Celeriac is certainly not the prettiest looking vegetable in the garden; don’t let that put you off trying this nutritious bulb. A member of the celery family and often referred to as celery root, knob celery or turnip rooted celery because of its similarity in taste; some gardeners prefer to grow Celeriac instead of the more fussy celery.
Although this is not a commonly grown vegetable here, it is widely used in Northern Europe and Mediterranean, where it originates from. High in dietary fibre, vitamin C, B6 and B12, it keeps well once harvested will store for at least 6 months.
Prepare the ground before planting out your seedlings by digging through plenty of compost and sheep pellets this will give them the rich composted soil they prefer. As it is a root crop add blood and bone to the soil as you plant.
They like a moist soil don’t let the soil dry out for too long, use mulch during the hot dry summer months.
Liquid feed every 10-14 days with
Be careful weeding with a hoe as the developing bulb can be damaged.
Slugs and snails will love the young green tops so protect with slug and snail bait.
They don’t really suffer from many pest and diseases, but the most likely pests will be Celery Fly this can be treat as you would Carrot rust fly. Celery Leaf spot will happen during the warmer weather, remove any infected leaves as soon as it appears.
A slow growing vegetable that will take from seed to maturity between 17-19 weeks.
As the plant develops remove any outer leaves that begin to fall, this will expose the crown of the developing root which is normal. Remove any side shoots that also grow.
The bulbous stem will swell and sit a little above the soil as it matures. Harvesting can happen earlier if you require, if not wait till the bulb is around 7-9 cms in circumference.
The flavour is said to sweeten after the first frost, but harvest before the heavy rains.
Remove the green tops as you harvest clean away the soil and store in the fridge in a perforated plastic bag.
It is a very versatile vegetable not only does its crisp texture lend itself to being eaten raw in salads and coleslaws. But it can be roasted, boiled, added to soups and stew or made in to mash with potatoes.
The leaves and stalks once they are developed can also be eaten. Use as you would celery or parsley but go sparingly as the flavour is a little stronger than ordinary celery.
The flesh will discolour (like an apple) when peeled so place in acidulated water (water with lemon juice added) to prevent this happening.