OH. Celery has been cultivated for centuries in European gardens. The first food uses of celery date back to the 1600s in France and the word, celery, is believed to have come from the French word céleri. Early varieties were quite pungent and bitter, so the French primarily used celery as an herb. Native to marshy areas of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, celery was used as an herb by the ancient Greeks and Romans and as a medicine by the ancient Chinese. Giant Pascal, also known as Winter Giant or Giant Golden Pascal, has a long history of being an outstanding performer since the French plant breeder, Pascal bred it from the variety ‘Paris Golden Yellow Self-Blanching’ in 1884. In 1887, both the varieties were introduced to North America under the names of ‘White Plume’ for the self-blanching type and ‘Giant Pascal’ for the green type. By the 1930’s Giant Pascal was the dominant choice for commercial production in the USA due to its non-bitter taste, hardy growth habit and not requiring the blanching or trenching practices that had dominated the market previously. To get a non-bitter crunchy sweet taste growers had developed the practice of covering the stems with newspaper or harvesting and replanting the mature plant in a trench for a month or so before sale. This was labour intensive and drove the price up. Giant Pascal removed the necessity of these practices as the rosette of green sturdy stalks are virtually stringless with a crisp tender texture and a nutty flavour. Can grow to 60cm height and performs as an annual if you are growing for food, technically celery is biennial as it will not produce seed until the second season.
Celery seed prefers light to germinate. Scatter sow seed in trays in early spring or late summer. Prick out when true leaves appear to 4cm diagonal spacing. Transplants into fertile humus rich, well drained soil with even moisture levels. If you desire to try the blanching/trenching method, as the plants grow, mound soil up around the base, much as you would leeks, to avoid greening. Although, it is not necessary with this variety. If you have a long hot dry summer, try for an autumn planting. Matures 85 days from transplant.