How to Harvest Celery

Harvesting fresh bunches of celery from your garden is easy to do but it’s important to harvest it the right way to prolong your harvest.

In this article I’ll tell you when celery is ready to harvest, how to harvest celery, and I’ll give you tips for storing and cooking celery from your garden.

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harvesting celery

Celery (Apium graveolens) is a cool-season vegetable that takes a long time to mature so if you live in an area with a short growing season you’ll need to start the seeds indoors and transplant them out to the garden when the weather warms up.

Celery is easy to grow from seed or transplants, and can be harvested throughout the growing season if it’s planted in the right location.

When is celery ready to harvest?

Celery is usually ready to harvest about 130 to 140 days (18 to 20 weeks) after planting the seeds. [1]

The plants should be at least 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) tall and have 10 or more stalks.

You can start picking individual stalks from the outside of the plant once they’re at least six inches tall.

Harvesting a few of the outer stalks will prolong the harvest period because the plant will keep producing more stalks that you can harvest as you need them.

Celery plants will bolt (go to seed) quickly once the temperature gets hot so it’s best to harvest celery before midsummer if you live in a warm climate area. 

In frost free areas with mild summer temperatures you can plant celery in fall and harvest it during the winter months.

picking celery

How to harvest celery

Celery plants can be harvested whole or by removing individual stalks as you need them.

Harvest early in the morning if possible when the stalks are nice and juicy.

To harvest the whole bunch of celery, wait until the plant is at least 3 to 4 inches (7 to 10 cm) in diameter.

Cut the plant off at its base with a sharp knife and discard any outer stalks that are yellowing or discolored.

If you don’t need a whole bunch at once, you can remove individual stalks from the celery plant.

Cut them off about an inch (2.5 cm) from the base of the plant.

Don’t snap the stalks off because you might damage the plant.

After you’ve picked your celery, brush off the soil, take it indoors and put it in the crisper section of the refrigerator as soon as possible to prevent it from wilting.

celery stalks

How to store fresh celery

Celery stalks will keep fresh stored in the crisper section of the fridge for up to a week.

Some people recommend wrapping celery in aluminium foil to make it last longer in the fridge.

You can also freeze celery by chopping it finely and then placing it in a small freezer bag to use in your winter soups and stews. 

How to eat celery

Celery can be finely chopped and added to soups, stir fries or eaten raw in salads.

The inner stalks are the most tender so they’re best for salads, while the outer, more tougher stalks are best for cooking.

Celery leaves are also edible and have a slightly salty taste that is great for flavoring dishes.

You can add chopped celery leaves to salads, omelettes, soups, stews and vegetable stock.

I also like to use celery leaves to make fresh vegetable juice.

celery leaves

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So there are my tips for picking celery plants from your vegetable garden.

Celery is a versatile vegetable that is easy to grow and by harvesting it the right way you can make the most of your homegrown celery.

Do you have any questions or tips of your own for harvesting celery plants? Let me know in the comments below.

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harvesting celery plants

Kelly Taylor

Hi, I'm Kelly Taylor. I'm passionate about gardening and horticulture and I love growing just about everything including herbs, vegetables, flowers, succulents and indoor plants. I've been gardening most of my life and I created this blog to inspire beginner gardeners to create their own urban garden. Read more

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