A culinary favorite! The sharp piquant flavor and penetrating smell of horseradish becomes apparent when the root is grated or ground.
WHEN TO PLANT: Plant your roots as soon as you can work the ground in early spring. If you need to wait; store roots in original packaging in the refrigerator for a short time. Roots can also be planted in late fall but mulch well to protect from frost while roots are developing.
WHERE TO PLANT: Horseradish prefers a sandy well-drained area in full sun but will tolerate part shade. The soil pH should be 6.2 to 6.7 and free of rocks. Choose a generous site for this prolific vegetable which can grow to 24" tall and 18" wide. A good plant to grow in the perennial herb garden or a deep container like a whiskey barrel planted.
HOW TO PLANT: Dig a hole 1 foot across and as deep as your shovel. Loosen the soil in the bottom of the hole. Place root on a 45 degree angle, around 6 inches deep for the small end and cover top of root with 1 to 2" of soil which will settle with time and watering. A balanced fertilizer such as 5-10-5 can be used at a rate of 5 lbs per 100 sq ft if necessary. Keep soil moist while new plants become established.
TIME TO HARVEST: Wait until the second fall after planting to harvest horseradish. For the best pungent flavor; wait to harvest roots until after several hard frost, or late fall. Dig up and separate out the fleshy roots from the side shoots for processing. Freshly dug and washed roots can be stored for several months in plastic bags at 32 to 38 degrees F.
USAGE: To prepare Horseradish, first start with a well ventilated room as the fumes are potent - a whiff may be stronger than you expect! It is also recommended that you wear gloves when working with fresh horseradish because the roots contain highly volatile oils which are activated when crushed. Wash fresh roots and peel outer layer. Grate by hand or use a blender or food processor using a fine screen. The addition of white vinegar prevents oxidation and spoilage. Your grated horseradish is now ready to use in dishes, sauces and condiments; enjoy! To keep prepared horseradish at its flavorful best, store it in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator or in the freezer. Prepared horseradish will keep 4 to 6 weeks in the refrigerator and for 6 months in the freezer.
Using a blender for grinding makes home preparation more practical and less tearful than hand-grating.
HELPFUL TIPS: Fresh horseradish loses flavor as it cooks, so add towards the end of a dish or use as a condiment on top!
AFTER CARE: Horseradish will overwinter very well in the garden as long as it is planted in a well drained area. You can also mulch in the fall and continue to harvest throughout the winter. If not harvested, divide roots every 2 years.
PLANTING TIPS: After the first frost in the fall that kills the leaves, the root can be dug and processed.