Due to its shallow root system, celery requires a steady and uniform supply of moisture. The crop performs best on heavier soils with good drainage and a high water-holding capacity. Many gardeners plant their celery in “trenches” which are gradually filled in to blanch the stems. For this planting method, dig a trench 15 in. wide and 12 in. deep a few months before transplanting. Add manure or compost to the bottom, and return the soil to within 3 in. of ground level. When danger of frost has past, transplant your young celery plants into the trench at 9 in. intervals in double-staggered rows 9 in. apart. Water the plants thoroughly.
When the plants are about 12 in. high, cut off any side-shoots at the base and loosely tie the stems just below the leaves using raffia or soft garden string.As the plants grow, hill up (or add soil around the base of each plant) every three weeks, leaving plenty of leaf above the soil. Be sure not to let soil fall into the hearts. It’s best to hill up after it rains when the soil is damp. Too many weeds can reduce the uniformity in growth for celery. Weeds can also become hiding places for many insect pests, which can adversely affect your celery yield and require additional pesticide applications. Be sure to hoe the ground around your celery plants often, removing weeds frequently. Straw placed over the trench can help keep weeds to a minimum, and it also aids in harvesting.
Lift the celery carefully with a trowel to harvest. Be careful: The roots may have penetrated very deeply. If that is the case, it is best to use a pitchfork instead.
Under optimal conditions, celery can be stored for up to seven weeks between 32 and 36 deg F (0 and 2 deg C).
Every part of a celery plant is edible. Celery seed is actually a very small fruit, and can be used as a flavoring or spice—either whole or ground and mixed with salt. Celery salt is a tasty ingredient in cocktails, on Chicago-style hot dogs, or in Old Bay Seasoning.Celery, onions and bell peppers are known as the “holy trinity” of Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine. Celery, onions and carrots make up the French mirepoix, and is often used as a base for sauces and soups. Celery is a staple in many homemade soups, such as Chicken Noodle.Raw celery is a low-calorie snack, and its stalks and ribs are great in crudités, a traditional French appetizer comprised of sliced fresh vegetables that are dipped in a vinaigrette or another dipping sauce.
The early reasons for cultivating celery were for medicinal purposes. Then it was grown as a spice, and finally as a food.