Growing Celeriac – How to Grow Celeriac
Apium graveolens rapaceum
Derived from the wild celery plant, celeriac (or turnip-rooted celery) is quite easy to grow provided the ground is richly prepared and plenty of moisture is available during its growing season; if checked through lack of moisture celeriac is liable to bolt (run to seed) and produce hard, stringy roots. If you like the rooty bit of ordinary celery but have not tried celeriac, a small block may provide a welcome late-autumn and winter vegetable, delicious raw in salads or cooked.
How to Grow Celeriac
When growing celeriac, you should sow, in late May or early June, in rows or blocks, about 300 mm (12 in) apart, carefully tapping only two or three seeds out at each point, and just cover the seeds with . When the seedlings appear, thin them to the strongest at each growing point. Alternatively, sow seeds in half pots indoors in late March and plant out in May after hardening them off in a cold frame or under a cloche. A recent introduction, ‘Jose’, is especially suitable for small gardens because it can be spaced at about half the interval needed for the other varieties.
Celeriac needs a sunny or very lightly shaded site and a deep, rich, well-drained soil. The soil should be dug in the winter, with a good quantity of well-rotted compost (or, preferably, manure) thoroughly mixed in. When growing celeriac, just before sowing dress the soil with a high-nitrogen fertiliser.
Never allow the soil to dry out, and keep it weed-free. Remove the plants’ lower leaves as they begin to yellow.
Harvest the crop as required from late September to November. Surplus roots may be stored in boxes of sand or peat in a frost-free place or earthed up where they are until required.
Celeriac occasionally suffers from leaf miners, which should be dealt with by systemic insecticides based on dimethoate, malathion, or combinations of the two, or by pinching the blister mines.
Claudia, a short-leaved strain with completely globular roots. Extremely smooth and practically without side shoots.
Geneva 10, a popular Swiss variety. Roots are smooth and slightly conical. Foliage is short and spread out.
Giant Prague, a large, well-flavoured, turnip-shaped celeriac which can grow-to a weight of 5 lb.
Marble Ball, has big roots. Average size, strong foliage, well-flavoured, solid. Resistant to disease and keeps well.
‘Globus’, fine flavour;
‘Iram’, does not discolour on cooking, stores well.
Soil: Enriched, well-drained but moisture-retentive
Sow: Indoors, from March; outdoors, late-May to June