During my journey from just tank maker to also being a garden bed maker I have discovered quite a few tricks. Some have been as a result of outside influence, some direct teaching from those wiser about gardening than me and some by pure accident. There have also been some experimental quests I have undertaken, some successful, some not but you can't win them all hey?
I did discover accidentally a great way to grow Celery that will make you the envy of every home gardener - I was even accused at a local market once of buying my display bunches of Celery from Safeway! Despite my protests the only thing that eventually convinced this woman I hadn't bought it off the supermarket shelf was the fact that it still had dirt in the base, something they wash out of the commercially grown stuff.
So how did I achieve this?
I utilised the height of the raised garden bed to starve the plant from light.
Keeping the soil level low down in a raised garden bed and planting the Celery very close to the wall means that the seedling needs to strive high and fast to reach the light, this causes the stems to grow straight and fast thus naturally blanching. When the leaves reach a height they can successfully attract sufficient light, the plant is happy so stops striving to get bigger and then concentrates it's energy into stem and root growth to sustain itself. I am not a botanist but that makes sense to me - either way try it, I guarantee you will grow the best Celery you ever have!
Of course you can also cover the plant with some sort of shield like a milk carton which is done a lot but that also tends to attract the bugs as they have a safe haven inside such vessels.
You don't even need to grow your Celery inside your raised bed, simply plant outside on the side of the bed that receives the least light during the day (Southern side for example). Just be aware not to have it so the walls are too high, Celery isn't a climber after all.
I mentioned this to a local gardening guru and he was sceptical but he couldn't argue with how well my Celery did, and he was even less intent on arguing with his wife who was hooked on the Celery I was growing so he adopted my method and is a complete convert.
Perhaps I will concentrate on how I achieve growing nice straight Carrots in my next blog?
Check out our YouTube video below to see for yourself.