Whether you choose celeriac or celery is not just a question of taste. Both forms are suitable for cultivation in your own garden and also have the same requirements in terms of location and care. However, celery requires significantly less space and can therefore even be grown in small pots or boxes on the balcony.

The right location

Celery prefers a sunny location that is somewhat protected. Because especially the young plants are still quite sensitive to the cold.

In addition, celery should not have to share the bed with parsley, fennel, beets and other umbelliferae.

However, lettuce, cucumber and cabbage are not in competition with it and can therefore be grown in the immediate vicinity.

Recommended varieties of celeriac are:

  • Monarch
  • Berger’s White Ball
  • Whale
  • Mentor

Not for nothing popular varieties of celery are:

  • Tango
  • Tall Utah
  • Golden Spartan
  • Pascal

The advantage of these celery varieties is their self-bleaching property. Unlike other varieties, you don’t have to dig the plants and then gradually cover them with soil or wrap the stems in paper. This significantly reduces the effort involved in growing the celery.


Celery can thrive in normal, loose garden soil. However, since growth requires a lot of nutrients, it should be prepared and fortified accordingly.
To do this, the soil is thoroughly loosened and provided with manure or compost. Horn shavings or meal can also be lifted into the substrate.

It is best to start preparing for the cultivation in the fall before planting. This gives the added nutrients the opportunity to settle. In addition, the substances are then distributed more evenly in the soil, which improves the overall yield.


The celery cultivation ends with a particularly large yield if the surrounding substrate is loosened superficially every three to four weeks. This maintenance measure improves the water supply, aerates the soil and facilitates growth. This should not be done without, especially with celeriac.


Because young celery is very sensitive, it is advisable to grow the seeds indoors. Celeriac requires a little less space than the tuber variant. In any case, initially about 5 cm x 5 cm large pots are sufficient.

  1. In-house pre-cultivation can begin in February.
  2. A nutrient-rich soil should be chosen as the substrate. The already prepared soil of the later bed is ideal for this.
  3. Celery is one of the light germs, so the seeds should only be covered slightly with soil. Better yet, just use a thin layer of sand.
  4. The seeds should be in a bright room for pre-cultivation. The temperature must be between 10 ° C and 20 ° C.
  5. The substrate should only be slightly moist, otherwise fungal infestations will creep in quickly. So water should only be added infrequently. For this reason, covering with foil does not make sense either.
  6. A release in the field is only beneficial when the plants are about five to ten centimeters high.
Tip: It is much easier and faster to buy young plants early. Even with these, however, a few points should be paid attention to before planting in the field.

Plant outdoors

Before starting celery growing outdoors, you should wait for the last frost. The best time has come after the Ice Saints.

Even then, however, the following factors determine the success of the planting.

  • Digging up the bed or hooking up the ground improves the growth
  • Planting celery needs about 15 cm, celeriac at least 30 cm
  • The root axis should terminate as exactly as possible with the surface of the earth
  • After planting, cover the young celery with garden fleece for a week
  • At first just pour on lightly
  • Celeriac should be freed from the substrate up to the upper root section as soon as the tuber has reached a diameter of about five centimeters
Tip: The celery will need plenty of water later and as close as possible controls. You should therefore at least create narrow paths between the rows of plants.


The care of the celery is not complicated in itself and also possible for new hobby gardeners without any problems. Increasing watering, regular loosening of the substrate and fertilization must be part of this and take some time.

Watering and fertilizing

As dry as the young plants want to be, the more water they need with increasing age. The amount and frequency of watering should therefore be increased continuously. It is important to find the golden mean between dryness and waterlogging. Normal tap water can tolerate both tubers and stalks without any problems.

While growing outdoors, celery should be fertilized twice. The administration of nettle liquid manure or a calorie-rich liquid fertilizer is suitable for this. The interval should be about four to six weeks. This fertilization is particularly effective when it is combined with loosening the soil.

Controls and Protection

Hungry voles, celery scab, leaf spot disease and celery flies – all of these can damage the celery and reduce the yield considerably. A weekly check helps to quickly identify any infestations. Bed borders, which are dug as deep as possible, help against voles. Celery flies can be kept away by very close-meshed nets, but they can also be fought with appropriate pesticides.
Corresponding remedies are also available in stores to combat leaf spot disease and celery scab.


When it comes to harvesting, there is a clear difference between celery and the forms with tuber.

Celery can be harvested from June onwards. Rod by rod, as required. If only individual rods are cut off, new ones usually grow back. The outdoor harvest season can continue until the first night frost occurs. Once the plants have been exposed to sub-zero temperatures, they appear glassy and are no longer suitable for consumption.

If you want to extend the harvest time again, you can either cover the celery again with garden fleece or bring it into your house in buckets. As long as it is frost-free and bright here, it can even survive winter unscathed. Again, a temperature between 10 ° C and 20 ° C is recommended.

Then, however, additional fertilization should be carried out occasionally. The celeriac can be harvested from the end of August. However, if you want, you can take your time. Because the tubers tolerate light frosts without any problems. They are only damaged from -5 ° C. The longer the celeriac stays in the bed, the larger it will be.

However, it should be noted that roots and greenery are removed from the tubers immediately after harvest. The green can be used as a soup spice, but the roots cannot be used any further.


Celeriac can be stored for a few months without any problems if it is cool but frost-free. For this, however, soil residues must remain on the tubers and dry out before storage. If the celery is washed, however, it spoils quickly.

It is helpful to store the tubers in dry sand and only remove them when needed. When removing, you should always check whether the interfaces have possibly formed mold. This can happen if the celery is too moist.

If you don’t have enough space for this type of storage, the tubers can be washed, peeled, cut into cubes and blanched. If the cubes are then frozen, they can serve as an enrichment in the kitchen all year round. It is also possible to pickle cubes or slices.

Celery is also suitable for freezing. Washed, cut and briefly blanched, it keeps in the freezer for at least six months. Those who prefer to enjoy the sticks fresh are better advised to harvest them as required. If the plants in the house are bright and at a temperature between 10 ° C and 20 ° C, this is possible at least until December. Even longer if the conditions are optimal.

Typical pests

As already described above, the celery in the bed can fall victim to voles. To prevent this, the preparation of the bed should include the use of a protective grille. Alternatively, you can spoil the mice’s stay in the garden by burying lawn edging stones or other obstacles. If the pests repeatedly encounter blockages, they usually move to more problem-free areas.

Another pest that can be dangerous to both the bulb and the perennial is the celery fly. The fly itself is only five millimeters tall and can be easily distinguished from others by the black stripes and spots along the wings. It lays its larvae, which are almost one centimeter long, on and in the leaves of the celery. It is from here that the offspring eat leaves and stems. In some cases, traces of feces can be seen at the openings in the holes. Another sign is that the green is drying up and falling off. The reason for this are the feeding tunnels that cut off the water supply.

Infestation can be effectively prevented by covering the plants with a close-meshed plant protection net. If the celery flies are already spreading, only pesticides will help.


Snails, and especially slugs, can also damage celery. Protective fences or pesticides also help against them.

Typical diseases

On the disease side, leaf spot disease and celery scab are found.
The leaf spot disease is caused by fungi and manifests itself in yellowish and brownish discoloration of the leaves and stems. In rainy weather or heavy watering, the spores spread very quickly. This can cause celery root to die. Celeriac is inhibited in growth. In order to contain the spread, the affected parts of the plant should be removed and destroyed immediately. If the leaf blotch disease is already well advanced, the whole plant must be destroyed. Appropriate pesticides can also be helpful. Since the spores are also distributed on the substrate, the bed should be treated and dug up after harvest. If the seeds are to be used, they must be pickled.

Celery scab or celery rust is also a fungal disease. The triggering spores penetrate through weak points in the roots and plant skin and produce reddish and dark spots and rot. Tea infusion made from wormwood can be effective as a prevention. Once erupted, the plants can either be treated with pesticides or have to be removed and destroyed.

To prevent re-spreading, the bed and seeds should be treated in the same way as with leaf spot disease.

Prevent infestation during cultivation

In celery cultivation it is of course particularly annoying when part of the harvest is destroyed by diseases. Once infected by fungi, some effort is also required to restore the bed to health. The best way to prevent this from happening is with proper care and preparation for planting.

The following tips will help.

  • Prefer celery in the house or choose young plants directly, these are more resistant
  • Put the plants in the bed as late as possible – the warmer, the better
  • Introduce a drainage layer made of gravel, this prevents waterlogging
  • Do not water or water very sparingly in cold weather
  • Plant cabbage between the celery, its fumes have a preventive effect

Growing celery is not difficult, but requires some patience and effort from the hobby gardener. With the right preparation, however, you can significantly reduce maintenance. And the rich harvest always pays off for the work.

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