Our local agricultural fair was able to run as normal this year. Fun to be participating again. This year, I got a Best of Show in the vegetable class for two of my celery plants. I was surprised as I hadn't really paid much attention to them all summer.
This one is growing in the same bag as the ones that went to the fair so it's similar but it has a stem in the back that got chewed, probably by a slug.
So with celery brought to my attention, I thought I would give my hints for growing celery. I like to grow celery in a part shade area. Morning sun with afternoon shade is my favourite location, but any spot with no more than 3 or 4 hours of sun is what I choose. Celery does not like to bake in the hot summer sun. It will grow quite nicely in a container or bag or in the ground. The soil should be nutritious with plenty of compost to give it good texture. Regular watering is essential, at least every couple of days in the hot days of summer. It will keep growing if it gets too dry but the stalks will be pithy, not crunchy. I give it a boost with some high nitrogen fertilizer a couple of times through the season, either slow release or liquid.
Years ago, people would blanche celery by hilling soil up around the stalks to produce a milder tasting plant. Modern varieties taste just fine without blanching.
I start my celery from seed in February. It germinates very easily and grows happily even with the weak winter sun. I give it a feed of liquid fertilizer when it is about 3" tall. By the time I put the plants outside in May, they are about 5" tall. I usually plant 6 plants so that I have enough to pick from when the plants are still young. By the end of the summer, I have more celery than I need but I use it up in celery soup or freeze some to use throughout the winter.
I have sometimes overwintered a plant or two by potting them up and putting them in a bright window. It doesn't grow much but it keeps the plant fresh while I gradually use it up.
If you want to collect your own seeds, overwinter a plant and the next summer it will flower and set seed. One plant will give you way more seed than you need.
I hope you will try to grow some celery next year. It is easy to grow and fresh celery is much tastier than tired celery that's been languishing in your fridge.