Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Regrowing Celery

I had read an article a while back that you could sprout a new celery plant from the base after you cut the stalks off. I was intrigued. This means that as long as you keep the plant alive, it will continue to produce new stalks of celery. Perpetual food source? Sign me up! I had purchased a bundle of celery to cut up and put away for my lunches, but then I caught the "lazies" and never cut it. Eventually it was too rubbery for me to want to eat, so I figured I had better plant it.

I cut the stalks off of the base, and set it aside for sprouting. Next, since I wasn't going to eat it myself, I cut it into bite-sized pieces for the goats to eat. They don't care much for celery, so they gave me a look as if to say, "Seriously? This crap again?" and then eventually ate it.

The little celery stump has a nub on the bottom where it was cut away from the roots. Eventually this is where the new roots will come from, we just need to keep it in water long enough for it to grow some new stalks and leaves that are tall enough to poke out of the dirt.

I got a little ramekin down from the kitchen cabinet, put my little stump in it and added water.

I placed it in my kitchen window so that it would get lots of sunlight to encourage it to grow. I changed the water every few days. It should be noted that as it soaks around in the water the outer stalks will eventually break down and begin to rot. You should remove them as they get mushy so that they don't kill the cute little stalks growing up from the center.

After just a few days I could see the stalks in the middle beginning to rise up.

A few days later there were leaves, and after about 2 weeks or so I had stalks with leaves on them that were tall enough to poke out of the dirt. It was planting time!

The next thing I had to figure out was a container for planting. Luckily I had made a Mandarin Orange Jell-o salad not long ago, and kept my Kool-Whip container.

I drilled some holes in the bottom for drainage, and kept the lid to use as a saucer. (Next time I will make larger holes. These holes did not allow for much drainage.)

Next I put enough soil in the bottom to hold the plant at the proper height, and filled in all around it.

My celery took transplanting really well, and is continuing to grow. The only thing I wish I had done differently is to remove a spot of mold that was on one of the outer stalks before I planted it. It just meant that I had to do battle with moldy soil for a week or so, but I eventually conquered!