According to the Gardening Australia Vegie Guide and the tv show, now is the time to plant celery in arid Australia, not really sure I quite believe this thinking of celery as a cool season crop, but I’ve decided to give it a go. However, instead of using seed or seedlings, I’m going to recycle an old celery! Well not so much recycle, but regrow.
Since celery is a plant that grows from the centre outside at the base, if you cut off the base you can use it to grow a new celery plant, or rather continue to grow the same plant.
The method for doing this is fairly simple.
Step 1:Cut off the base of the celery.
By the way use as much of it as you can first, don’t just buy a celery from the supermarket to cut off the base and throw the rest away, it kinds of defeats the point. This can also work on celery that is a bit past being edible, but it depends on the stage of decomposition. If the whole plant is black and slimy, probably not.
Step 2: Place the cut base in a container with some water and sit in a warm, sunny place, like a windowsill.
The celery in the above picture looks a bit anemic. I found it in the back of the fridge drawer, don’t know how long it has been there, it is a different plant to the one in the rest of the photos. Also, the windowsill doesn’t look that sunny in the photo, it was taken at night.
Step 3 Wait. About a week or so. You should see the celery putting up new growth from the middle. It will start out yellow, but turn green once it has been exposed to light for a while and had a chance to photosynthesise.
Step 5 Plant the celery in a pot or garden bed once you have enough growth to plant the base while still having a bit of the growing green bit above the earth. I planted mine in my garden bed where there was a lettuce that bolted to seed and died.
Step 6 Wait. Again! Celery takes a long time to grow. About 4 months to get to supermarket size, and puts on most of its growth towards the end of its life. If you don’t think you can use up a whole celery at one time you can treat it as a cut and come again crop, just taking as much as you need at the time.
Other plants that grow in similar methods to celery, such as bok choy, can also be regrown using this method. In fact there are many plants that can be regrown from scraps such as spring onions, sweet potatoes and more. Hit up google for more info.
In a few months, or sooner, I’ll do a follow up post on the success/failure of this experiment. For the mean time I’m more than halfway through The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas.