If you are fond of using the peppery roots of horseradish as a condiment for your dishes, knowing when to harvest horseradish can help you have the most yield with proper care.
Horseradish is a spicy root vegetable that can be used for several purposes and in numerous forms.
From functioning as a garnish to season all kinds of dishes to being used as a sauce for replacing the likes of wasabi; horseradish can do it all.
This aromatic plant not only enhances the flavor of your food but also has several medicinal benefits. It helps to reduce inflammation, fights cell damage, and helps to improves your respiratory health.
This versatile vegetable can therefore be a great addition to your garden and food habit. Harvesting horseradish is pretty convenient as it has less demand.
But to get the most yield of quality horseradish, you must know when to harvest horseradish.
The best time to harvest horseradish is in early spring or fall, late winter; when the soil is cooler. Horseradish is a hardy perennial plant that tends to thrive the best in cold weather.
It is capable of withstanding temperatures as low as -28°C. But like every other plant, horseradish is not perfect either and requires careful maintenance.
The roots of this yearlong plant require at least a season or two to attain a harvestable size.
Make sure to never let the plant grow for more than a year ad it will bear an unpleasant taste and become too tough.
You can store horseradish in your refrigerator indefinitely, so you do not have to worry about running out of them.
When To Harvest Horseradish
As mentioned earlier, the ideal time for harvesting horseradish is fall, late winter, or early spring. When is also a great time to harvest and grow cherry tomatoes.
Make sure you harvest the horseradish while the plant is still dormant and the crown is showing green.
It usually takes an entire season for horseradish to develop harvestable roots which are about an inch or larger in diameter.
When you harvest your horseradish in spring, take out all the other ones to make room for planting the new ones.
By the end of the following October, you should have at least a few horseradishes to be enjoyed during autumn.
And by the end of November, you should dig out all your horseradish before the ground starts freezing.
After digging out the roots, you can replant unsued parts of your horseradish such as the side shoots or crown for more yield in the future. You will find horseradish roots for new planting in nurseries and produce markets.
How To Grow Horseradish
Horseradish is a fairly easy plant to grow. To harvest horseradish properly, all you need are deep and loose soil, a temperate climate with full sun, and occasional shade.
And last but not least, immense patience. If you have roots or crowns of horseradish left from the previous harvest, you can use them to sprout new horseradish.
If you do not have any, you can purchase fresh, healthy horseradish roots from your nearest nursery or produce market for planting in your garden.
Cool soil is one of the prerequisites for the pungency of horseradish root. So harvesting horseradish at the proper time is essential. Early spring is the best time for harvesting horseradish.
Fall or late winter is also great. When the roots of the horseradish mature after a year, the roots are ready to be dugout. To harvest your horseradish, using a digging fork is quite convenient.
You can start by loosening up the soil around the plant in a wide circle. To locate the direction of the taproot’s growth, use your fingers to poke around the plant and find it.
Unlike an expected vertical growth, the main root of horseradish tends to grow in an unpredictable horizontal direction.
Use your digging fork to follow the course of this root while gently excavating the soil surrounding the area. This is an effective method.to follow to extract the largest roots.
These can break off easily if you try pulling out the plant directly out of the soil. So take your time to slowly dig out the horseradish roots.
Storing Or Preparing The Horseradish
If you do not plan on using the dug-out horseradish immediately, you can easily store them in your refrigerator for several weeks. To do so, thoroughly wash off the roots of the horseradish.
Then, pat them dry using a clean cloth and place them inside a plastic bag with zipping or other airtight containers. Put the bag or container in the refrigerator.
Since unpeeled horseradish barely gives off any aroma, you can easily store them in your refrigerator without having to fear the spread of their pungent smell.
Alternately, if you plan on using the horseradish soon, it is better to make a ‘prepared horseradish’ as exposure to high heat or air for too long can destroy the viability of the horseradish.
To do so, wash the horseradish roots and peel them carefully. Chop the peeled roots into chunks and put them in a food processor and process till you reach your desired consistency.
It is best to go for a fine finishing as it packs the most flavor. If you do not have a food processor, you can use a grater to finely grate the roots.
Next, clean a small jar and stir together with a tablespoon of each white vinegar, water, and a quarter teaspoon each of sugar and salt.
This mixture will act as the brine for the prepared horseradish and prevent the activation of heat production enzymes when the grated or processed horseradish is exposed to air.
It is best to pause every three to four minutes before moving the grated or processed horseradish root into the brine mixture.
Mix up more brine if required to completely cover up the grated horseradish with the liquid. You can store the jar of prepared horseradish for more than a month.
Working with horseradish requires some precautions. They are as follows:
- Because of the high pungency of horseradish, it is best to work outdoor or in a room with open windows.
- Towards the end of maturing, horseradish plants may develop sprays of white summer flowers. Although they may look pretty, they must be removed to keep the plants from wasting energy This also helps to prevent unwanted reseeding of the plant.
- Horseradish tends to spread quite aggressively and quickly. Keep their invasive nature in mind and you will be able to enjoy horseradish as a happy garden resident. If you place a clump of horseradish at the end of a row, they can even act as a useful barrier to weeds and foot traffic.
- Make sure to always wear protective gloves while working with horseradish as their roots can cause skin irritation.
- Allowing horseradish to grow more than a year will result in tough horseradish with an unpleasant taste. So make sure you always harvest and dig them out in time.
Now that you know all about the harvest of horseradish, we hope you will have a successful yield every time.
Make sure you follow the precautionary measures to keep yourself and your garden safe. And to get more home heck please visit here.