Celery success : CUTTINGS

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I have always thought that usng starter plants, like cake mixes, was cheating. But after a failure in the celery seed department this season, I have changed my mind. I was saved by a delivery of 20 little plants of a self-blanching celery called `Victoria', which arrived, sturdy and well-rooted, ready for hardening off in the cold frame.

They came from Marshalls, which introduced starter plants in its catalogue this year and has extended the range for 1995. Marshalls offers two different kinds of celery, `Victoria' and `Pink Ice'. Both cost £1.95 for 10 plants, compared with £1.29 for a packet of `Victoria' seed. The flavour is not at all bitter, and the stalks are long and crunchy. In a drier season, it may have been less successful, but I won't bother to grow celery from seed again this season.

All the plants are delivered by first-class post in late May. For details contact S.E. Marshall & Co, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire PE13 2RF (0945 583407).