eaten. In Europe , the root is essential to flavor soups, stews and salad, and in France and the Low countries is eaten as ‘celery remoulade’ a delicious and nutritious salad, also used as a great accompaniment to roasted meat and fish. The flavor of mashed potatoes is given an interesting twist by adding a celery root in with the potatoes when cooking them. The celery stalks are usually cooked and eaten as a vegetable. The celery leaves too are an essential flavoring, used similar to celery seeds here (which, conversely, are virtually unknown in Europe but used in recipes in Arab countries and India )
So let’s investigate this complex plant, with the botanical name Apium graveolens, which is a member of the parsley ( Apiaceae ) family. Conium maculatum, or Poison Hemlock, is a close relative. This plant’s fame stems from its use in the execution of the famous Greek philosopher, Socrates, who drank an extract from this plant.
But back to celery itself:
The word celery comes from the Greek "selinon," which is how it is referred to in ‘ The Odyssey’ by Homer . It has been cultivated in the mediterranean regions of Europe for at least 3000 years.
At the beginning of the 9th century, The emperor Charlemagne wrote an edict called ‘Capitulare de villis vel curtis imperii Caroli Magni’ in which he defined a large number of rules for his Frankish empire. At the end of the document there is a large list of culinary and medical herbs that he declares should be grown in every Imperial garden. Celery was on this list and this started its spread throughout Europe.
We usually think of Celery as a salad food. However, the original wild celery had a number of more interesting uses, such as being made into garlands to be worn at funerals.
And the Chinese too have been using celery since the 5th century AD. Chinese celery has a much stronger flavor than the variety that we know. It is rarely eaten raw, but is a popular addition to soups and stir-fries. Celery plays quite an important part in the Creole cookery of New Orleans, where celery stalks show up frequently in dishes like gumbo.
Celery loses its crisp texture when frozen, but it is then still suitable for use in cooked dishes. As with all vegetables, only the best, freshest stalks should be used for freezing they should be blanched and then frozen promptly.
Celery can add a refreshing taste to your juice recipes too.
However, the value of celery goes well beyond the culinary. It is said that in ancient Rome , celery was worn around the neck to ward off a hangover from a particularly hardy night of partying. Perhaps this is where the practice of putting a stalk of celery in a Bloody Mary comes from!
Though it has never been proven, celery has been claimed to lower blood pressure and aid in the fight against cancer.
Celery Seeds are used in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis and gout. They are also an important source of iron.
Many foods lose much of their nutritional value when cooked however, celery does not. Eating 1 cup of cooked or uncooked celery will provide you with a good portion of your daily nutritional requirement however, it's the leaves that contain the most nutritional benefits. So just by altering your recipes in small ways, adding a little bit of celery seed, or sprinkling a few celery leaves over your sauces and soups , you will enjoy the benefits of a healthier life.
There are even claims that celery has a ‘negative caloric content’ – since the vegetable has so few calories, munching on a stalk and digesting it will burn up more calories than you take in! If that isn’t endorsement enough I don’t know what is!
The celery plant is slender and stands about two to three feet tall. It has three to five segmented leaves, and flowers with small white petals. The celery you buy in the store has been artificially ‘blanched’ by depriving it of light. This gives the stalks a more subtle flavor. Your home grown celery will have a darker, deeper green color.
It is not an uncomplicated crop, the tiny seeds are difficult to sow and germinate and the young plants are very susceptible to frost. With their long growing period (about 120 days) this can be tricky. It is best to start Celery indoors about ten weeks before the last expected frost of spring in your growing region. By the time that the weather warms up outdoors the celery transplants should be stocky and about three or four inches tall with nicely developed root systems. At this time the celery seedlings can be hardened off and transplanted out into the prepared raised beds.
Celery is a heavy feeder that requires plenty of moisture and high levels of organic matter throughout its long growing season. Raised beds are perfect for growing celery in the home garden. They can offer the fertile soil rich in organic matter that will drain quickly yet retain the moisture required for celery plants to grow rapidly and without interruption. But in exchange for the effort home grown celery will reward you with flavor and nutritional value that surpasses that of the commercial varieties found at your local grocers. In addition, there are many heirloom varieties, some with interesting colors, that will give you some variety.
Home grown celery can be harvested a stalk or two at a time from each plant throughout the growing season. Just gently twist off the largest outer stalks from the base of the plant.
If you’ve been successful at improving your garden’s soil, growing celery in the home garden may not be as difficult as you expected.
Medicinal Uses of Ajmoda Powder
Ajmoda is a well-known drug for the digestive, respiratory diseases, rheumatism, and gout. It is one of the chief ingredients in many formulations rheumatoid arthritis.
- As a medicine, the Ajmoda seeds can be ground to powder, and taken. The recommended dosage is 1-3 grams, twice or thrice a day with warm water. Children should be given 125 to 500 mg, two or three times a day.
- Externally, the poultice, made of the powdered seeds in warm water can be applied on the affected joint.
- Ajmoda Churna / Ajmoda Powder, can be used safely in the following conditions:
- Joint pain in arthritis such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, and non-specific arthritis (arthritis patients should avoid eating sour, and cold items)
- Colic, indigestion, bloating, gas
- Cough, asthma, bronchitis
- Intestinal antiseptic