Horseradish questions

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invader q

Smoke Blower
Original poster
Aug 13, 2007
Planted a horseradish plant in a big planter this year. Read that the roots are best after the first year. Do I want to dig it up this fall, or wait till next spring or fall? And, do I need to reserve some to replant, or will enough get left behind to come back?

Many thanks!
We just dug ours up yesterday. It had been in the ground about 3 months. The root/rhizome(?) growth was amazing. We specifically dug it up because more than one person has told me it's super invasive. Judging from how much it had grown I believe them. We had it planted near a rosemary and I didn't want it to get out of control. Gonna put the next one in a large pot like our ginger!
We just grabbed a fresh looking root at the grocery store and buried it. About 3 weeks later a large, ugly leaf appeared!
Bury it, water it and just when you think it's not gonna sprout it will. At least that was my experience. Look online too, some people suggest burying a large flat rock and then planting it on top of that. Apparently it keeps the roots from going too deep and makes them plumper. I'm not sure one way or another though...
I think I'll try a planter pot, I had a bad experience with bamboo once, that ran like mad, same thing with cascade hops, but then I liked it when that happened.
My Cascade's are running wild too! Thankfully I want it that way! I've got an American pale Ale with their name all over it! I think the pot is wise with the horseradish! Good luck!
Dad used to plant horseradish off by itself. Every year he make new plants fromthe old roots to give to the other farmers. I don't recall it taking over like hops though. Maybe he just keep picking them?

Oh BTW - when you grind it or throw it in a blender or whatever your plan is


It's worse than bug spray when it's fresh! It'll have you and yours in tears for days if you grind it in the house!
My experience has been that your not going to do anything wrong to make it not grow because it is very hardy. The best though is make the soil "sandy" so it will stay loose and promote better roots. If the ground is hard, like my clay soil, the roots will grow all twisted and they are harder to clean that way. Only harvest the roots in a month with a "r" in it. You can then dig the roots cut the tops off and bury them back in the ground for more crop. I once dug my whole patch up and then ran my tiller through the whole thing and left it, the next year I had more crop then ever. WOW, for once on here I feel like I have contributed a little something that may be of use.
Dad raises horseradish and as Schultzy stated we only dig it in months containing "r". As for planting it back, the crowns, where the stems attach, can be saved and replanted. The crowns will look like the top of a carrot. Horseradish is like a potato, if it has an eye, it will grow if it has the opportunity. Dad has given away several crowns to people who want to start a patch. Watch where you dispose of the parts not used when making horseradish, as you could start a patch where you don't want one. Just my .02 worth and hope it helps.
I'm getting ready to dig mine up. I planted it 2 years ago. My wifes Dad was a farmer and said to let it grow for 2 years before you dig it up. What Schultzy said is what I have been going by for years. My Father-in-law had a big patch. He did warn though make sure where you want it because the patch will get bigger and it's tough to get rid of!

When I made horseradish I was tought to use vinegar but I didn't like how runny they made it. I started squeezing the juice/vinegar from what was ground up right back into the next batch so it would stay nice and strong and not get too runny.

Good luck to ya!
Last time I got fresh horseradish here in AZ was during Christmas time for my Prime Rib. Had to special order it. Can't get it fresh here that I have seen readily available in the produce section.

Oh, and when I special ordered it, it was something like $5/lb

I love the stuff but I have to stick with the jar variety..
In this months Chile Pepper Magazine there is a great article on horseradish. One thing it mentioned is keeping the plant limited to one leaf. This prevents mulitple roots from growing so all growth is in the one large root. Also when you dig it up the one offshoot with the leaf should be saved for replanting. Check the magizine though. Much better information.
I would love to try planting some horseradish. I have never seen seeds for it.Where did you get them?
A local garden center had root sections this spring. If I remember right, it was three root sections in a bag of wood shavings for about $6. I did a google search before I found htem local and found a few dealers online too.

Thanks for the info, I'll go see if my local bookstore has that magazine.
I found one in the grocery store last night that was already sprouting - could resist! I'll have to plant it maybe it'll choke out the bittersweet!
I have grown it for years. When I first started I built a two foot square raised bed out of 2X8's. Placed it on the ground and pinned it down. Filled the raised bed with good soil and plopped in the root. Has been there growing in a controlled situation for years. Each year, as others have said, I dig it up, cut everything off except a couple pieces with eyes. Plant those back in and forget it for another year. When in full leaf, it is possible for wind born propogation, but I have never found more than the occasional leaf sprout, here and there, outside my raised bed. When I do, I just reach down and pull it up. If I keep my eye out for them, I get them before they form a root system. I have never had the reckless spread that I have heard about. Not that I doubt it. It sure could happen if you disc it up or tilled into it or were growing in an open garden. But this little raised bed, right next to my garden has been a good shepard for many years. I think the potters would work well too. they just may need a little more watering, because potters tend to drain and dry out a little faster than raised beds or in the ground situations.

Also, someone mentioned not liking vinegar because it made things too wet and runny. I found that timing the application of the vinegar was key to controlling the hottness(if that is a word) of the end product. After timing the ground horseradish, I flood it with vinegar. After it has done it's job, I press the vinegar out and either reuse it, if I am making a later, hotter batch, or dispose of it if I am done. The result is I stop the growing heat, but still have damp, not soppy completed product.

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