Have Pungent Roots Ready for Picking!
Subspecies: Arm Armoracia rusticana
Horseradish is a perennial and was named ‘2011 Herb of the Year’ by the International Herb Association. People who love the kick of this interesting root may want to consider growing horseradish in their own garden.
Horseradish roots are ground and used to make horseradish sauce. Slivered or shaved roots are also used, primarily in Eastern European cuisine.
Horseradish has been used medicinally since the early Greek civilizations and has been used as a condiment or food since the Middle Ages. It is also one of the traditional Seder foods used in the Jewish culture.
Read on for our full guide on how to grow horseradish in your own garden.
Horseradish should be planted where it can receive full sun, however the plants can thrive if there is partial shade. Horseradish needs loose soil with good drainage. Soil should be raked prior to planting and all stones and foreign objects should be removed. If the soil is packed too tightly, sand should be mixed in so the roots will be able to grow and develop.
Horseradish grows in cool weather. The roots or ‘crowns’ should be put into the ground 4 to 6 weeks before last frost. Horseradish will thrive in areas with medium to high humidity and a temperature range of 45°F to 75°F.
The roots need to be planted in trenches at a depth of 3 – 4 inches. They should be covered with 3 – 4 inches of soil. There should be 24 – 36 inches between roots. Some type of border or blocking should be placed into the ground at a depth of 24 inches around the perimeter of the horseradish planting.
The roots may be cut in sections as they are needed. It does not fully develop in size or flavor until late in the season, so root sections should not be harvested until fall. Roots left in the ground to over winter will produce new plants the following year.
There are two basic types of horseradish: Common and Bohemian. Most horseradish grown now are the Bohemian type with the varietal names: Maliner Kren, Improved Bohemian and Bohemian.
Bohemian varieties have smooth leaves and are better at resisting disease.
The common types have crinkled leaves and although they are more susceptible to disease, they are considered to have the better flavor of the two types.
Horseradish does not experience serious pest problems.
Horseradish can be kept for as long as a year if kept in a refrigerator or root cellar. Humidity is necessary for long storage; keeping the horseradish in plastic bags can help maintain the humidity required. The plastic bags can be wrapped in paper or placed inside paper bags to keep the root dark, which also aids in preservation.
Once grated, the root can be kept in an airtight container for a week. Grated root can also be frozen. The grated root should be sprinkled with vinegar and kept in an airtight container. Thaw frozen root before mixing in sauces to preserve texture.