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When to Plant Celeriac

Celeriac seedling

Celeriac is a firm, crisp root vegetable that can be started from seed indoors 4 to 8 weeks before the last frost in spring. Set seedlings in the garden after the last frost. Like celery, celeriac seedlings are likely to bolt if exposed to low temperatures in the 30’s and 40’s for more than a week or two.

Celeriac seed can be slow to germinate. Fold seeds into a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag for a few days at room temperature until they sprout then transplant them to a flat with moistened seed mix. Grow the seedlings on at room temperature.

Grow celeriac in well-worked, humus-rich, well-drained soil. Once established, celeriac can withstand frost; it can also tolerate summer heat.

Water regularly when growing celeriac; keep the soil evenly moist or the roots will dry out and become tough.

Celeriac roots can be braised and blanched until just tender-crisp; they can also be boiled and mashed. Raw celeriac root can be grated for salads. The leaves and stalks are strong, bitter flavored, and tough, basically inedible.

Celeriac is also known as celery root.

Celeriac nearly maturity

Celery seed starting dates

(These dates are for the Northern Hemisphere)

Average date of the last frostPlanting dates
Jan. 30Jan. 1-Feb. 1
Feb. 8Jan. 10-Feb. 10
Feb. 18Jan. 20-Feb. 20
Feb. 28Feb. 1-Mar. 1
Mar. 10Feb. 20-Mar. 20
Mar. 20Mar. 1-Apr. 1
Mar. 30Mar. 15-Apr. 15
Apr. 10Apr. 1-Apr. 20
Apr. 20Apr. 10-May 1
Apr. 30Apr. 15-May 1
May 10Apr. 20-June 15
May 20May 10-June 15
May 30May 20 -June 1
June 10June 1-June 15
Celeriac in the kitchen

Celery planting details

  • Sowing depth: 1/2 inch (12mm) or less
  • Space between plant after thinning: 6-8 inches (cm)
  • Days to sprout: 21; pre-sprout by placing seeds in damp paper towel at room temperature for a few days
  • Days to harvest: 100
  • Storage period: 6 months
  • Seeds per 100 row feet: ½ ounce
  • Yield per 100 row feet: 200 plants
  • Suggested varieties: Brilliant, Large Smooth Prague, Jose, Alabaster

Related celeriac planting and growing articles:

How to Grow Celeriac

How to Cook and Serve Celeriac

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. Harvesttotable.com has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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