Horseradish is a versatile plant with a unique, pungent flavor that can add a kick to your meals.
If you're a fan of DIY gardening, you might be wondering whether it's possible to grow horseradish from store-bought roots.
The good news is that, yes, you can! With just a few simple steps, you can cultivate your own horseradish plants at home and enjoy their fresh, zesty taste.
Continue reading below for guides and tips on how to grow them successfully.
Growing Horseradish From Store Bought Roots
To start growing horseradish from store-bought roots, all you need to do is select healthy roots and plant them in well-prepared soil.
In early spring, when the soil is workable, simply plant the root cuttings, also known as "sets," into the ground.
Make sure to give them enough space as they can spread out, and be prepared to keep weeds under control, especially in the early stages of their growth.
With proper care and a little patience, your horseradish garden will flourish, and you'll have plenty of fresh horseradish to spice up your cooking.
Remember that horseradish can be a bit challenging to eradicate once it's established, so choose your planting spot wisely.
If all goes well, you will be able to harvest the main roots in about a year.
Choosing the Right Roots
When you want to grow horseradish from store bought roots, it's essential to select the best ones for planting.
Look for healthy, firm roots that are free from any visible damage or mold. If possible, choose larger roots as they can have more energy and a better chance to grow.
Once you've picked the right roots, remember to keep them moist until you're ready to plant them.
Wrapping them in a damp paper towel and storing them in a plastic bag can help keep the moisture levels consistent.
Storing the Roots Before Planting
Regardless of when you choose to start growing your horseradish, proper storage is critical.
You should store horseradish roots in a cool, dark, humid environment, like a refrigerator with temperatures between 32 and 40°F.
Using dark, perforated plastic bags will prevent any light exposure, which can turn the roots green and reduce their quality.
Getting Started with Planting
The best time to plant horseradish is in early spring, as soon as the soil is workable.
This will give your plants ample time to grow and establish themselves before winter.
In regions with longer growing seasons (150 days), horseradish can be harvested at the end of the first year.
Preparing the Soil
To prepare the soil for planting horseradish, it's crucial to spade or rototill the ground to a depth of 8 to 10 inches.
Horseradish grows optimally in a deep, fertile, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5.
Once you've prepared the soil, you can go ahead and plant the root cuttings.
Proper Weed Control
Weed control is particularly important early in the season when the plants are relatively small.
Proper weed control will help ensure the growth of high-quality horseradish, while lifting and stripping the roots twice during the season can also improve their quality.
Keep in mind that horseradish is usually vegetatively propagated by dividing crowns or from root cuttings.
It's possible to grow horseradish from store-bought roots, as long as they are not treated with any chemicals or preservatives.
Planting the Horseradish Roots
Here's how to plant horseradish roots to grow in your backyard. Let's get started!
1. Digging the Hole
For planting horseradish, first pick a sunny spot in your garden with well-drained soil. To prepare the soil, spade or rototill it to a depth of 8 to 10 inches.
Now, dig a hole that is about 4 inches deep and wide enough to accommodate the horseradish root cutting.
2. Planting the Root
Place the root into the hole at a 45-degree angle, with the top of the root facing up. Cover the root with soil, leaving about 1 inch of the root above ground.
If you're planting multiple horseradish roots, space them at least 18 to 24 inches apart to allow for proper growth.
3. Watering the Plant
After planting the horseradish roots, water them thoroughly to ensure good root-to-soil contact and to help settle the soil around the root.
Maintain consistent soil moisture as the horseradish plant begins to establish itself.
Too little water can lead to slow growth and smaller roots, while too much water can cause root rot.
In general, horseradish plants require about 1 inch of water per week, either through rainfall or supplemental watering.
Continue to monitor the soil and water your horseradish as needed while it grows.
Don't forget to keep the area weed-free during the growing season, as this will help promote strong and healthy horseradish plants.
Harvesting Your Horseradish
Here's how to harvest your horseradish plants.
When to Harvest
It's best to wait at least one year after planting to start using your horseradish.
In regions with long growing seasons (150 days), horseradish can be harvested at the end of the first year.
Harvesting usually takes place in the autumn, after frost kills the foliage. This allows the root to develop fully and the plant to store energy for the next year's growth.
How to Harvest
When it's time to harvest, follow these steps for the best results:
1. Prepare Your Tools
You'll need a garden fork or shovel to carefully dig around the main root, being careful not to damage the side roots or the main root itself.
2. Remove Side Roots
As you dig, free up the side roots and remove them at the same time.
It's essential to remove all the roots, as small leftover roots can become a weed in your garden.
3. Clean the Main Root
Once the plant is out of the ground, scrub the main root under running water and dry it well. At this point, it's ready to be used in your favorite recipes.
Is It Possible to Grow Horseradish in Various Climates?
Yes, it is possible to grow horseradish in various climates.
Horseradish is a hardy and versatile plant that adapts well to a range of climates and soil types.
However, for optimal growth, it prefers a deep, fertile, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5.
Ensure that your plants receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. They can tolerate some shade, but it may reduce root growth and quality.
Additionally, providing proper drainage is crucial to prevent root rot or other diseases caused by excessive moisture.
Choosing a Good Radish Root is the Key to Planting Success
To increase the chances of success, find a root that's fresh and firm at the store.
After planting, be patient and give your horseradish ample time to grow.
Once you have successfully harvested your horseradish, you can enjoy the satisfaction of having grown your own herb, and benefit from its zesty flavor in various culinary dishes.
Here are some more store-bought items you can regrow in your home: