Apple celery is a variety of root celery related to early ripening varieties. Among its features - pronounced pleasant spicy aroma, high level of keeping quality and good portability. The culture is used in home cooking and traditional medicine.
Apple celery has a bitter-sweet taste
Apple celery can be stored for up to 9 months
Characteristics of the variety, its pros and cons
Apple celery is a root hybrid bred in the 60s of the twentieth century. This is an annual plant that can be grown in any region of Russia, including northern ones (in the latter case, the root crops will not be too large). Gardeners prefer the presented variety due to the short growing season and high yields.
Unlike leaf and petiole species, apple celery forms large tubers with juicy flesh. In them, the plant accumulates nutrients and vitamins.
The main characteristics of the variety:
- root crop weight - from 180 to 450 g;
- the length of the root crop is 4-5 cm;
- the color of the root crop is gray-white;
- the taste of fruits is bitter-sweet, spicy;
- ripening period - early (root crops fully ripen in 90-160 days after emergence);
- root crops yield from 1 square. m - 2.3-4.7 kg;
- keeping time - 6-9 months.
Root crops of apple celery are used in food fresh, as well as for processing. In winter, celery can be used to distill vitamin greens. Root crops and leaves are also used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes.
- Rich composition. Root crops contain calcium and phosphorus salts, sugars, essential oils, and leaves contain carotene and vitamin C. In all parts of celery, there are dietary fibers that stimulate the gastrointestinal tract.
- High rates of transportability.
- Frost resistance. Sprouts planted in the ground tolerate spring frosts to -5 degrees.
- Resistance to a number of fungal and viral diseases.
Disadvantages of culture:
- the need to ensure apple celery seedlings for long daylight hours (14-16 hours), which requires the use of special lamps;
- difficulties in germinating seeds due to their low germination;
- exactingness to the level of soil moisture: if you do not follow the recommendations and fill the beds with water, then the culture will begin to hurt or die.
To grow apple celery, you need to sow the seeds for seedlings, then pick and plant the seedlings in the ground.
Sowing seeds for seedlings
Sow root celery in late February or early March. Later sowing will not produce results, because cultivation takes a lot of time.
Previously, with the seeds you need to make such manipulations:
- Moisten a piece of gauze with water and wrap planting material in it.
- Leave the seeds for a week at room temperature.
- Put the seeds in the refrigerator, stand 12-14 days. When small sprouts appear on the seeds, you can sow them.
Planting material to obtain seedlings is necessary in boxes pre-filled with this composition:
- garden land;
- river sand;
- crushed eggshell;
- sunflower husk.
All components should be taken in equal proportions. For disinfection, you need to pour the soil composition with a strong solution of potassium permanganate. Moisten the soil before sowing.
Sow the seeds of apple celery as close to the surface as possible, without deepening them. Recommended depth is 5 mm.
After planting seeds, you need to perform such measures:
- Maintain a suitable temperature . Until the first sprouts appear from under the ground, it is necessary that the temperature is + 20-22 degrees. After the appearance of the leaves, reduce the temperature to + 16-20 degrees, and after 7-10 days return to the original values.
- Provide proper lighting . Before seedlings appear, the box with seedlings must be kept under a film or glass, in a dark room. When leaves appear, move the box to the illuminated place. If there is a lack of natural light, use special lamps. This is especially true for cloudy days.
- Maintain soil moisture . You need to water the seedlings often, but little by little (about once a week). After the emergence of the sprouts, spray them using a spray bottle.
When the seedlings get stronger, and 3-5 sprouts are formed on the sprouts, you need to start picking - transplanting from the capacity common for all seedlings to individual pots or glasses. For this procedure, gardeners recommend selecting only the largest and most powerful specimens.
For transplantation, you need to take glasses with a diameter of at least 6 cm. At the bottom of the containers, make holes through which excess water will leave.
Fill the glasses with the same soil composition that was used for planting the seeds in a common box, make indentations of 2-2.5 cm. Place the seedlings in the wells. Sprinkle with earth - so that the cotyledon leaves remain on the surface.
Planting seedlings in open ground
You can plant seedlings in open ground when the plants grow to 20-25 cm and 4-5 leaves bloom on them. Landing can be performed in mid-May.
To grow apple celery, you need to choose the right soil. This culture prefers plots open to the sun. As for the composition of the soil, light sandy loamy soil enriched with humus is suitable.
Gardeners are advised to choose a site for planting apple celery, which previously grew cabbage, legumes, cucumbers or garlic. Potato, dill and parsley, carrots are categorically not suitable as culture precursors.
You need to take care of the site in the fall: carefully dig the ground and fertilize with humus at the rate of 10 liters per 1 sq. Km. m. Before the spring planting of seedlings, add compost or droppings of poultry to the soil. This is recommended to be done 2 weeks before the seedlings are transferred to the open ground.
To seedlings quickly adapted to new conditions, you need to plant it in cloudy, calm weather.
- Make beds with a depth of about 30 cm, observing the spacing between the rows of 50 cm.
- Plant seedlings in holes about 8-10 cm deep, without deepening the apical bud, from which leaves appear.
- Seedlings should be located at a distance of 30-40 cm from each other.
- Water the beds abundantly.
- To protect plantings from possible spring frosts, beds can be protected with covering material.
Crop care during cultivation
Root apple celery requires proper watering, cultivating the land, as well as removing excess roots and leaves.
The culture is water-loving, but excess water can cause diseases and death of the plant. Therefore, beds with celery need to be watered regularly, as the soil dries, but do not allow overmoistening.
Watering should be done only at the root. It is useful to add nettle infusion at the rate of 1 tablespoon per bucket of water to the water for irrigation.
To preserve moisture in the soil and slow down the growth of weeds, it is recommended to mulch - covering the beds with straw, sawdust or hay.
Weeding and loosening the soil
These procedures must be performed simultaneously. After transplanting seedlings, the earth needs to be loosened as often as possible, in the future - once every 2 weeks.
Carrying out these measures, it is not necessary to eradicate the beds, since an earthen mound reduces the yield of the crop. As root crops grow, the earth from the plant needs to be scooped to the side. This approach will allow you to get large fruits of the correct form.
Fertilizers need to be applied 3-4 times during the growing season. The first 2 top dressings, introduced after planting, contribute to the rooting and growth of seedlings, the latter - to achieve large sizes.
Culture needs such top dressing:
- infusion of chicken manure (proportion - 1:15);
- superphosphate (25 g of substance per 10 liters of water);
- urea solution (10 g per 2 liters of water), which is needed if the leaves of the plant are too pale.
Pest and Disease Control
To protect celery from pests and diseases , you need to regularly remove weeds from the beds, perform moderate watering, and also apply mineral fertilizers in a timely manner. To scare away insects and other pests, it is recommended to use biological products (Fitoverm, Lepidotsid) or folk remedies (infusion of onion husks or orange peels).
Chemical preparations to process celery is prohibited, since toxic substances accumulate in leaves and root crops.
Harvesting and storage
The leaves of the plant indicate that it is time to harvest, when their color turns yellow, the root crop reaches technical maturity. This usually happens in October.
To make it easier to harvest from the ground, it is recommended to moisten the beds a day before collection. If the soil is loose and soft, then you need to pull the tops to extract the root crop. In other cases, you will need a shovel or pitchfork, with which you can pry off the tuber.
From the root crops you need to shake off the remnants of the earth, cut off the tops and spread out in the fresh air so that they dry thoroughly.
If the root crops were damaged, they should be used first: such instances are stored for a short time and quickly disappear.
You can store apple celery in the basement or in the refrigerator, but the first option is preferred. Root crops need to be put in a box filled with sand. Petioles should be placed on top. Permissible storage temperature is from 2 to 10 degrees.
Celery can also be stored frozen. To do this, cut the peeled fruit into slices, put them in bags and place in the freezer.
Apple celery is a healthy crop rich in vitamins and trace elements. To get a good harvest, you need to provide the plant with proper care at all stages of cultivation.