Table of contents:
Video: How To Grow Leek And Celery Seedlings
How to get quality celery and leeks?
When buying celery and leek seeds, you probably dream of getting a large root vegetable with a diameter of 7-15 cm and a thick juicy bleached false bulb at least two fingers thick by the fall. But many will be disappointed. From seeds sown in open ground even in early or mid-May, by the end of the season grows a bearded root vegetable the size of a walnut and a pencil-thin leek. For the full formation of a marketable crop of these two very useful and popular vegetable crops, it takes at least 200-250 days.
Therefore, in the conditions of our short summer, celery and leeks are grown through seedlings, which are then planted in open ground on May 15-20. Given the large age of the seedlings (from sowing to planting 60 days), these crops should be sown in early March.
Before sowing, prepare the soil (sod or fertile garden soil, peat, humus, sand 1: 1: 1: 0.5), seedling containers, preferably peat, with a mesh diameter of 4 cm.
The seeds are pre-soaked for 30 minutes in warm water of 50 ° C, and then they are left at room temperature for 2-3 days, changing the water twice a day. Before sowing, the seeds must be dried (but not dried!) To a loose state.
Leeks are sown to a depth of 1 cm, 3-4 seeds in each cell, distributing the seeds so that there is a distance of 2-3 cm between them. In the future, leeks are planted in a group.
Celery is grown with a pick, that is, they are sown to a depth of 0.5 cm, first in a small box (in a row after 1-2 cm, between rows 3-4 cm), and after 25 days, when two true leaves appear, they are transplanted into container cells.
When picking, pinch the root 1/3 -1/4 of its length, deepen the plant to the first lower leaf, but carefully, not filling the growth point.
Like all cold-resistant crops, seedlings are grown at temperatures no higher than 17-18 ° C during the day, 14-15 ° C at night. The lightest place for growing is chosen, because the leaves of these plants are small and grow very slowly. Seedlings usually appear on the 12-18th day after sowing with dry seeds and twice as fast with wet seeds. From germination to the appearance of the first leaf, it takes from 10 to 15 days.
Seedlings are moderately regularly watered, avoiding the accumulation of excess water in the trays, they are fed with Kemira Lux fertilizer or any complex fertilizer with microelements a month after germination and then every 10-15 days (20 g per 1 liter of water). If the plants grow too elongated, try to lower the temperature and spray them periodically with clean water. Overdrying seedlings is also undesirable, especially leeks. Due to the high temperature and lack of moisture, the tips of the leaves will irreversibly turn yellow, and in the future, in the open field, a large bulb will no longer work.
Leaf celery, petiolus and leeks are well preserved until December, if in the fall after harvesting they are buried in the basement, loggias and grown at a temperature of 4 - 6 ° C. Root vegetables and bulbs can be stored at 1 - 1.5 ° C. Small celery roots together with parsley and beets can be used in winter and spring for forcing leaves on a window at a temperature of 18-22 ° C.
The autumn harvest is still far away, but you can feel the unique taste of these very healthy vegetables even now. The shops sell large ball-shaped celery and sumptuous leeks. They contain a lot of vitamin C, up to 45 mg per 100 g of raw material. Leeks have one very important property that no other vegetables and fruits have: during storage, the amount of ascorbic acid in the bleached part of the onion increases by more than 1.5 times by spring and reaches 75-85 mg per 100 g of product.
In addition, leeks are high in vitamin E (1.5 mg per 100 g), the daily dose of which for humans is 12 mg. Peppers, apples, carrots contain half of vitamin E. Leeks are also high in potassium. Celery is prized for its high content of carotene, folic acid, potassium and calcium salts.
Young leaves and false elongated onions of leeks, which are distinguished by a pleasant mildly pungent taste, are eaten, raw and boiled as a seasoning for soups and salads. Root vegetables of celery are stewed, fried, but they are especially appreciated fresh. To prevent the pulp of chopped celery from darkening, it must be immediately mixed with the acidic components of the salad or sprinkled with citric acid, vinegar.