How to grow celeriac

Celeriac is delicious raw, mashed and roasted. Follow our step by step guide to growing your own at home.

Do it:

Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

Takes just:

30 minutes

At its best:

Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

Celeriac has an unusual flavour, a cross between celery, fennel and aniseed. The edible part is the swollen root.

Celeriac is not difficult to grow but it does take a long time to mature, taking up space on the veg plot. The seed is generally more expensive than other veg and germination can be patchy. However with a bit of patience (and a few extra seeds) you will soon have a few sturdy plants.

Celeriac grows well in heavy soils and is a good choice if you're looking for a crop that thrives in poor summers. Here's how to grow it.

You will need

  • Celeriac seeds
  • Seed tray
  • Good quality compost, such as John Innes no.1
  • Heated propagator
  • Capillary matting
  • Small pots
  • Pencil or dibber
  • Bulky organic matter
  • Fork

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Sow in spring into a seed tray filled with good-quality compost. Sprinkle the seed lightly in shallow drills, then lightly cover with compost.

Water gently, then place the tray in a heated propagator at 10-12°C. Ensure the compost remains moist; a layer of capillary matting beneath the seed tray can act as a reservoir.

Once the seedlings are large enough to handle easily, transplant each into its own pot of compost, firm and water well.

Celeriac grows well in heavy soils and is a good choice if you're looking for a crop that thrives in poor summers.

Plant out the plants in late spring, when they are 5-7cm tall. Space them 25-30cm apart in rows 30-45cm apart. Do not bury the crowns. Water well during dry periods or on lighter soils. To retain moisture it's worth applying a bulky, organic mulch straight after planting, making sure it is kept clear of the swelling roots.

Celeriac should be ready to harvest from late September onwards, but a more intense flavour develops if left in the ground longer. You may need to use a fork to gently lift out each root.

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How to enjoy celeriac

Celeriac can be eaten raw, grated into a winter salad or used as a crudite. It can also be mashed or roasted.

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