Starting Celery Indoors

As you can see from the plans it is time to plant the initial crop of celery. Because celery will not survive a night frost we will have to keep the seeds indoors. And from the 9-day weather forecast these wouldn’t be able to go out anytime soon.

Day 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Information provided by The Weather Channel
Hi Temp 44 °F 39 °F 42 °F 45 °F 46 °F 42 °F 45 °F 45 °F 44 °F
Low Temp 33 °F 33 °F 29 °F 31 °F 33 °F 33 °F 35 °F 32 °F 38 °F
Precipitation 80% 70% 50% 30% 0% 30% 40% 20% 60%

So after the last frost date they will be transplanted outdoors after the last frost date. HPIM5237

To prepare for planting I went out and got some of my extra Mel’s Mix from last year that I can in the soil container and four pots. Once the soil was in the pots, it was time to make sure the soil was moist. I prefer to add the water before putting the seeds into the soil because when the seeds hit the moist earth they stay where I dropped them, but if you add the water AFTER you put the seeds into the pots the water can carry the tiny celery seeds deeper than the recommended planting depth. Andrew, my son, was interested in what daddy was doing and actually helped pour some of the water out very slowly.

HPIM5243Because I am using some older Celery seeds I put in five seeds per pot so as long as the germination rate is greater than 20% I will have on average one plant per pot. While some seeds will keep for a long time (pumpkin for example), others will barely last a year in good conditions (like tomato and pepper seeds). One experiment you can do if you are unsure about your seeds, is to get a damp paper towel and place 10 seeds on the towel. Keep the towel moist and around 65°F. After about 2 weeks some of the seeds should have sprouted and you can place them in some great soil, however you also now know your germination rate for the seeds. By counting the sprouting seeds and multiplying by 10 you have your germination percentage which over time you can plot year to year and see the longevity of your seeds. Usually I will get new seeds once the germination rate drops below 20%.

The 2011 Garden has now begun!

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