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How to Harvest and Prepare Horseradish

I am trying to find out when to harvest horseradish. I have had it growing for several years, but have never harvested it. I assume all I have to do is dig it up and let it dry before using.

Horseradish is actually a fairly easy herb to grow; all you need are deep, loose soil, a temperate climate (Northern U.S. and high altitudes), full sun and patience. It usually takes about 12 months for the roots to mature to a harvestable size, which is 1 inch or larger in diameter. That being said, don’t allow it to grow for more than a year as it will become tough and unpleasant tasting.

The best time to harvest horseradish is when the plants are dormant. This can be done in the early spring just as the crown is showing green or in fall after a killing frost. Always wear gloves when working with horseradish because the roots can cause skin irritation.

After digging the roots you can replant any unused portions such as side shoots or the crown for more horseradish later!

Rather than drying horseradish, the roots should be ground immediately after harvesting from the garden. And because they are so pungent this activity is best done outdoors or in a room with open windows.

Simply wash and peel the roots and chop them into chunks. Place the horseradish chunks in a food processor and process until the desired consistency is reached, the finer the texture the hotter the flavor. A solution of equal parts water and vinegar should be added to the horseradish to stop the heat producing enzymes. The rule of thumb is to add the solution immediately for a mild horseradish or wait 3 minutes for a hot horseradish.

Horseradish can be stored in jars for about one month or in the freezer indefinitely.