Horseradish may seem like an odd plant to grow, but this unique root is delectable when turned into purees, sauces, or served with a savory steak. The horseradish plant has a distinguishable large green leaf that will add a lot of color to your garden.
Choosing a Site for Growing Horseradish:
Horseradish would love to have full sun. Partial shade works, but the rate of growth will decrease. Horseradish will grow in a deep container, like a barrel, very easily. The soil needed to grow horseradish needs to be well drained and have a pH of 5.5 to 7. To achieve this pH range, add some acidic planting mix to the native soil when planting.
If you bought the plant in the “bare root” form, you should plant it as soon as you are able to work the ground. If you are unable to do this, keep the root in the fridge in a loosely wrapped plastic bag. Dig a hole 1 foot across and as deep as your shovel. Loosen the soil in the bottom of the hole. Place roots on a 45 degree angle, around 6 inches deep for the small end, keeping the top of the root just below the surface. Refill the hole with compost and mound up a couple of inches because the dirt will settle with time and watering.
If you bought a horseradish plant, dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the roots of the plant. Add some soil back in the hole. The hole should be the same depth as the roots. Place the plant in the hole and pile the remaining soil around the plant. The base of the leaves should be at ground level. Water the plant well. It is normal for horseradish to wilt for a few days after the initial planting. You should see new leaves appear very soon.
Caring for the Horseradish Plant
There are no specific watering issues associated with horseradish. Keep the soil evenly moist, just the same as any other plant. If you added compost to your soil when you initially planted, it should give enough nutrients for the plant during the first year. After that, a slow released well balanced fertilizer will work. This should be applied in the early spring.
When to Harvest Horseradish
For the best flavor do not harvest until the leaves have seen frost. One year old plants have the best flavor, so it is common to replant new plants every season.