Growing Horseradish at the Allotment

Growing Horseradish at the Allotment

Horseradish is grown for its strong flavoured root; a favourite to accompany roast beef. Horseradish is a perennial plant that can grow vigorously like a weed, unless it is kept under control. 

To plant a Horseradish plant, you are best to grow it in a container, raised bed or in the soil but enclosed so not to spread. It is planted as a root thong, or young plant. Horseradish seeds are not readily available and are very slow to grow to harvesting size. 

The roots grow very deeply and will be hard to remove if left to grow in an open space.

You can plant the root thongs or plants in spring-summer in a sunny or semi-shaded position, in well-drained soil to thrive. It will grow well in poorer soil but will do better with some well-rotted manure.

Horseradish root cuttings should be planted approximately 2 inches below the soil and planting approximately 18 inches apart. You will require a large, deep pot if you are growing Horseradish in a container as it can grow up to 5 feet tall.

After planting, top up and cover with a multi-purpose fertilizer and water well. Plants should be watered during dry spells.

During the autumn, you can remove the foliage and dig up the roots for use or, alternatively you can leave it in the ground until the following spring and divide it.

Any roots left in soil, will re-grow the following season. 

Roots are stronger in flavour if they are left until after a frost or two. Horseradish roots are best stored in a cool, dark place with ventilation or alternatively you can grate it and freeze it.

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Growing Horseradish in Summary

Sowing Horseradish

  • Plant root thongs or young plants in spring-summer
  • Plant in well-drained soil in a sun or semi-shaded position
  • Contain your root thong or plant when planting

Growing Horseradish

  • Water well during dry spells
  • Remove dying off foliage
  • Add mulch to retain moisture

Harvesting Horseradish

  • Harvest from the autumn onwards or it can be left in the soil until the following Spring and divided
  • Wait until after frosts for a stronger flavour
  • Store in a cool and dark, ventilated place