by Brooke Tolman
(last updated March 22, 2019)
Horseradishes are a great vegetable to have on hand when needed. Good thing about them is that they are pretty easy to grow if you know what you're doing.
Horseradish are very fast growers. Since they are perennials, you won't want to put them with your regular vegetable garden that gets tilled every season, but putting them over in the corner of an herb garden would be ideal. If you don't already have a garden you can grow them in a deep container just as well. The more sun these plants get, the faster they will grow. Give it some space to grow as well because these plants will grow to be up to 24" tall and 18" wide.
As soon as you get your horseradish root, plant it. If you don't have time to plant it right away, store it in your refrigerator in a loosely wrapped plastic bag. It is best if you plant it in the early spring like most vegetables or the late fall, along with onions or garlic.
To plant a horseradish, dig a hole twice as deep as the root of the plant. When you set the root into the hole, make sure the leaves are at the soil line and don't get caught under the dirt as your refilling the hole. Water the plant immediately and well. In the first couple days after planting, your plant might wilt a little, this is normal. You might want to shade it from the sun for those first couple of days in order to let it recover from it's transplant, but eventually new leaves will start to appear.
If you only have the root and not a whole horseradish plant, planting will be a little different. Start by digging a hole one foot across and as deep as your shovel. Loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole and place the root in it at a 45 degree angle. Make sure the top of the root is just below the surface of the ground and refill the hole carefully, using a mixture of compost and soil. Mound up the dirt a little because over the next few days the dirt will settle. Immediately water your root and wait for growth.
Don't harvest your horseradish until its leaves have seen some frost. If you live in the south, don't harvest till late fall, anywhere else, you can probably harvest a little earlier than that. Horseradish plants that are about one year old are the ones with the most distinct flavor. If you want that spicy flavor every year, you'll have to dig up the root, divide it and plant it again. If you don't mind less of a flavor, you can keep it and it will regrow itself the next year.
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