How to Plant a Horseradish Root
Horseradish is a perennial plant that is considered to be a vegetable by some and an herb by others. Horseradish is part of the mustard family and can be used in many recipes including those for potatoes, alcoholic beverages, sauces and butters. Horseradish is easily stored in the refrigerator or freezer until it is needed for cooking.
Step 1 - Deciding Where to Plant
It is not advisable to plant horseradish root in a vegetable garden. This is because a vegetable garden is tilled each year. Being a perennial, the root will need to be left in one particular place for many years.
Locate a place with full sun, preferably in an area of the herb garden. These gardens are not tilled each year and the root will do well in an area such as this.
Step 2 - Plant As Soon As Possible
Horseradish should be planted when acquired. It can also be stored in the refrigerator until spring comes. Do not wait to plant the root if at all possible.
Step 3 - Digging the Hole
To plant the horseradish root, first dig a hole in the area where the horseradish will be located. The hole should be about a foot across. Dig it as deep as almost the length of the root but leave just enough to allow the top of the horseradish root to remain uncovered by the soil. Using the hand cultivator, loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole.
Step 4 - Planting the Root
Plant the roots 9 inches apart. This will give each plant plenty of room to grow.
Place the horseradish root upright into the hole so that only the crown will be above the soil when the hole is filled in. Fill the hole in with compost and water the area well.
Now mulch the area well. This will help the soil stay moist for better growing conditions and also act as a preventative measure against weeds.
Step 5 - Caring for the Horseradish Plant
If planted in good soil and mulched well, the horseradish plant will not have to be fertilized at all. It will do well without too much attention if compost is used each time the root is replanted.
Step 6 - Harvesting the Horseradish Plant
Harvest the horseradish in either the spring or the fall. Do this by digging around the plant without coming in contact with it. The horseradish can be removed by lifting the plant from under its root. If you want to keep growing horseradish year after year, cut or break off part of the root and replant it.
Horseradish is easy to grow, making it a gardeners' favorite. It can be invasive, so make sure that you either give it boundaries or plenty of space to grow. Once planted and established, it will not be necessary to purchase more of the root for planting. Simply keep replanting the root each time you harvest the plant.