QUESTION: Can I grow celery from a stalk? Do I put the stalk in water? -Kim R.
ANSWER: Yes, you can. Regrowing celery from the base part, which is often thrown away or composted, is an economical way to grow celery from what would otherwise be discarded. Celery is a cool weather crop, which is grown in the fall in most areas. Grow your cuttings indoors in a windowsill and move them outside late in the summer, when the weather starts to cool off a bit. They should be ready for harvesting in the fall.
To grow celery from the stalk, start by cutting the bottom root from the stalks, at about two to three inches. Then, put the base in a jar or glass and fill it up about halfway with water. Put the jar in a windowsill that gets good light and within a just a short while, you will see small roots starting to form and the beginnings of green leafy stalks. When you start to see new growth, it’s time to get it into the garden or into a pot with soil. If you’re using a container for planting the celery bottoms, fill it to an inch from the top with potting soil, make a hole in the center and just push the celery bottom down into the soil. Gently pack additional soil around the base of the root and water immediately after planting until the soil is moist. Put the container in an area with at least six hours of sun per day and keep it moist.
You can continue to grow the celery in the pot until the weather cools and then move it into the garden. If you are moving the rooting celery from the base directly into the garden, amend the soil and work some compost into it prior to planting. Choose a cool location in the garden if you live in a warmer region. Celery likes it nice and cool with wet and fertile soil. Plant the celery bases 6-10 inches apart in rows spaced 12 inches apart. Pat the soil up gently around the bases and water deeply. Keep the soil consistently moist, but not soggy, throughout its growing season. Side dress the rows with additional compost and work it gently into the soil once a month.
You can begin harvesting when you see stalks that are around 3 inches long emerging from the center of the root. Cutting them will encourage new growth. Keep harvesting stalks or allow them all to mature and pull up the entire plant. Lastly, cut the stalks from the root base and start all over again for a continuous supply of crunchy, delicious celery.