Thursday, 22 May 2014

Growing Celeriac

We love our celeriac in this house and have been growing it on the plot since the first year; always Giant Prague and always with the happiest of results. It amazes me that these vegetables aren't more popular in supermarkets and restaurants, its high in fibre and low in calories, but I guess we can change that, fellow growers!
picture taken from seed parade where we got ours
Okay, they aren't the prettiest of veggies to look at and uneducated people may see them and think it's a really ugly turnip and maybe slightly diseased. In some causes they are known as 'turnip-rooted celery', it would be an easy mistake to make. They are knobbly and swollen and smell like celery (not what you expect if you think it's a turnip!) but oh, they taste so good and are an all round unsung hero of the larder! You can eat the leafy tops and of course, the root and they keep well after harvesting and are freezable if blanched :)

celeriac seeds - 'growourown.blogspot.com' ~ an allotment blog

* The seeds are tiny... plant 2 in each module with rich soil and pull out the weaker one when they are seedlings. It only takes 2-3 weeks before they look like proper plants and for us the germination rate is usually 100%. This should be done in early spring in the potting shed and later hardened off in a cold frame.

seedlings in the cold frame - 'growourown.blogspot.com' ~ an allotment blog
there they are bottom left ;)
* We are at the planting out stage which is done in May and June. This bed was marked out for them back in Autumn and thus given loads of good old horse poo and compost, they are hungry plants (hungry for nutrients, water and sunshine) and general purpose compost a week before planting out isn't a bad idea too!

Here's Andrew showing us how he likes to plant them... about 20cm apart in a line without burning the crown, you want the soil right up to base of the stems. Our second row is a good trowels length apart, so about 30cm; some people like to do them much further apart.
planting out celeriac seedlings - 'growourown.blogspot.com' ~ an allotment blog

There that was easy enough, now to look after them....
* So whilst they grow you must keep the area weed free and mulch them if the weather gets hot (to keep the nutrients in) and as with all veggies, remove those side shoots and old leaves.
Keep an eye of those blasted slugs - grrrr.

We'll return to this later in the year when we harvest and eat ;)

Hugs and love
Carrie

16 comments:

  1. You may find them easy enough Carrie but we have tried and tried and troed again. We have read up on them and followed all advice and failed miserably as we have with celery! Maybe that is why they are not as popular as they could be!

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    1. oh I am so sorry they just won't grow for you, I guess your plot is better at some things than mine and vice versa xxx

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    2. oh I am so sorry they just won't grow for you, I guess your plot is better at some things than mine and vice versa xxx

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  2. I've never grown, or eaten, them and don't recollect anyone else doing so either. I may well give them a try next year. Flighty xx

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    1. oh do give them a try and stay around for the rest of the installment - what food you can enjoy with them as an ingredient :) xx

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  3. they are delious. failed the only time I tried but it was straight in the ground. will try again next year. didn't know you could eat leaves.

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    1. Hello phyllis weaving! Have we met before? I know we do plant somethings direct but I much prefer to do it at home and keep a good eye on them, I think these ones we planted were a second attempt. Anywhere I've seen them you get a lot of seed of your money and they stay 'fresh' for up to 5 years, so yep, give it another go! xx

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  4. Never had any...I don't think I've ever seen any. What do they taste like? I make have to give them a try.

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    1. well this is a hard one to answer - to me it tastes mildly of celery but has the texture of turnip or potato when cooked. When I do the follow up recipes etc you'll see they are used a lot in soups and mashes...

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  5. You're right, they're delicious. I've never grown them though, I should give them a try I think, you've inspired me. CJ xx

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    1. YES!! That is music to my ears, or rather my eyes as I am reading this off the screen. You get the picture.... Do try, I feel like a preacher but they are one of those veggies that see you through the tough old winter days. xx

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  6. We've never grown them - I don't like celery so I never think of growing them. I have had celeriac mash though, and celeriac crisps and they were ok. I might give it a go next year :)

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    1. yep, the taste is a good bit milder to full on celery stalks - my favourite way to eat them is in a mash as I don't like potato as much but it has the same texture and super super comforting xx

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  7. I think I've seen celeriac now and again at the market but I've never known what to do with them. You've certainly piqued my curiosity. But will they be as good store-bought as your home-grown??

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    1. Ahhh the age old question of store bought, verses home grown. Well I guess as long as you buy them in season there won't be any difference in taste, in fact store bought could be nicer (due to added chemicals in the soil etc). But as with everything, I get a little biased and think the things grown on our lottie taste best - my brain twists it so as all the hard world feels worth it! :)

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  8. I am trying celeriac first time this year, I love it roasted, freshly grated in a salad or recently I discobered a pate made of it -yumm.

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