Today I transplanted some celery to the bed nearest the kitchen in the hopes that we’ll get used to cutting a few celery leaves to add to many of our meals. I also moved a couple of spinach plants, mainly to consolidate and rationalise the top 2 veggie beds. These are the beds that get virtually no winter sun (maybe an hour a day) and good summer sun (maybe 5 hours a day? but that’s plenty in the heat).
To prepare the bed, a few scraggly kohlrabi had to go. This batch never did produce – too shady (it’s siblings moved into a sunny bed in early winter are almost ready to harvest). I added cow manure, coffee grounds, compost, sand, fertiliser and water crystals to the bed, used a pitch fork to loosen the soil and watered it well. This soil (it was hard clay when we bought the house 8 years ago) is getting really healthy and I expect everything to grow well here.
This celery was originally planted on 13 November 2010 from store-bought seedlings. I separated a couple of them this time when transplanting because they looked strong enough to be able to survive and I figure they might do better with more space to grow. And, as is now my habit, I sprinkled a handful of coffee grounds over everything at the end. So far the coffee grounds definitely don’t harm anything – and they just may be helping keep the cat away (as well as fertilising my plants).
My poor celery had a tough year with the summer being so hot but it recovered quite nicely over winter. Celery is supposed to take 5 months to mature. I can’t say they weren’t mature at 5 months but at 9 months they are hitting a growth spurt. I have no idea how long I’ll be able to keep harvesting but I’ve no plans to stop any time soon. I have 3 more plants (2 if you don’t count the one de-leaved by some critter) in a lower bed that are doing even better. I am trying to spread my plants around so I can take advantage of the different amounts of sun and always have one going strong.
I’ve read up on celery because, though these produce great leaves and some small, twiggy-like stems, they don’t get those thick stems that you can fill with peanut butter and serve at 1970s-themed parties. Turns out you need to wrap and/or mound the stems to get that effect. I don’t think it’s worth it so I’ll let them grow at will.