Tag: horseradish

Planting Horseradish in Open(ish) Ground

Horseradish root
This is what I’m talking about! (pic by Anna regOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0 | Link)

I love a bit of horseradish, me. Grated fresh and mixed into mayonnaise it does wonders for grilled mackerel. Or creamed and added to English mustard, it really makes your sausages sing.

The thing is though, when you try to buy fresh horseradish, it’s only really available as a whole root about a foot or so long, which frankly is a bit too much even for me. So I decided to grow some of my own, in the hope of being able to harvest it in smaller portions.

This, folks, is an Armoracia rusticana plant, a.k.a. horseradish (see the website of the Horseradish Information Council – I kid ye not – for the likely etymology of the common name, if you’re interested):

April 2017 - potted horseradish
A small plant now, but give it time and it will grow in to a bit of a monster.

Unassuming little thing, isn’t it? But it’s incredibly vigorous and will spread itself around by sending out underground stems (rhizomes) and colonising nearby growing space, especially if its roots are disturbed. And as harvesting the fleshy tap-root is the whole point of growing the stuff, if you don’t want it to take over half your plot, you need to do something to contain those rhizomes.

One option is to grow it in pots, but they carry the usual risk of drying out in hot spells. Instead, I’m using an old plastic bin, with a missing bottom:

April 2017 horseradish container
I’m hoping the depth of this old bin will be enough to contain the horseradish rhizomes.

It’s about 60cm deep and as you can see, I’ve dug it into the ground to reduce the amount of heat it will absorb and hence the amount of water loss due to evaporation. In goes the plant, along with a good drenching and a quick finish with a mulch of chipped bark:

April 2017 horseradish planted our
I’m hoping this will be enough space for the plant to grow well, without taking over the entire plot.

Job’s a good ‘un. I’ll leave the plant alone to establish for a while, but with any luck I’ll be harvesting horseradish before the end of next year.

Please Feel Free to Share:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmail