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How to Grow Unlimited Celery Without Entering the Contra Code

Illustration for article titled How to Grow Unlimited Celery Without Entering the Contra Code

That little nubby celery stump that you normally throw away is valuable. It can live its own 99 lives. Here's how to use it to punch your ticket to vegetative financial freedom.

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You Should Do This If:

You enjoy eating celery and don't want to pay for it anymore.

Moment of Satisfaction:

Did I not mention the free celery?

Biggest Pain in the Ass:

DAMN YOU! SPROUT ALREADY!

Materials and Tools Required:

  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 1 knife
  • 1 shallow dish
  • 1 plant pot and general-use potting soil
  • 1 sunny windowsill
  • 1 two-liter soda bottle

Difficulty and Cost:

It takes patience. You'll need a celery stalk. And $10 of garden gear.

Building It

Have Yourself a Salad

Illustration for article titled How to Grow Unlimited Celery Without Entering the Contra Code
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Cut the celery stump from the stalks about two inches from the bottom end (where they all connect—you know, the base). Fill the shallow dish with tepid water, set the stump in there too (cut side up), and put the dish in a sunny windowsill.

The Waiting Game

Illustration for article titled How to Grow Unlimited Celery Without Entering the Contra Code

Seriously, just let it sit there. The base will begin pushing thin root tendrils out and new leaves up within a few days (or as long as 10, depends). Once your leaves start bunching like the image below, you're ready to move on.

Movin' on Up

Illustration for article titled How to Grow Unlimited Celery Without Entering the Contra Code
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Once your celery stump has a few clumps of leave poking up, it's time to transplant it to a more permanent home. Fill your plant pot to the rim with soil, then add water—you want to make sure the soil is evenly wet but not soupy. Once the soil is wet, scoop out a handful and set it aside. Then, hollow out a cavity in the center of the pot and place the celery stump in there (make sure you strip any rotten bits from the celery before you do). Bury the stump using the soil you set aside, up to its leaves (you shouldn't see any of the original stalk, just the new growth poking up through soil. Or, if you want, you can plant it in your victory garden using the same technique (though cold-climate readers will still want to transplant it back into a pot for the frozen winter months).

Putting Down Roots

Illustration for article titled How to Grow Unlimited Celery Without Entering the Contra Code
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Congrats! You've now got your very own celery plant. Make sure you keep it sufficiently watered and fertilized. Once the new stalks begin really coming in, cut the top and bottom off of a two-liter soda bottle and place the cylinder around the celery plant. This will keep the stalks growing up, rather than out, which makes harvesting much easier. Speaking of harvesting, you can cut stalks from the plant as needed from now on.

Or, if you're lazy:

You can keep buying your celery like a schmuck.

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DISCUSSION

There was a guy who I used to work with, Jack, .. who was a big time celery eater. Once around layoff rumors time, management was worried we would prematurely quit. To remedy that, they decided they had to BS us so we won't ditch the company like rats from the Titanic. A senior management VP invited us all to a "don't worry we won't fire you (yet)" meeting (conveniently scheduled for lunch time of course —wouldn't want to affect productivity). Jack attended too, and brought his beloved celery with him. And so we were sitting there listening to the executive, who had just made an important and poignant point .. when breaking the silence was a loud and most obnoxious *CRUNCH*. Jack had just bit into his celery. The VP ignored this, and so Jack took this as acceptance. Whenever any major point was made .. *crunch* he would bite into his celery. I don't know we suppressed convulsive laughter. Turns out the VP did get offended and Jack was the first one to get laid off .. but that was a mistake .. because he immediately went to a competitor who apparently gave him free celery for life and he coded up new features into the competitions product that put them over the top and caused us to go bankrupt. All over celery.

That VP now bags my celery at the grocery store.

True story.