horseradish root question : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I planted a horseradish root this eary spring in my garden and it grew. Can I dig part of the root up and not kill the rest of the plant. Can the root survive cold winters of Idaho. Should I mulch it. Thanks for your advice. I got my Countryside magazine in the mail today. Love that magazine and this forum

-- Lynda (, August 11, 2000


Oh, yes, you sure can dig (pull) up the root - the side roots that get left in the ground will come up in the spring. And before you know it you will have more horseradish than you'll know what to do with! To get better, more uniform roots, use a spadefork (?) to get up as much of it as you can, then cut off the larger side roots and replant them in loose, rich soil. You will most likely still get small volunteer plants from the original, but the ones you replant will be of a respectable size.

A trick I use to grate the horseradish with a minimum of tears (you'll know what I mean the 1st time you grate it), is to grate the radish into a bowl at arm's length, while a fan blows across the area - thus, blowing the acrid fumes away from your face. Best done outside - otherwise, anyone walking into the room will be weeping by the time they walk out!!! Enjoy!

-- Judi (, August 11, 2000.

Judi is right about the grinding process! If you think onions can make you tear up, you ain't seen nothin' yet! I find the best time to dig is in the spring, for best horseradish. However, once ground, it seems to lose it's oomph quickly (unless dried, I am told, but can't verify). You can, however, freeze the root for grinding later. I think I would let that root keep going until next spring. That way you are pretty well assured of a perrennial crop. Happy grinding, and GL!

-- Brad (, August 12, 2000.

You shouldn't have any trouble wintering over your horseradish. It grows like a weed her in No. Wisconsin. If you don't have good snow cover it wouldn't hurt to mulch it the first year but you probably won't even need it. Our temps get to 40 below zero plus windchill.

-- Peg (NW WI) (, August 12, 2000.

It looks pretty silly but I find a swim mask covering eyes and nose very effective to prevent tears when chopping onions or grating horseradish.

I live in a more moderate part of the country and can't advise you on the culture part.

-- marilyn (, August 12, 2000.

You may wish you didn't plant it in your garden! Better plant it in a spot you can mow around to keep it confined. Here in northern Wis. it grows great. I made the mistake of planting it in my vegetable garden. Now 5 years later, it has spread thru most of it. I have thrown the plants on the lawn and on the rock pile when I weeded them and they have grown great there too!

-- Jeanette Springer (, August 13, 2000.

For a hotter root wait til the first frost .I grind mine outside with my kitchen aide without too many tears .

-- Patty (, August 13, 2000.

Horseradish over-wintered fine for me in Montana with leaves raked over them. I would leave them until next fall, though.

How I prepare horseradish is in a small blender cup or small jar on the blender OUTSIDE, then freeze it in ice cube trays and then bag it. That way you can thaw out and prepare only as much as you need, and it still tastes like fresh.

-- Laura (, August 16, 2000.

Grinding the root is great way to get rid of unwelcome guests! Although we now live so far out, there is almost no such thing, when I lived in town it was a handy trick in the fall !

-- diane (, August 18, 2000.

For ZESTY horseradish, leave it in the ground until after the first killing frost. But it will also be good in spring (survives 40 below, here) until it starts growing again.

And if you want it to spread, just go through it with a tiller. Every little bit and piece will make a new plant.

Heres a family story about Steve, the moderator of this forum (who might delete this post). He loves horseradish, and once went down to the rootcellar for some to grind up. It didnt taste right. I considered the dug before first frost problem but soon discovered that he had ground up not the horseradish roots, but my Belgian endive!

Hes much smarter now. :-)

-- jd (, August 19, 2000.

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