Celery root is a vegetable whose cultivation dates back to ancient times. This vegetable plant is used mainly for eating its root, the leaves have a certain bitterness unlike its cousin the celery stick. Sown from February to April under cover, celeriac is harvested from August until the frosts. It is possible to sow directly in the ground from April depending on the region.

Favourable conditions for the development of celeriac

As with many plants, the preparation of the garden soil is an essential step before planting celeriac. As such, the soil must be cleared of stones that disturb root growth and weeds that may compete with the crop. In addition to a copious watering, you must also provide a spacing of 30 to 40 cm between each celeriac plant on all sides. As far as exposure is concerned, the ideal location is in the garden in full sun in the spring, and a shadier location during the summer. In a permaculture perspective, you can, of course, install a mulch which will have the beneficial effect of limiting the growth of undesirable weeds as well as watering.

How to grow celeriac

In order to give yourself the best chance of harvesting a good-sized celeriac, you should first plant it in fertile soil. To do this, you can add organic manure to the place planned for planting in the garden. Don't hesitate to use it!

During its development, the plant will leave small leaves on the periphery that we will take care to remove with a sharp tool. You can apply the same process for the roots that emerge from the ground. In the garden, it is known that some plants are stimulated by the presence of other plants in their vicinity. This is a well-integrated principle in permaculture that works for celeriac. It is possible to associate celeriac with plants such as cucurbits, cabbage, beetroot, beans, leeks, tomatoes or pears. On the other hand, the associations which are not favourable to it are parsley, lettuce and corn.

How to grow celeriac

Diseases and pests of celeriac

Among the ailments that can affect celeriac are septoria which attacks the foliage of the plant when it is hot and humid. One way to prevent this is to water early in the day. In fact, this disease develops through the presence of humidity that stagnates on the leaves, a situation that is favoured if the plants are watered in the evening. The celery fly can also infest the plant by laying its eggs in the leaves. The larvae create galleries in the leaves, and gradually cause them to die off. It may then be useful to use a natural insecticide among others. In addition, slugs and snails like celeriac leaves, and enjoy them very much. It is also possible that spots appear on the foliage in wet weather combined with a drop in temperature. This is known as celery rust. In this case, treatment with Bordeaux mixture or alternative measures can be beneficial.