How to sow celery seeds

Alan Titchmarsh speaks to expert about growing fruit in garden

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Celery plants can be grown from seed sown in early spring. However, often it is much easier to buy ready-grown seedlings and plant them in May or June. But for those up for the challenge, how exactly can you sow celery seeds?

How to sow celery seeds

Celery grows best in moisture-retentive and well-drained soil.

The plant also flourishes best in sunny places and, therefore, it’s often an ideal crop for an allotment.

But it can also be placed into your garden, a raised bed or even dotted around a border.

For those with smaller gardens, celery can also grow in very deep, long tom style pots.

Materials:

  • Celery sowing seeds
  • Small pots or a seed tray
  • Seed compost
  • Heat propagator or a plastic bag/lid.

The first step to sowing and growing celery is to fill a small pot or seed tray with fine seed compost.

Sowing celery seeds should take place in March and April to ensure it is planted at the optimum time.

Once you have filled your pots or seed tray, level off the soil and tap it to settle it.

Next, take a pinch of your celery seed and lightly sow these tiny seeds across the surface of your soil.

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Fill a bowl with water and put your pots in the water to enable watering from below.

You should avoid watering from above as it can disturb the seed.

Once the water has been drawn to the surface of your soil, you can remove it from the water bowl to avoid overwatering.

Finish the sowing steps by covering the seed with a thin layer of vermiculite and putting in a heated propagator on a windowsill or in a greenhouse.

Make sure to water your seeds daily to ensure the compost does not dry out.

Once the seedlings have germinated, take them out of the propagator.

Place your celery plants into pots of their own once they have their first proper leaves.

Use three-inch pots filled with multi-purpose compost and keep them well-water.

Around five weeks later, once your celery plants have reached around 3.1 inches tall (8cm), they are ready to be moved outside.

You should first prepare your plants for the colder weather by placing them in a cold frame or sheltered but shaded place outdoors.

When it comes to planting your celery seedlings, plant them with lots of well-branched sticks spaced about 27cm apart, making sure the crown of the plant is at ground level.

Your celery will grow best if it is arranged in a grid pattern rather than in long rows.

From then, simply keep your plants well-watered and free from weeds.

You can also add an extra boost by feeding them with a balanced liquid fertiliser around a month after planting.

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