Monday, July 15, 2019

1764 Plants in 18C Colonial American Gardens - Virginian John Randolph (727-1784) - Celery

A Treatise on Gardening Written by a native of this State (Virginia)
Author was John Randolph (1727-1784)
Written in Williamsburg, Virginia about 1765
Published by T. Nicolson, Richmond, Virginia. 1793
The only known copy of this booklet is found in the Special Collections of the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.


Celery, Apium, quod apos eo gaudeant, or from Apex, because the ancients made crowns of it, is one of the species of Parsley. At first I was surprised to find this, but upon examining the two plants, there is, in many particulars, a characteristic likeness.

Celery is the Apium dulce, the seed of which should be sown in a successive manner to have it fine for any time; for after it is blanched it will not remain good longer than three weeks, or a month. but will rot or grow pithy. Let the first sowing then be in March, the second about a fortnight after, i. e. the last of March, the third in the beginning of April, and the fourth about the beginning of May.

In about three weeks or a month, the seed will come up, and if your plants grow stout, as probably they will in good land, you must transplant them into beds, and in June those of the first sowing will be fit to be put out for blanching, and the rest should also be put out as they appear strong enough to sustain a removal.

When they are transplanted for fruit, dig a trench by a line about ten inches wide and eight or nine deep, loosening the earth at the bottom, and levelling it; and the earth taken out of the trenches should be laid on the sides, for the convenience of earthing. These trenches should be about three feet asunder, and the plants should stand six inches distant from one another, in a straight row, cutting off the tops of the plants, when planted out. As the plants grow up, they should be carefully earthed up in a dry season, else they will rot, not above the crown or heart of the plant, and in a light rich soil, they will grow to twenty inches in height, but in poor land they will not exceed, ten.

Your first plantation should be in a moist soil, but not the latter, because the additional wet of the winter will rot your plants. The sun is a great enemy to Celery, when it is very hot, wherefore F would recommend the covering of your plants with brash, at all seasons of their growth, whilst the weather is hot, from nine in the morning until six o'clock in the evening. When you desire to raise seed, draw one or more of your flourishing plants, and plant it out in the spring,, let it be supported against the winds; aiid in August the seed will be ripe, which should be then tut up, dried, beat out, and preserved in bags.