Harvesting Horseradish

1 / 5
2 / 5
3 / 5
4 / 5
5 / 5

We transplanted our two-year-old horseradish plant in April and crossed our fingers that it would survive the move. Great news — the plant has flourished in its new location. We put it next to our driveway, far from our main garden plot, as we know that horseradish has a tendency to invade large areas if left unchecked.

We harvested our horseradish over the weekend and blended it up with some vinegar, water and salt to keep in the fridge. If you want to grow your own horseradish, here’s a few tips on getting started.

Horseradish can be planted in the spring or fall, so now is a great time to start your own plant. The best place to get horseradish is from a friend or neighbor. If you know anyone who has an established plant, all they need to do is give you a section of root. Otherwise, try your local greenhouse or seed/plant company. Once you have a root, you will want to be mindful about where you put it, because horseradish is aggressively invasive. You don’t want it near your garden. Some people even “box” it, by burying a wooden barrier around the root so it can only spread so far. It will tolerate some shade, and if you want to slow its spread, you may want to put it in a relatively shady area.

To plant your root section, loosen the soil about a foot deep and bury the root at about a 45 degree angle. The top should be about two inches below the soil surface. Horseradish requires little or no care. No need to compost or fertilize, and you only need to water in extreme drought. Horseradish is very hardy!

You can safely harvest some root one year after planting. You want to harvest in late fall, after your first frost, if possible. Horseradish root gets stronger in response to cold soil, so the longer you wait, the stronger the root. Dig around your plant and remove as much root as you can. Don’t worry about taking too much, horseradish has a way of making a comeback!

Once you have harvested, clean and peel your roots. Put one-inch sections into your food processor or blender and blend with a few tablespoons of water.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt per cup of horseradish. For milder horseradish, add vinegar immediately. For a stronger flavor, wait about three minutes to add the vinegar and blend well.

You can store your prepared horseradish in a jar in the refrigerator for about 4-6 weeks.