Celery (Seeds)

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Celery (Seeds)


Celery requires constant moisture. If possible, allow space between rows for a shallow trench that can be flooded with water in dry weather. Dig in a 1-inch layer of rich compost and a standard application of a high-nitrogen organic fertilizer, such as dried poultry manure, and water well. Wait at least three days before planting seedlings 12 to 14 inches apart. Before hot weather comes, mulch between plants with grass clippings or another organic mulch to keep the soil cool and moist.

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If you have become accustomed to thinking about celery as a crunchy, low-cal vegetable but not a key part of your health support, it is time to think again. Recent research has greatly bolstered our knowledge about celery’s anti-inflammatory health benefits, including its protection against inflammation in the digestive tract itself. Some of the unique non-starch polysaccharides in celery—including apiuman—appear especially important in producing these anti-inflammatory benefits. (Unlike starchy polysaccharides that provide plants with a way to store simple sugars, these non-starch polysaccharides in celery help provide this vegetable with its unique structure and are not made from simple sugars but rather from pectins.)

Celery seeds of all types are small and may germinate erratically. Start them in doors or in a greenhouse 10 to 12 weeks before your last spring frost and give them bright light. Seedlings that have more than five leaves can be hardened off and set out when average night temperatures are above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Exposure to cold for more than a week can trigger plants to bolt and produce seeds. In hot summer areas with mild winters, start seeds indoors in late summer and set them out in early fall. Plants should be ready to harvest about 90 days after you put your seedlings in the ground.

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