2.20 Horseradish

Botanical name: 

Photo: Armoracia rusticana 1. Latin name: Armoracia rusticana.

2.20.1 Growing horseradish

With this plant, the problem is less how to get it to grow and more how to get rid of it later. To illustrate:

From: david bennett <dabennet.mailbox.syr.edu>
I need some help; how do I get rid of horseradish which I planted a number of years ago that now threatens to take over my garden? Key issue is no matter how deep you dig; you never get all of the root out. Now there hides beneath the soil an infant root waiting to become a big plant next year, etc.

From eberts.donald.uoregon.edu (sonny hays-eberts), to above:
Learn to appreciate horseradish - I doubt you'll be able to eradicate it short of using some harsh chemical means. you'll very likely have to settle for control instead of removal.

If your soil is not heavy clay, I'd recommend spading up the area and using a sieve to extract as many runners as possible. depending on the area of your problem, that may be some work.

You can also pinch off all the leaves (continuously) in an effort to deplete the roots of energy.

You may also have some luck by using a large sheet of black plastic to mulch the area, though I'd not recommend this in times of extreme heat, it tends to bake the soil pretty badly.

Another method used to contain such invasive plants is to ring the area with some sort of buried edging; I know of people who cut the bottoms off five gallon plastic buckets, bury them and plant the horseradish in the center of each bucket (the bottom is removed for drainage).

While it's too late to do that, you may be able to define an area, trench it, and bury a foot or two of something (metal will corrode eventually, wood will rot, plastic isn't very organic and eventually becomes brittle, all end up needing to be replaced over time) to restrict underground movement.

2.20.3 Using horseradish

also see 4.9.5 Mustards, below.

From: rcook.BIX.com (Rick Cook)
First get a gas mask . . .

Seriously, the root is incredibly pungent when you're grinding it. You can simply peel and grate it and use as is, or you can mix with mustard, vinegar, cream, etc. for various sauces.

A word of warning: Proceed slowly. Fresh horseradish is a lot hotter than the stuff you get in bottles.

From: CAOwens.ix.netcom.com (Christine A. Owens )
Dig up the root. Wash carefully, and peel like a carrot. Grate very fine. Add 1 T cider vinegar and a pinch of salt per ½ c. Store frozen, or in the refrigerator.

You can add a couple of ounces of grated horseradish to vinegar, and let it sit for a couple of weeks to produce a spiced vinegar with a real 'zip'. A small amount of grated horseradish added to any dressing or sauce will pep it up effectively. Mix powdered mustard, the vinegar of your choice, and grated horseradish in equal volumes for the best mustard in the world.

BTW, horseradish greens are also very good, either diced very fine as an addition to a salad, steamed like spinach, or sauteed in a little butter or oil.

From: NDooley.president-po.president.uiowa.edu

Horseradish Jelly

3 C. granulated sugar
½ C. prepared horseradish
½ C. apple cider vinegar
6 oz. liquid pectin

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, horseradish and vinegar over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Stir in pectin. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam from top of jelly. Pour into sterilized jars and seal. Yield: about 3 C. jelly. Delicious with meat or cream cheese/crackers.

From cleek.ns.sympatico.ca (Dr Corinne B Leek):
>Seriously, the root is incredibly pungent when you're grinding it.

True, true, true. I just finished doing my own horseradish sauce yesterday. My eyes are still raw!! <VBG> Though using a food processor and blender reduce the work load, it doesn't help with the pungency problem.

Horseradish Sauce - Pickled Style

2 C Grated Horseradish
1 tsp Pickling Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar
3 C White Vinegar

Mix salt, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve. Remove from heat and stir in horseradish.
* Remember that if the horseradish itself is heated, the oils that provide the pungency will be damaged. *