Growing Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)
Horseradish is easy to grow, but high-quality roots – which are grated for making into a cream sauce used with roast meats and some– depend on good cultivation. Although the plant is a perennial it is wise to lift it every year to prevent too great a spread, which may become extremely difficult to get rid of. Large clusters of dock-like leaves about 600 mm (2 ft) long are formed, the first few being deeply divided. Flower stems may exceed 1.2m (4 ft) but they rarely set seed.
The plot is prepared by digging holes about 600 mm (2 ft) deep and about 300 mm (1 ft) apart. Thoroughly mix compost with the removed before replacing it. Plant a piece of root (called a thong) 200-250 mm (8 -10 in) long vertically in each hole in February or March. The thongs need to be covered by about 100 mm (4 in) of soil. Firm them in and add water. The plants grow best on a light, well-drained soil, preferably in sun or partial shade; heavy soils should be lightened with peat and sharp sand.
Harvest from late summer onwards by lifting roots as required, and eventually clear the entire site. Surplus roots may be stored in the same way as carrots in a box of sand. They can be used later in the kitchen or for raising the next year’s crop:
Soil: Well-draining, enriched
Harvest: Late summer to autumn