How to Grow Horseradish
What soil is best for horseradish:
Horseradish does best in deep, well-drained soil into which plenty of well-rotted farmyard manure or other organic matter has been incorporated.
How to plant horseradish:
Plant the horseradish “thongs” as soon as possible after receipt:
- Plant them at a slight angle with the sloping cut at the bottom and the flat cut at the top, about 2in below soil level
- Allow 2ft between thongs and top dress the planting with a well-balanced compound fertiliser and water well
- Continue to keep the plants well-watered in dry spells
- In the autumn, cut down the foliage and lift the roots
Horseradish should be ready a year from planting and can be harvested once the dies back in the autumn.
To harvest simply dig around the soil from the main root and carefully lift from the soil. It is recommended that you also harvest some roots of the plant, as they are likely to quickly outgrow the space they are planted in.
Horseradish can be treated as either an annual or perennial. If you wish to treat it as an annual and grow another crop on the same site the following year, ensure you remove all roots to avoid further regeneration. If, however, you wish to treat it as a perennial, some roots can be left to grow again in future years.
Store the roots in cool, dark conditions, as they tend to turn green when exposed to the light.
How to prepare horseradish for the kitchen:
As its oils are volatile and so easily lost, it is best to prepare horseradish for the table as required. It is usually grated or minced and then mixed with vinegar, salt and other flavourings to make a sauce or relish. It can also be mixed with cream to provide creamed horseradish.
Cooking with horseradish:
Horseradish sauce has long been the traditional accompaniment to roast beef, but it is also good with other food. Try it with smoked mackerel, where its pungency cuts through and complements the oily texture of the fish. In parts of central Europe, freshly grated horseradish is mixed with grated cooking apples (the sourer the better!) to make a relish to accompany a variety of cooked meats.
Grated horseradish mixed with soured cream and lemon juice makes a superb accompaniment to hot beetroot, which has a lovely sweet flavour.