At first glance, celeriac hardly leaves a lasting impression on the viewer. The vegetable plant belongs to the umbelliferae family and has a white-yellow, heavily rooted appearance. To discover the true core of celery, you have to look behind the gnarled skin. The spicy vegetable is rich in vitamins and essential oils and is therefore extremely healthy. It is also surrounded by a mystical aura, as celeriac has been considered the ultimate aphrodisiac for centuries. Even if experts always deny this effect, this statement does not detract from the popularity of the plant. If you always want to have a supply of this powerful vegetable with intense flavor, you can simply grow celeriac yourself. The tasty tuber from the large family of root vegetables is known to grow underground and needs nutrient-rich soil and a sunny location to thrive. With good care, you can hope for a good harvest as early as the end of October.

Interesting facts about the tuber

Celeriac has been valued since ancient times and has been increasingly cultivated in Europe since the 17th century. It has proven over time to be an ideal vegetable for the kitchen garden. Not only is there a lot of flavor and vitamins in the tuber, you can also do a lot with the herb, because it refines sauces and soups.

The vegetable is also considered to be detoxifying and blood-cleansing. The ingredients such as essential oils, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, calcium and vitamins A, B, C and E are responsible for the unmistakable aroma and the healthy mode of action. The taste of the tuber can be described as rather tart.

The appearance of the celeriac can also be very different. Due to a wide variety of breeds, there are now tubers in flat, round, oval or even conical shapes. The weight of a fully grown tuber is between 300 and 900 grams. To keep the harvested root vegetables fresh for a long time, they should be stored in the refrigerator at high humidity and 5 degrees Celsius.

Characteristics and care needs

The plant is one of the heavy consumers, which means that it draws a lot of nitrogen from the soil during growth. In order to really grow in size, weight and color, celery needs sufficient nitrogen or potash fertilizer. However, care should be taken with nitrogen, because too much fertilizer will significantly affect the taste of the plant. Celeriac also tolerates salt well. To get a perfect mixture, add a tablespoon of sea or table salt to three liters of water. The mixture is enough for about 15 plants. In order for the tuber to be in season all year round, a few other important rules should be observed.

  • The planting distance must be about 40 centimeters.
  • The soil must have a balanced mineral and nutrient content.
  • Incorporation of manure or compost into the soil.
  • The celeriac prefers a sunny but not too warm location.
  • Transplant only after the ice saints in May.
  • During the growth phase, the celery must be watered regularly.
  • Careful hoeing of the soil throughout the period of cultivation.

Care tips and special features of the culture

If you no longer want to do without celeriac on your menu, you can ensure a certain supply by growing it yourself. However, you should bring some patience with you when gardening, because it takes a few months from sowing to harvest. However, since the celeriac is an excellent vegetable for storage, you can still eat and benefit from the vegetable plant in the winter months. ThePlanting out should not start too early, as ground frost can damage the small young plants. It makes sense to protect the tender plants with a fleece from possible cold snaps for the first time. However, before planting can begin, the soil must be well prepared. Soils of inferior soil quality must be provided with compost or manure in late autumn or extensively soaked with liquid manure. Celeriac loves loamy, nutrient-rich soil that retains moisture well.

The plantings are done with a minimum distance of approx. 40 cm. The later the planting takes place, the smaller the size of the tubers remains. In this way it is possible to make a narrower planting. During the growth phase, existing weeds must always be removed and the soil hoed evenly. This serves to aerate the soil and reduces the spread of weeds. However, extreme caution is required when hacking. Celeriac is considered to have flat roots and to avoid damaging the delicate roots, chopping should be stopped completely from July and the weeds should be pulled by hand. If the tuber is clearly visible in the soil, you can remove the soil all around until the roots are visible. This procedure promotes the growth of the tuber in particular.


With celery there are the possibilities of generative and vegetative propagation. For purely commercial cultivation, generative propagation by sowing makes sense, since the plants can better adapt to changing environmental influences in this way. The vegetative propagation in turn takes place through the rhizomes. If the above-ground parts of the shoot die off, they can regenerate from the existing rhizomes at the end of a vegetation period. The simplest form of propagation, however, is through seeds. You can win these yourself or, for the sake of simplicity, you can buy them in stores. About 1200 seedlings can be obtained from one gram of celery seed.

Celery must be pre-cultivated to ensure a high-yield harvest. This means that you sow the seeds flat in small plant pots or trays in February or March. The planters should be housed in a bright, frost-free room. During pre-cultivation, the seeds should be watered only minimally. The sowing containers must not be covered, as the celeriac belongs to the light germs. Additional lighting can therefore have a growth-promoting effect. The ideal temperature for germination is 18 degrees Celsius. At temperatures above 22 degrees Celsius, ensure adequate ventilation.

When the plants have reached a certain size and are resilient enough, they are pricked out and planted outdoors in late May or early June. The small young plants need a planting distance of about 50 cm x 40 cm. When planting, make sure that the heart of the plant is above the ground. This prevents deformation of the tuber during the growth phase. If you have less patience and if this type of propagation is too time-consuming, you can also buy young plants at markets or from the gardener you trust.

The procedure of seed collection

The seed extraction is a somewhat longer procedure and requires some gardening skill. Since the celery plant is a biennial plant, the flowers on celery usually only appear in the summer of the second year of cultivation. If the vegetable plant blooms in the first year, then it was placed outdoors too early. The ripe seeds can be seen in the umbel flower, which must be harvested quickly so that wind and rain do not blow them out. To do this, the umbels are cut off and dried extensively in suitable rooms. The so-called post-ripening is completed after about 2 to 3 weeks. Now the umbels are put into a sack and very gently threshed. The seeds obtained are then cleaned with sieves and can be sent to their actual destination.

harvest time

The long-awaited harvest season begins with the onset of the first frosts. Now you have to take the celery bulbs out of the ground, because minus temperatures damage the bulbs that are already fully grown. Harvesting too early, on the other hand, produces tubers that are too small, because the plant experiences another enormous growth spurt in October.

To avoid damage, use a digging fork to dig deep into the soil and under the tuber to lift it out. Harvesting should also only take place when the outside temperatures are dry, otherwise the moisture will be carried into the storage area and the harvested crop will be exposed to fungal infestation. The strongly branched roots are removed and the leaves are torn off. Only the heart leaves must be preserved.

Celeriac should be stored in a dark area away from direct sunlight. A cool basement or a heap of earth with sand is ideal for this. In areas where the winters are rather mild and frost-free, you can also leave the celeriac in the ground and protect and cover it with fir branches.

pests and diseases

Even if the celeriac is a very robust and resistant plant, it still has to reckon with some enemies in its environment. The carrot fly, for example, overwinters in the ground and lays its eggs there. The hatched larvae find a richly laid table and eat their way through the small lateral roots. If the young celeriac is attacked by the carrot fly, it will die off. Older crops show growth retardation or leaf discoloration.

Wireworms and some click beetle larvae also prefer moist soil to lay their eggs. Young plants fall victim to the voracious larvae, while old plants actually have burrows in the middle of the tuber. Regular hacking and digging, as well as the use of chemical agents, can help destroy the pests. However, nature itself still provides the best pest control. Simply plant a few beans or cauliflower and leeks near the celery and pests will stay away from the tuber.

However, voracious voles also find a taste for the delicious roots of celeriac. In order to stop the rodents, traps can be set up or, in the case of a stronger infestation, chemical agents can be used. The situation is different with the dreaded celery scab. This disease causes the plant to rot and it is advisable to stop cultivation for at least 4 years.

Celeriac lives up to the saying “rough skin, soft core” because its secret lies on the inside. The delicious pulp is extremely healthy and enhances the menu in a pleasurable way. In order to always have a sufficient supply of this health-promoting tuber in the house, it is definitely worth growing in the garden.

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