GIANT PRAGUE CELERIAC (Graveolens rapaceum) is a heritage variety dating to 1871 with large white roots and relatively smooth skin. Celeriac is one of those vegetables that the average American cook has little or no experience with. That's a shame. It is really awesome! The name implies a connection with celery and indeed, it is intensely and richly fragrant of celery - even the seed is so. And easier to grow than celery. The large bulbuous and rough skinned "root" (most of which grows above ground) is used raw and cooked, much like a turnip. It is an excellent non-starchy choice over potatoes. You can boil and mash it, bake it whole (remove skin before eating), make soup with it, even french fry it! The hollow stalks are traditionally used in serving Bloody Marys, as they impart a celery taste as the cocktail is sucked through it. It is also classically used in the French salad "celerie remoulade." High in fiber with no cholesterol or fat and very few calories. Stores VERY well, keeping 3-4 months in the fridge. I think celeriac is overlooked in large part because you must cut the hard exterior away in order to use the interior portion. But give it a chance and you may find you love this odd-looking vegetable! Diamant produces large, full-favored white roots with perfect texture. It has uniform size and shape and medium-tall green tops. Good for storage. 115 days. 50 Seeds.
GROWING TIPS: Because of the long growth season, you will want to start this one indoors 10-12 weeks prior to the last frost date in your area. A light dependent germinater so just barely cover with vermiculite. Germination can take up to 3 weeks, so keep the soil moist and warm (a heat mat is recommended). Once seedlings emerge, reduce temp to 60-70F and transplanted to plug trays as soon as they are large enough to handle. Be sure to hardened off well before transplanting in May or June in rich soil 6-8" apart in rows with 18"-36" between rows. Irrigate to keep soil moist for uninterrupted growth and cultivate or mulch to keep weed free until October maturity. Flavor improves after the first light frost, but harvest before first hard freeze. Cut tops 2' above bulb and store.
CULINARY TIP: If you are preparing for later use, cut away the peel and chop or grate, but place in bowl of cold water with lemon in the fridge to prevent browning, which you will drain off before proceeding with your recipe.