How do you grow Celeriac?
Posted by Dobies Staff on 18 February 2014 08:49 am

Sow celeriac seed during March in a temperature of 18°C (65°F). Germination takes approximately 12-18 days. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle they should be pricked out and spaced about 4cm (1½") apart in trays or planted individually into 5cm (2") pots, maintaining a temperature of 15-18°C (60-65°F).

Celeriac requires a sunny position and a fertile, moisture retentive soil that has been well manured in the previous winter. Unsatisfactory results will be obtained if celeriac is grown on a poor soil.

Plant outdoors in June once the danger of frost has passed. Space the plants 30cm (12") apart in the row and 38cm (15") between rows. Do not plant too deeply, the base of the stem should be at soil level. Water the plants regularly in dry spells to ensure the stem swells.

Frequent hoeing will be necessary to keep the crop weed free and the soil should always be drawn away from the plants, since the more they stand out of the ground the better, as long as the roots are not damaged or disturbed in the process.

Lateral shoots will be produced and it is imperative that these laterals, and the lower leaves as they fall horizontal, are removed from midsummer onwards to expose the crown or the swollen stem will not form.

The crop may be lifted from October to November and stored in damp sand, in a cool dry shed. Before storing for winter use, all outer leaves (not the central ones) must be removed and the roots cut off. If more convenient on light soils the roots may be left in the ground until required since they are generally quite hardy, provided they are protected from severe weather with straw or compost.

The swollen stems should be trimmed, washed and placed in boiling water and cooked until tender. They may also be used raw, grated in salads.

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