Rob plants celery, Megan cooks with persimmons

How to grow celery and prepare persimmons

Rob plants celery

  • Celery has the reputation of being difficult to grow. It does like lots of fertiliser and water, so if you get this right, you should have success.
  • Celery is a marsh plant, so it’s best grown in the winter when lots of watering can be guaranteed.
  • We add compost and chicken manure to the bed before planting. Plant 30-40 cms apart to allow air movement between plants which will reduce the likelihood of them contracting a fungal disease like rust.
  • Celery has large feeder roots which are close to the surface, so keep your bed weed-free.
  • Cutting or Chinese Celery is easier to grow than regular celery. It grows more like parsley, which is the plant family that celery belongs to, and you eat the leaves as well as the stalks. One plant is sufficient for a family of four.
  • Add a handful of rock dust to all the plants. This helps plants grow strongly and withstand disease.
  • We also add blood and bone to our plants. Blood and bone has only N (nitrogen – good for leaf growth) and P (phosphorus – good for making strong roots); it doesn’t have K (potassium) which would make our plants go to seed.
  • During the growing season, we’ll feed our crop every 2-3 weeks with a liquid fish and seaweed fertiliser, or more chicken manure or sheep pellets.
  • Slugs and snails might hit your celery plants, so we suggest laying out yeast traps or positioning an upturned ceramic pot filled with scrunched-up newspaper. Here’s how to make slug and snail traps.
  • The best companion plant for celery is nasturtium, so we recommend planting Nasturtium officinale (or Watercress) round your celery plants. Celery doesn’t like weeds which compete for nutrients in the soil, and watercress rambles and suppresses weeds. It’s also very good for you!

Megan makes Bircher Muesli with Persimmons

Camera: Davian Lorson
Editor: Adam Prest