All about Growing Horseradish
People either love horseradish or hate it, but if you are one of the people who looks forward to the strong nip on the tongue that horseradish gives, you may enjoy growing horseradish of your own. There is really not much you can do wrong when growing horseradish. Fresh homegrown horseradish tastes far superior to that which can be bought in the grocery store.
Horseradish is in the same family as cabbage and mustard. It is usually grown from a root cutting. You can buy cuttings at the same gardening centers that sell onion sets, tomato plants, and other vegetables that need to be transplanted. If you have a friend who happens to be good at growing horseradish, just ask for a cutting.
Growing horseradish is very simple. All you have to do is get your root cutting, dig a hole that is big enough for the cutting to stand up, and replace the dirt around the plant. Cover entirely. If you get a root with a crown, leave the crown at ground level, not completely buried.
Horseradish will grow almost anywhere. You don’t need to worry about fertilizing or getting the soil just right like you have to do with many other plants. The only thing that is important is that before planting you till the soil well, separating clumps and removing rocks and stones. The horseradish plant needs lots of room for the roots because that is the edible part of the plant.
After your roots are in the soil, water and leave the plant to grow. The part of the horseradish plant that grows above the soil can grow to be as tall as three feet. The root underneath the ground will spread and spread and eventually take over your entire yard if you do nothing to stop it. That is why when you harvest horseradish, you need to take out the entire root, and just leave in enough to grow next season.
Some people harvest horseradish in the fall and some in the spring. Neither is right or wrong. If you live where the ground is frozen all winter, it is best to harvest in the fall, and the piece of root you leave in the ground will start growing again in the spring. If you live where temperatures are mild, you can take out pieces of root whenever you need them.
If you grow horseradish from roots without the crown, they cannot be harvested until the second year. But, this is the time at which they will also taste the best. After that, leaving in part of the root will produce more horseradish every year. Be prepared for how strong homegrown horseradish can be--a little goes a long way.