Celery (Apium graveolens) belongs to the Apiaceae family and is related to parsnips and carrots.
WA is practically self-sufficient in celery, with small quantities brought from interstate in summer. Most comes from outer metropolitan locations on the Swan Coastal Plain as far south as Bunbury, with some from the lower South West and South Coast. September to January plantings give the best results in southern districts.
Celery is grown from transplants that are almost exclusively grown by specialist seedling nurseries. They can provide advice on current varieties.
Under cultivation, celery is grown as an annual and is harvested before the plants ‘bolt’ into flowers and stalks become pithy and soft. Under cold conditions (4 to 13°C for more than 10 days in the seedling stage), May to July plantings in the Perth area may bolt in spring. These crops will not be suitable for marketing unless harvested early at a smaller bunch size.
Soils must be well drained with high levels of organic matter, which may be supplied from the residues of past crops or compost. Slightly acidic soil is optimum for celery (pHCa range 5.0 to 6.0). Apply lime to the soil if the pHCa drops below 4.8.