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Video: Celery: Nutritional Value, Medicinal Properties, Requirements For Growing Conditions
Ancient sacred vegetable celery
About twenty species of this plant are known. Fragrant celery (Apium graveolens L.) got its name from the Latin "gravis" - heavy, sharp, and "olens" - fragrant. It is widely cultivated as a valuable vegetable garden. The Mediterranean is considered the homeland of celery, but the wild ancestor, from which modern varieties were obtained by selection, is much more widespread. It is still found in the wild throughout Europe, in the Crimea, in the Caucasus, in Western and Central Asia to India itself, in Africa, America, Australia. It grows along sea coasts, in saline places, in wet and marshy meadows, along river banks among weeds.
In ancient times, victors were decorated with wild celery leaves. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used it as a useful medicinal plant. Homer mentions him in the Odyssey under the name Celinone. The ancient Greeks decorated their dwellings with garlands woven from celery, they wove wreaths and put them on their heads on holidays. They say that in the 4th-3rd centuries. BC e. this plant was cultivated as a vegetable, more often used as a spicy seasoning for various dishes, and in the 3rd-2nd centuries. BC e. it was already widely cultivated. In the first century AD, researchers already distinguish between wild and cultivated celery. In the 16th century in Italy, celery, along with parsley, was used as an aromatic plant in cooking, from where it was exported to France and England. In 1641, a manual for French gardeners was published,which explained the cultivation and use of this plant.
Celery is now cultivated in Europe, North and Central America, North Africa, India, Japan, and China. In our country, it is grown in relatively small quantities. Celery is grown in open and protected ground. The roots of leafy and petiolate varieties of celery can be used for forcing early greens in winter and spring. The growing of celery transplanted from open ground is also used, which makes it possible to obtain products in the autumn-winter period.
Regardless of the variety, the whole plant is usually used for food - the root, leaves, seeds, both fresh and boiled, fried, and also dried. All parts of the plant lend themselves well to drying, perfectly retain their aroma for a long time. Dried and salted leaves and root vegetables are used as a seasoning for various dishes. Young leaves and petioles are used to make vitamin salads and are added as a spice to soups, sauces, fillings, pates, cutlets and stews. Soups, main courses, side dishes are prepared from petioles and root crops. Celery roots and leaves are widely used in the canning industry.
Nutritional value of celery
The value of this plant lies in its nutritional and medicinal properties. Celery roots contain 10-20% dry matter, leaves - 9.7-17.8%. Sugars (0.6-1.4% of wet weight) are mainly represented by glucose, fructose and sucrose. Celery leaves and roots are characterized by a lower crude protein content compared to parsley. The leaves and roots contain essential oil (about 1%), in fruits its content reaches 2-3%. Essential oils give the leaves and roots a unique smell and taste, stimulating appetite and improving digestion. The aroma of this plant lasts for a very long time. The smell of celery in the room where the seed bags were stored lasts for years. The oil obtained from the seeds is a mobile colorless liquid. It contains palmitic, oleic, linoleic and petroselinic acids. Discovered acetic,butyric and chlorogenic acids.
Like other spicy plants, celery has alkaloids and glycosides, in particular the flavone glycoside apigenin, the flavonoid apiin. In addition, phytocoumarins are found in the leaves. Celery fruits contain essential oil, linolen, flavone glycosides, lactones and sedanic acid salts.
Leaves, petioles and root crops are rich in vitamins, for example: vitamin C in leaves is 14-427 mg per 100 g, in root crops and petioles 4-42. Carotene in leaves is 1.3-10 mg per 100 g, in root crops - up to 0.2. In addition, celery contains thiamine (2-5 mg per 100 g) and riboflavin (3.0-5.5 mg per 100 g), nicotinic acid, vitamin R. The root also contains purines, free amino acids: arginine, histidine, lysine, serine, alanine, tyrosine, aspartic and glutamic acids, phytocoumarins, as well as choline, mucus, starch.
The ash (0.8-1.2%) of celery contains the most potassium, followed by phosphorus and calcium, in addition, there are sodium and magnesium salts and small amounts of iron and copper. The chemical composition is unstable and is closely dependent on soil and climatic conditions, cultivation techniques and on the variety.
Celery is bactericidal. Its antimicrobial properties are determined by the presence of essential oils in it, which include terpenes, paliatinic acid and phenol derivatives.
Celery also contains toxic substances - polyacetyl compounds. However, their concentration is low, especially in young plants.
Both the roots and the herb have medicinal uses. In diet therapy, celery leaves are used to prevent and treat obesity. Celery preparations have a positive effect on the body as a whole, stimulate the activity of the kidneys, stimulate appetite, increase the blood supply to the genitals, have antiallergic, analgesic, antimalarial, wound healing and mild laxative effect.
Developmental biology and attitudes towards environmental conditions
Celery is an annual, more often a biennial plant. Germination of seeds in ideal conditions begins 12-15 days after sowing. It usually takes 6-9 days from the appearance of the cotyledons to the first true leaf. The length of the growing season depends on the variety and weather conditions. Typically, the growing season lasts 110-180 days.
The root system of celery is branched. Some root varieties produce root crops up to 1 kg or more.
Leaves are compound, pinnate, on long, hollow, thin or voluminous succulent petioles, the upper ones are trifoliate with serrated edges, shiny above, matte below.
In the second year of life, 15-20 days pass from planting to the appearance of peduncles, and 80-110 days before the seeds ripen. Stems 30-100 cm high, branched, glabrous, furrowed, sometimes hollow.
Umbrellas are numerous, small, on very short legs, almost sessile. The flowers are small, bisexual, sometimes unisexual. The petals are white, yellowish or greenish-white. The tops of the petals are sometimes bent inward. Celery is a cross-pollinated plant. Insects pollinate it. Fruits are crocodiles, almost round, small (1.5-2 mm), slightly compressed from the sides, semi-fruits (seeds) are pentagonal in cross-section with prominent threadlike ribs. Celery seeds are small, the weight of 1000 seeds is 0.35-0.5 g, their germination capacity lasts 3-4 years.
Requirements for growing conditions
Attitude towards warmth. Celery is a fairly cold-resistant plant. Seed germination is very slow. The optimum temperature for germination is + 18 … + 22 ° C, the minimum is + 5 ° C, its seedlings tolerate frosts down to -4 ° C, and adult plants - up to -7 ° C. Celery grows best at + 15 … + 22 ° С. Under the influence of exposure to low temperatures on young plants, some varieties of celery bloom in the first year of life (flowering), which can lead to a decrease in yield.
Attitude towards light. In the first year of life, especially when grown in northern conditions with long daylight hours, some plants produce flowers.
Relation to moisture. Celery is a moisture-loving plant. It grows best in moderately humid climates, but does not tolerate flooding and high-standing groundwater. A good harvest of root crops and leaves can be obtained only with uniform soil moisture during the period of plant growth. In arid conditions, watering is mandatory for him.
Attitude to the conditions of soil nutrition. For celery, loose, fertile soils are most suitable, in particular, drained peat bogs with a low level of groundwater. It grows well on light loamy, humus-rich soils. Heavy loamy, acidic soils should be avoided. He also does not tolerate alkaline soils. Celery root varieties require deep tillage. Leafy varieties can be grown using fresh organic fertilizer, root varieties not earlier than in the second year, otherwise the root crops will branch out, in addition, the root crops of celery root can be affected by various diseases, and then they will become unsuitable for long-term storage.
Forcing celery in winter
It provides fresh leaves in the darkest months of the year. Forcing celery is more profitable in January-February, when natural light conditions improve. The best varieties for forcing are leafy celery varieties. You can also use root and petiolate varieties with success.
Planting material is prepared, as well as for growing, in the open field, but when harvesting the leaves are cut into a cone, leaving a part of the petioles 3-4 cm long so as not to damage the apical bud - the "growing point". The planting material for forcing are roots (or root crops) weighing 60-100 g, laid for long-term storage since autumn. Root crops are stored at + 1 … + 3 ° С and air humidity 60-65%. They keep well until March-April, and the longer storage lasts, the faster the green mass regrowth.
The roots of leafy varieties are planted first - they are more early ripening and give the highest yield. When selecting planting material, sick, small and incorrectly cut (apical bud removed) root crops are discarded. Celery roots are planted in heated greenhouses in rows in well-shed furrows with a distance of 12-15 cm between them and between plants in a row of 8-10 cm. 70-100 roots with a total weight of 4-10 kg are consumed per 1 m². The apical kidney does not fall asleep in order to avoid damage to diseases.
In the first days, the temperature is maintained at + 8 … + 10 ° С for better rooting of plants, then it is increased to + 18 … + 20 ° С. When establishing the temperature regime, one should adhere to the rule: if the forcing should be accelerated, the temperature is raised to + 20 … + 22 ° С in the daytime, and if the forcing culture should be extended for a short period, the temperature is reduced to + 8 … + 12 ° С. Optimum soil moisture is 60-80%. Watering is rare, once every 8-10 days, if possible, without wetting the surface of the leaves. When the temperature drops during forcing, watering is reduced, since in this case excess moisture causes the spread of rot. Feeding plants during forcing, as, indeed, during growing, can not be done, since the soil in the greenhouse is sufficiently saturated with nutrients after a cucumber or tomato. Insufficient ventilationhigh humidity and temperature can cause leaf death and the spread of disease.
The fastest (on the 30-35th day after planting) form the harvest of varieties of leaf celery, root celery - on the 40-45th day. The growth of greenery is 10-20%, and it is the largest in the varieties of leaf celery. It must be remembered that increased leaf growth in celery is observed in the first 25-35 days, and by the 35-45th day it already slows down or stops altogether. The leaves begin to die off. A delay in harvesting causes a large waste of plants and reduces the yield. Both one-time and multiple cleaning are used. With repeated cutting (2-3 times), only the outer leaves are removed, the subsequent harvesting is done after another 15-20 days. After each harvest, fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers is done. At the final harvest, the plants are removed by the root. The yield in this case is 6-10 kg of greenery from 1 m2. For one cut from 1 m? The planting area produces 0.6-0.8 kg of green leaves of good quality and high nutritional value.
At the end of the distillation, the chemical composition of the leaves of celery changes dramatically and their nutritional value deteriorates. With spring planting for distillation, the vitamin C content increases more than four times in comparison with the autumn-winter growing period.
In room culture, root varieties are grown, which form a fleshy succulent root crop and a rosette of leaves, and leafy varieties, which form a strongly leafy rosette, as well as petiolate varieties with leaves with wide fleshy petioles.
In the winter-spring period, seeds for obtaining seedlings of celery are sown 60-70 days before planting it in a permanent place. The timing of planting seedlings in a room depends on the illumination, light zone and other factors. In the middle lane, celery seedlings are planted on the windowsill not earlier than the end of January - early February, and on balconies and loggias in April. In the northern regions, the planting period is postponed by 20-30 days. The scheme of planting seedlings in this case is 10 (15) x 5 cm. 150-200 pieces are placed on 1 square meter. Celery during spring planting can also be used as a seal crop, placing boxes with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers on the sides. Celery is harvested 50-70 days after planting the seedlings - the whole plant at once, or cutting off part of the leaves.
When growing in a room, celery from open ground is transplanted into a room before the onset of frost. For this, the most developed, well-leafy plants are selected without signs of damage by pests and diseases. Consumption of planting material in this case is 10-14 kg per 1 m²; celery is planted on racks, in wooden boxes or in individual pots, containers according to the scheme 10 (12) x5 cm, sometimes close to one another in a row, leaving 10-12 cm between rows.
When growing celery in room culture, fresh produce is obtained until December. The mode during the growing period is the same as when using film greenhouses for this. Used in celery after growing, not only leaves, but also roots.
Forcing celery in room conditions is carried out in December - February. Planting material is prepared in open and protected ground. You can use balconies, loggias, verandas, roofs, etc. for this. The technology includes growing seedlings in indoor conditions, planting in open ground in May, sampling planting material before the onset of frost. When harvesting, the leaves are cut so as not to damage the apical bud. Root crops are planted according to the scheme 15x8 (10) cm. At 1 m? place up to 10 kg of root crops. Cleaning begins in 30-40 days. In room culture, multiple cutting is most common: using scissors, carefully, trying not to damage the growing point, remove the formed leaves, thereby causing the growth of new greenery. In the case of complete cutting of leaves from celery plants, you need to feed with a solution of ammonium nitrate at the rate of 10-15 g per 1 m? landing area.
When growing celery plants indoors, you need to carefully monitor them so that pests such as aphids do not appear on them. They will not only spoil the quality of the greenery, but can then move to indoor flowers, which will cause you a lot of trouble.
Read the rest of the article: Varieties and cultivation of celery, preparation of seeds, growing seedlings of celery →