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Chapter 17: Celery

The Celery Chapter is no longer included in the hard copy version of this publication. This website is the most up-to-date version of the celery chapter.

17.1 Recommended Varieties

Pascal varieties

Utah 52-70 (Resistant to Fusarium Race II)
Florida 683 (Susceptible to Fusarium Race II)
Picador (Resistant to Fusarium Race II)

17.2 Planting Methods

Celery has the highest yields and develops top quality under moderately cool temperatures (55° to 75°F), good soil moisture, and relatively high humidity. The usual planting period is May 1 through June 30. Transplants are grown in greenhouses or imported from Florida. For those transplants in soil, see Chapter 9 Transplant Production. Night temperatures must be kept above 55°F to lessen the danger of bolting, particularly when plants are to be used for early planting. From 30,000 to 45,000 plants are set per acre; an ounce of seed yields about 15,000 transplants.

17.3 Fertility

Maintain a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. See Table 17.1 (below) for the recommended rates of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Magnesium deficiency may cause yellowing of certain varieties on organic soils. Apply ten to 15 pounds of Epsom salts in 100 gallons of water per acre and spray at ten to 14 day intervals. Epsom salts can be added safely to most fungicide sprays. Soil applications are not effective.

Blackheart may be caused by low calcium levels in plants, drought, or high soil potassium. Directed sprays of calcium chloride or calcium nitrate (five to ten pounds per 100 gallons of water per acre) every seven to ten days are effective. Boron deficiency causes cracked stems or cat scratches on petioles.

Boron deficiency is most common on alkaline mucks and with certain varieties. Apply 2 1/2 pounds of boron per acre in fertilizer where the problem exists. In an emergency, spray 1/4 pound of boron per 100 gallons of water per acre.

Table 17.1 Recommended nutrients based on soil tests

N pounds/acre P2Opounds/acre   K2O pounds/acre Comments
  Soil Phosphorus Level   Soil Potassium Level  
  low med. high   low med. high  
130-150 150 100 50   240 180 120 Total recommended.
50 150 100 50   240 180 120 Broadcast and disk-in.
40-50 0 0 0   0 0 0 Apply 3 to 4 weeks after planting.
40-50 0 0 0   0 0 0 Apply 7 to 8 weeks after planting; not necessary on muck soil.

17.4 Harvesting

Under satisfactory growing conditions, celery reaches marketable size 85 to 100 days from transplanting. Although special blanching practices can improve color and eating quality, they are seldom used today. The crop is usually cut by hand, and larger growers often do the washing, grading, and packing in the field using large portable equipment. Celery should be cooled quickly to temperatures below 45°F by hydrocooling, vacuum cooling, icing, or other means of refrigeration and can be held a few weeks or more if storage is near 32°F with high humidity. A yield of 1,000 or more 60 pound crates per acre is good.

17.5 Disease Management

17.5.1 Basal Stalk Rot and Pink Rot
17.5.2 Cucumber Mosaic Virus
17.5.3 Fusarium Yellows
17.5.4 Early Leaf Blight and Late Leaf Blight

 

17.6 Insect Management

17.6.1 Tarnished Plant Bug
17.6.2 Aphids
17.6.3 Cabbage Looper
17.6.4 Beet Armyworm
17.6.5 Fall Armyworm

 

17.7 Weed Management

 

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Maintained by Abby Seaman, New York State IPM Program. Last modified 2019.