Friday, October 11, 2013

Update: Harvesting Our Horseradish Root

Early this week we saw the following comment roll in on our original horseradish plant post and realized it was high time for an update:

"Any follow-up on your horseradish planting? I've a root we picked up at the grocery yesterday, and want to get it into the ground. Would love to see how yours turned out!"

We'd actually been ready to harvest the root for the past couple of weeks, so this question was a good virtual kick in the pants to get it done! You might recall we first planted the root back in February (get the full rundown here) and before we knew it, we were seeing major leaf growth in March:

The plant continued to grow and thrive throughout the rest of spring and summer, you can see some of the initial growth in this May plant update. Now that we're past the growing season, our giant and lustrous horseradish plant leaves were looking a little more like this:

Dried up and sparse, with some new small growth popping up through the soil:

We'd planted the root in a container, so harvesting was fairly simple. We could have turned the entire thing over and dusted away the dirt, but we wanted to re-use the dirt for replanting, so I just gently dug down into the container and lifted out the entire root:

It had grown significantly wider in size, with lots of and lots of smaller roots jutting out from the main root:

From here, I just sliced a good portion off the top of the root — see how bright and fresh the horseradish is:

We immediately replanted the bottom portion of the root under the dirt and are leaving it in our garage to hang out over the colder months, in hopes it will regenerate itself in the spring. I brought the sliced top portion inside to clean up and use throughout the fall and winter:

I gave the root a really good rinse and scrub to clean it up:

From here, we can store it in a plastic zipper bag in our fridge and just slice off fresh pieces to use as we need them:

Now it's ready to sprinkle onto a steak, oysters, mix into cocktail sauce or into a Bloody Mary! 

The freshly grated horseradish is much stronger than the jarred versions you pick up at the store, so just a few swipes across your grater should do for a big horseradishy punch  — whew!

So the final answer to the question — we think it's been a success! It was so worth the wait for this fresh horseradish and we're hoping to be able to regenerate more year after year from here on out!

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  1. wow! wonder if the potency changes with the growing conditions and if it will be different next year?
    How are you storing and did you find in a plant catalog?

    Liane :-)

    1. We actually bought our organic root at a store. We stored it in a plastic bag and have it in the fridge. Here is our initial post on growing horseradish: