This is a blog post on growing and harvesting Celtuce stem. Celtuce is a cross between celery and lettuce. It is normally used in stir-fries in Chinese cooking. Here is a recipe on how to cook Celtuce stir fry. Celtuce stem can also be pickled, roasted, and grilled. It can be bought from Asian grocers. The stems are normally sold in shops although the leaves resemble very much of lettuce is edible. In the raw state, the stem can taste bitter therefore it needs to cook or boiling in order to get rid of the bitter taste.
This is my first attempt at growing Celtuce the results is not great as it didn’t grow as big as the ones in the shops. But it matures into celtuce which is great.
Growing and Harvesting Celtuce Stem
The only way I know to grow celtuce is from seed. It is easily available online from seed suppliers. I got mine from Premier Seeds Direct and they germinate easily at low temperatures. The best season to grow them is in spring sometime in April (between March to May). It is also possible to grow it outside these times but I find that they don’t are big as I would like. I grew mine in late September and it didn’t grow too much come early spring. Celtuce can withstand some cold weather but not frost when they are young.
They are much more hardier than tomatoes, courgettes, or cucumbers. Grow then at least 30 cms apart. Water regularly. However, they are prone to aphid attack. Look out for signs. Also, the leaves are prone to slug attack as well. Grow like lettuce in a sunny spot, well-drained soil. Feed them with some fishbone feed.
Home-grown celtuce stem wouldn’t be as big as the shop-bought ones. Even I didn’t achieve the wanted size I gain on freshness and lots of leafy greens to eat. As the leaf can be eaten like lettuce and the stem-like celery.
Harvesting Celtuce Stem
Once the stem is about 20 – 30 cm it is ready to harvest. The matured stem is tough and need to be peeled before cooking.