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Celeriac

I'm a new 'Allotmenteer' (2 years), I grew Celeriac (Monarch) for the first time this year in a raised bed. I started them off as per the GW video, they appeared to be doing really well, plenty of foliage and the root appearing above the ground (just like the video) however, when I dug them up (November) I was disappointed, a small main root and lots and lots of small fibrous ones. Once these were trimmed off there was hardly anything left. Why lots of small roots?
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  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,173
    I'm glad you asked this question John, and welcome to the forum.
    I grew Monarch 3 years ago also in a raised bed.
    They looked as if they were doing well over the season, and I could see the tops swelling above ground, but like you I found almost noting underneath - just a thick tangle of fleshy roots.
    I just didn't bother trying again, but I do like fennel and celeriac soup, so would have another go with them if we can find the answer.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 3,881
    I’ve never had success with celeriac. Similar disappointing results. They need a rich soil, lots and lots of watering, a long growing season and don’t like high summer temperatures. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,762
    Water.  I grew these successfully in our last garden in Belgium - fertile soil, high rainfall and only ever one week of silly heat - and they did well for me.  However, not OH's favourite veggies.  This garden has long, hot, drizabone droughts so I haven't even tried.  I buy them occasionally in the SM, in season and cheap.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 3,881
    I now get mine from Carrefour in Perpignon. Love celeriac soup in winter!
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,173
    Thanks Nollie and Obelixx
    I suspected lack of water may the case.
    I dug in lots of rotted manure and compost in early spring, but the recent summers have been very warm and exceptionally dry, so raised beds have likely dried out sooner too.

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,762
    Do you grow celery @Pete.8?   They are related - if that helps with how moist celeriac needs to be.   Have a look at this - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/vegetables/celeriac 
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,173
    No, I don't grow celery Obelixx - I did as a kid with good results.
    I tend to grow small amounts of things that are more expensive to buy in the shops.
    I only use celery or celeriac in soups, so I buy it as and when - it's cheap and good, same for onions, carrots and the like.
    I grow dwarf beans and runners, lettuce, beetroot, spinach, chard and occasionally carrots with varying degrees of success. Plenty of toms and cucumbers in the g/house too.
    I've given over some veg space to grow strawberries and other soft fruits and lovely as home-grow veg are, I prefer the blackcurrants, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries to rows of veg that invariably get attacked by some sort of pest that puts me off eating it.
    I may have a go with Fennel next year - maybe..
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,762
    Florence fennel did very well in my Belgian garden and one year I even had lovely fat green caterpillars form the swallowtail butterfly.  Very civilised as they eat the fronds but not the bulbs.   It's another one that needs moisture but not as much as celery or celeriac.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,881
    Same here with the celeriac; Two rows and plenty of foliage but out of about sixteen, only had two or three with roots the size of a tennis ball or larger.  I also left a few over winter and they did carry on growing very slowly but after I found an adult red lily beetle overwintering deep in the leaves, they were hoiked out!  Might give the fennel a go @Obelixx , it's been about three decades since I last grew it!  
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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