Celery Farming Guide:
Introduction of Celery Farming:- What is celery? Celery is basically a leafy vegetable which is grown for its stalk. Celery has become a common household staple along with carrots, onions and potatoes. Celery grows to a height of 12 to 16 inches and is composed of leaf-topped stalks arranged in a conical shape that are joined at a common base. The commercial cultivation of celery is limited in India. This vegetable leaf stalk or petals are eaten raw as salad and sometimes this can also cooked as vegetable. Celery is mostly used as flavouring agent in soups and juices. In temperate countries, celery is also grown for its seeds. Celery seeds are also used in condiments, spices and medicines. The plant can reach up to 1 meter and belongs to the family of “Apiaceae” and genus of ” Apium”. Celery can be grown in greenhouse, poly house even in back yards. Some people may grow this in pots and containers on terrace as well. The place of origin of celery extends from Sweden Southward to Algeria. Egypt, Abyssinia and Asia including India.
Health Benefits of Celery:-The following are the health benefits of Celery.
- Celery is excellent aid for weight Loss.
- Celery has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Celery is good for hydration.
- Celery helps in relieving heartburn.
- Celery helps in controlling cholesterol & blood pressure.
- Celery is good for digestion.
- Celery has anti-cancer properties.
- Celery is good for Sexual Health.
Main Production States of Celery in India:- Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
Local Names of Celery in India:- Ajamoda (Hindi), சிவரிக்கீரை (Tamil), Vammu akku (Telugu), Kernauli (Punjabi), Ajmod (Marathi), Ajagandha (Bengali), kaccharakku (Malayalam), agmwd (Urdu).
Varieties of Celery:- There are two types of celery; one is self-branched or yellow and green leaved. Giant Pascal, Emperor of Jeen and Golden Self blanching are popular varieties among the celery types.
Climate and Soil Requirement for Celery Farming:- Celery can be grown well in a relatively cool and humid climatic conditions. However, it can be cultivated successfully in dry conditions by providing regular irrigations. The moderate and well-distributed annual rain fall will favor its growth during initial vegetative phase.
Celery prefers high water holding capacity and friable soil types. Muck or pest soils are the best for its cultivation. However, rich soils, friable, well-drained and deep soils are best types for its commercial farming. Celery can be successfully grown in clay soils as well. Celery does not grow well in soils where acidic conditions are more than 5.6 (pH Value). If the soils are more acidic in nature, try to reduce the acidic conditions.
Propagation in Celery Farming:- The celery is mainly propagated by seeds. An about 300 to 450 grams of seeds are required for cultivation of 1 hectare land.
Land Preparation, Planting Methods in Celery Farming:– Land should be ploughed thoroughly and planked and the topsoil of the field should be well-pulverized and levelled. Celery seeds can be sowed directly in the field with good irrigation facility or raised as seedlings in nursery and can be transplanted in the field.
The seeds of celery which are really fruits take a long time for germination and require to be sown in well prepared beds. The seeds should be sown from July to Sept in nursery beds and need to provide partial shade and cool conditions. The seeds should be kept moist for a few days before sowing to help in speed rate of germination. About 300 to 450 grams of seeds are required for one hectare. The seeds should be lightly covered and seedlings come out after 4 to 8 weeks and are thinned to about 1.2 cm spacing. The seedlings are transplanted after about 2 month to a spacing of 45 x 15 cm or 60 X 15 cm. The planting should not be done very deep.
Manures and Fertilizers in Celery Farming:- Usually it takes about a dose of 20 to 25 tonnes of well-decomposed farmyard manure(F.M.Y). In-organic fertilizers like ‘N’ of 200kg, P2O5 of 100kg and K2O of 150 kg is required for hectare land.
Irrigation in Celery Farming:- Celery requires ample frequent irrigations with good drainage. Avoid too much water logging. It also requires irrigation after top dressing nitrogen application.
Intercultural operations in Celery Farming:- Basically celery is a long duration crop, hence proper weed control operations should be carried out. Mulching is one of best ways to control the weeds. Light hoeing should be carried regularly and lateral shoots should be removed. To control the weed growth effectively in celery plants, should apply Linnuram at the rate of 15 kg/ha.
Blanching is very much needed in celery farming as to make crisp, reduce acrid flavors, and increase good flavour and tenderness. What is blanching?; it is basically a process of excluding light from the leaf stalk which checks the development of chlorophyll.
Pests and Diseases in Celery Farming:- The common insect/pests in celery plants are leaf miner, carrot weevil and Aphids.
The common diseases found celery farming are; Early and late blight, Fusarium, yellow and pink rot. The virus diseases affecting celery plants are celery mosaic and Aster yellow.
Contact nearest horticulture department for control measures of pests diseases in celery farming.
Harvesting and Yield in Celery Farming:- Celery can be harvested at different stages of plant growth depending on the market demand. The harvesting can be carried out after four to five months after sowing. Each plant is cut just below the surface with a sharp knife. The plants are then trimmed and prepared for the market.
The yield depends on the cultivar, soil type, agro climatic conditions and farm management practices. The average yield of about 25 to 30 tonnes/ha can be obtained.
Celery in storage absorbs other flavors. So make sure to keep away from the odours of other products. Usually celery is stored after harvest in trenches, cellars and cold storage.
For Sheep or Goat Farming: Read here.
For Asia Agriculture: Read here.