Celery Root in Georgia

Q: I am from Germany and use celery root in my soups but those roots are hard to find and are expensive. Can I grow celery root in my own garden?

A: I think our summer heat will be your enemy. Like its celery kin, celeriac (celery root) prefers night temperatures below 70 degrees. That’s hard to accomplish during a Georgia summer. Complicating matters is that celeriac seed takes a couple of weeks to germinate and the plant itself needs 100 – 120 days to mature. Since the root is edible at any time, you might do best by planting seed indoors in early March, transplanting it outdoors in late April and harvesting whatever you get when the leafy tops start to yellow in June or July.