Growing Horseradish: The Tangy, Spicy Diy Garden Favorite

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Horseradish

Growing Horseradish

Horseradish is a condiment and spice that has been used for centuries in various forms. Native to Europe and parts of Asia, it is a large, pungent root vegetable and is available in a variety of forms, including whole, grated, ground, and as a cream sauce. It is widely added to dishes for flavor and as a way to add a bit of heat, and is often used as an accompaniment to meats and seafood.

Growing Horseradish: The Tangy, Spicy DIY Garden Favorite

Choose the Right Spot

Horseradish thrives in full sun, so find a spot in your garden that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Ensure the soil is well-drained and slightly acidic with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0.

Prepare the Soil

Dig the soil to a depth of 12-15 inches and remove any rocks or debris. Incorporate organic compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil fertility and drainage. Avoid using fresh manure as it may burn the roots.

Get the Right Varieties

Consider planting common or Bohemian horseradish varieties, known for their tangy and spicy flavor. These varieties are suitable for most gardeners and grow well in various climates.

Plan the Planting

Plant horseradish roots in early spring or fall. Space the roots 18-24 inches apart in rows, allowing enough room for the spreading growth. Place the roots diagonally at a 45-degree angle, with the top end positioned 2 inches below the soil surface.

Watering and Mulching

Keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot. Apply a layer of organic mulch to retain moisture and suppress weed growth.


Apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer during early spring and mid-summer to provide essential nutrients for healthy growth. Avoid excessive nitrogen as it may result in lush foliage instead of robust root development.

Harvesting and Storing

Harvest horseradish roots after the first frost in fall or during early spring before new growth emerges. Dig up the roots carefully, wash them thoroughly, and remove any side roots. Store the roots in a cool, dark place at around 32°F (0°C).

Tools and Supplies You'll Need:

  • Spade or garden fork for soil preparation
  • Organic compost or well-rotted manure
  • Horseradish roots or cuttings
  • Mulch for moisture retention
  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Watering can or garden hose

Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is a tangy and spicy garden favorite that is easy to grow at home. The root of horseradish is the edible part and is commonly grated and used as a condiment. growing horseradish is a great way to add a punch of flavor to your culinary repertoire.

Where To Plant Horseradish

horseradish grows best in full sunlight, in well-drained, loose soil with a ph of 6.5 to 7.5. it should be planted in early spring and can tolerate a slightly cooler temperature. plant horseradish at least three feet apart and in an area where it can spread freely.

Preparing The Soil For Horseradish

to ensure optimum growth, amend the soil before planting by adding organic matter such as composted manure and organic peat moss. this will help your horseradish thrive. to protect horseradish from the cold winter months, consider adding a layer of straw or grass clippings over the root.

Planting Horseradish

horseradish can be grown from seed, but is usually grown from a root cutting or “crown”. cut healthy root pieces that are at least 1 cm in diameter and full of eyes or buds. plant the pieces in rows or in a trench. plant the pieces 8 to 10 cm deep and cover them with soil. water the planting area regularly to keep the soil moist.

Caring For Horseradish

horseradish doesn’t require much maintenance. fertilize your horseradish with a 10-10-10 fertilizer twice a year, usually in early spring and late summer. keep the soil moist at all times, but do not overwater. mulch the planting area to keep the soil cool in the summer and warm in the winter months. remove any weeds that appear around the horseradish plants as they will compete for nutrients and water.

Harvesting Horseradish

horseradish is generally ready to be harvested after the first year. the roots can be harvested any time after they have matured. take care when harvesting horseradish as the roots can be quite hard and have sharp edges. the leaves of the plant are edible but the roots are typically used for condiments. enjoy your homemade condiments and add a zesty kick to your meals!

FAQs About Growing Horseradish

1. How do I start growing horseradish in my garden?

To grow horseradish, start by selecting a sunny location in your garden with well-draining soil. Dig a hole approximately 10 inches deep and place the horseradish root cutting, known as a "set," at a slight angle, with the top of the root about 2 inches below the soil surface. Fill the hole with soil, water thoroughly, and keep the area consistently moist. In a few weeks, you should observe new leaves emerging.

2. Can I grow horseradish from seeds?

While it is technically possible to grow horseradish from seeds, it is not the most common method. Growing horseradish from root cuttings or sets is the preferred approach, as it ensures a consistent flavor. Seeds may produce plants with varying levels of spiciness, which can be unpredictable for culinary use.

3. How long does it take to harvest horseradish?

Horseradish can be harvested in the fall, typically around 6 to 8 months after planting. Dig up the roots carefully, as they can be quite long and deep. Select the larger roots for harvesting, as they tend to have a stronger flavor. Remember to leave some roots behind to overwinter, so they can sprout new shoots the following year.

4. How do I control weeds in my horseradish patch?

Since horseradish plants can be invasive, it is important to control weeds to ensure their healthy growth. Regular weeding by hand is the simplest method. Applying a layer of mulch around the plants can also help suppress weed growth while retaining soil moisture. Avoid using chemical herbicides near horseradish, as they can affect its growth and flavor.

5. Can I grow horseradish in containers?

Yes, you can grow horseradish in containers, but you need to choose a large container with a minimum depth of 12 inches. Make sure the container has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Choose a quality potting mix combined with compost for better growth. Regularly water the plants to keep the soil evenly moist and provide sufficient sunlight.

6. How can I use harvested horseradish roots in the kitchen?

Harvested horseradish roots can be used to prepare a variety of delicious dishes. To make horseradish sauce, wash and peel the roots, then grate them finely. Mix the grated horseradish with vinegar and a pinch of salt, adjusting the quantities to suit your taste preferences. Allow the mixture to sit for a few hours before use to let the flavors meld together.

7. Does horseradish need a lot of maintenance?

Horseradish is a relatively low-maintenance plant. Once established, it requires minimal attention. However, regular watering and weeding are necessary during the growing season. Additionally, dividing the plants every few years can help maintain their vigor and prevent overcrowding.

Remember to enjoy the process of growing horseradish in your own garden. With a little effort, you can savor the tangy and spicy flavors of this DIY garden favorite throughout the year.

Horseradish is an easy to grow vegetable with numerous health benefits. It is a perennial plant with a pungent aroma and can be added to a variety of dishes. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and potassium. Horseradish has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce pain and aid in digestion. Its spicy flavor adds a kick to many dishes and the leaves can be cooked or eaten raw. Growing your own horseradish is easy and can provide a tasty, nutritious addition to any meal.

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