You can plant Horseradish directly into the ground, but the problem is, they have a tendency to sprout up and grow where you don’t want them to. When you lift them up at harvest time, you must lift up every piece, to be sure that all pieces of the root have been removed. Which means checking the soil for anything that has been left behind.
It is a major benefit to grow Horseradish in a pot or container because they do overgrow and can easily take over your garden. Keeping them confined will prevent them from spreading and becoming more of a chore (annoying weeds) rather than a pleasure to grow (a pleasant herb).
Horseradish is a hardy, deciduous perennial, that grows well in full sun or partial shade, generally pest-free and is very easy to grow, as long as you plant them in the correct living conditions. They grow green leaves above the soil, up to about 1m in height and spread to around 0.5m.
They can be grown by seed, but it’s much easier to grow them by root. If you plant them after the frosty days have passed in spring, they will be ready to harvest before the winter, after they have felt the first couple of frosts. Depending on where you live, plant them around March and harvest them around October or November.
Follow these steps and you will have your own Horseradish at harvest time without the pain of them spreading all over your garden:
- They should be planted in spring (after the frost has passed) around March time, in a position that gets full sun or partially shaded.
- Horseradish needs a lot of space to grow and like their soil well-drained. So you will need a big pot or container that is deep and has holes at the bottom for drainage.
- If you want to plant more than 1 in any container, make sure they have plenty of space between, so they have enough room for their roots to grow.
- Fill up the pot with compost (to about a couple of inches below the rim).
- Place the root into the soil, just slightly below the surface (no deeper than 2 inches) and placed at an angle of about 45 degrees (not upright or lay down flat).
- The taper (slimmer) end should be placed first, with the crown (thicker) end at the top.
- Cover the root with soil and water it.
Caring for your Horseradish plants
- They need to have moist soil to grow, so give them water twice a week and make sure the soil never gets too dry (or too wet), especially during the growing months.
- Treat the soil once with a balanced liquid fertilizer in late spring or early summer.
- When the leaves are growing throughout the summer, remove any dead leaves and cut away any suckers that are growing around the plant.
- When the summer has finished, remove any dead growth from the crown.
- Immediately remove any weeds that are growing within the pot or container.
Pests and diseases
- Horseradish doesn’t generally have any problems with pests but they can suffer from clubroot. Clubroot is an infection of the roots that leads to distorted roots, stunted growth, and worse infected plants may even die.
- There is no chemical control for clubroot, but there are precautions you can take to try to prevent your plants from being affected. Remove any weeds, keep all tools clean, only buy roots from reputable sources and if you think one or more of your plants may be affected, raise the PH level of the soil and improve drainage.
- Wait until after the summer has finished, the foliage has died back and they have felt the frost, usually around October or November.
- To harvest your Horseradish, just tip the pot or container upside down, remove what’s left of the green foliage and harvest half of the white roots.
- Replant the rest in fresh compost for next years growth.
- It is best to use Horseradish when they are fresh out of the ground, but they can be kept for a later date if stored properly.
When Horseradish is planted into the ground, they spread like weeds. To stop this from happening, it is best to plant them in pots or other containers. When you first get your roots, plant them in spring, fertilize them once, keep the soil moist but well-drained, remove any weeds or dead leaves, harvest them before winter approaches, take what you need and replant the rest in fresh compost for next years harvest.