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How to grow Horseradish in your garden
Horseradish is a perennial plant of the family Brassicaceae (which also includes mustard, broccoli, cabbage, and radish). It is a root vegetable, cultivated and used worldwide as a spice and as a strong tasting condiment. Spice up a variety of dishes and learn how to grow your own – it’s easy!
Horseradish thrives in full sun but tolerates light shade. The best soil for Horseradish is deeply-worked, sandy loam, in a moderately moist situation. Trench the ground very deeply and put any manure used in at the bottom.
It is essential that no manure be mixed with the upper layers of soil, as this causes the roots to fork. Horseradish is propagated from roots or root cuttings, which are very hardy and persistent, and if unchecked the plant is likely to become a pest. For this reason, Horseradish should be treated as an annual or biennial and the roots lifted and replanted every year or two.
The subsoil must be open for drainage and to allow the roots to penetrate, otherwise they will fork. Dry soil produces woody roots with a weak taste, whilst wet soils make soft roots with too strong a flavour. Roots may be procured, or root cuttings about 6 inches long taken from the old crowns. The old crowns, however, should not be used.
Horse Radish may be planted in Spring, set in rows 24 inches apart and 15 inches between the roots. Plant the roots in a slightly slanting position, the larger ends all pointing in the same direction. When taking cuttings, they should always be carefully cut square at the upper end and slanting at the lower, to distinguish the ends, as the upper end must never be set deepest. Cultivation consists in keeping the surface soil free of weeds, and occasional hoeing to conserve the soil moisture.
When to harvest horseradish
Horseradish should be harvested in the Autumn as flavour will be at its peak.
When lifted, roots may be stored in dry sand and drawn on as required. Cuttings may also be stored in this way until wanted for planting.
Plant your horseradish in with your potatoes for a beneficial growing relationship.
Growing Horseradish in a container
You can successfully grow horseradish in a container – you’ll probably want a tall pot to be sure it is deep enough to keep the long tap root happy. Make sure your container has good drainage and fill it with the soil mixed recommended. It is frost tolerant, prefers to be in full sun with regular watering.