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Fresh horseradish—how to plant, harvest, and serve it

Mar 01, 2012 -
  Fresh horseradish—how to plant, harvest, and serve it
Tricia plants horseradish in a container in our new video. Easy to plant, easy to harvest!

Want to give some homegrown zip to your meals? Plant horseradish!

Simple to grow and harvest, you’ll enjoy having your own fresh crop to eat and to share with friends.

Tricia plants and harvests horseradish in our new video.


Horseradish roots look like carrots. Instead of planting seeds, as you would for carrots, you plant horseradish crowns that will multiply as roots.

Once you plant horseradish you’ll always have it, so it’s worth your gardening energy to get started. Horseradish is hardy to USDA zone 3.

Choose a sunny spot (or part-shade if you must) and give the horseradish crowns well-drained soil and our PrimeStart Booster Blend (for robust roots) at planting time.

Add horseradish to your garden beds or grow it in containers like Smart Pots, for easy monitoring and harvesting.

harvesting horseradish


After the first frost, dig up all the horseradish roots. In the photo above, Tricia is cutting the stems off the roots, getting ready to wash and store the harvest.

What did we mean by once you plant horseradish, you’ll always have it? If you leave any of the roots in the ground they will flourish!

For optimal flavor, harvest all the horseradish roots (including the lateral roots) in the fall, and store some for planting the following spring.



*  Peel the horseradish root before grating or grinding it.

*  Don’t cook horseradish or it will lose its flavor; instead serve it as a relish with cooked food, or stir it in to cold sauces.

*  Raw horseradish is one of the traditional Bitter Herbs served at Passover Seders.

*  The University of Arkansas Extension explains that horseradish tastes hot when the chopped roots are exposed to air—vinegar interferes with this reaction and modifies the hot flavor.

Grate it into white vinegar for a relish

Store the mixture in a closed container in the refrigerator for 3 weeks. Freeze small containers of sauce, and bring them out for use throughout the year; they will keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator once opened.

Don’t use cider vinegar because that will discolor your white horseradish.

Add grated horseradish to cream or butter

Make a side sauce with horseradish and your own unsweetened, whipped cream.

Mix with butter as a tangy spread.

Use with sour cream or creme fraiche on baked potatoes.

Add to yogurt as a dip.

Tell us in the comments how you serve horseradish!

For more information see our Horseradish Planting & Growing Guide. We ship it with each order of horseradish crowns.

Rev up your roasted meat or vegetables with homegrown horseradish!

Categories: Vegetable Crowns, Horseradish Crowns, Seed Starting, Smart Pots, Container Gardening, Organic Gardening 101

judith wigren-slack Says:
Mar 3rd, 2012 at 10:44 am

Just remember to plant it ONLY where you won’t mind having it for years. It’s so INVASIVE. We learned this the hard way and it took great diligence to eradicate it from one of our beds where it was taking over. ( took about 3 years to get rid of all of it)
  I will plant it again but only in an area that is already quite wild! Delicious though.

dona abramson Says:
Mar 26th, 2012 at 9:23 pm

i was told to harvest the roots just as the leaves start to grow in the spring…i’m in the lower hudson valley of ny. is there a big difference in flavor w/ fall harvested? how long can the grated root keep without vinegar? i like it hot and have been dissappointed after i add the white vinegar….
there are always partial roots that break off so i’m ensured more for next year. a few years ago one patch grew sideways into the paths. that was hard to clear up….

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Mar 28th, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Judith, Thanks for your tips! Some gardeners plant horseradish in a buried container. In our video we also recommend planting it in an above-ground container like a Smart Pot.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Mar 28th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Dona, Horseradish roots have their big growth spurt in the late summer and early fall, so if you harvest then you will get the largest roots. Whether you harvest in spring or fall the flavor should be the same.

I don’t know how long you can keep grated horseradish without adding other ingredients. It will turn brown on its own. It would probably be best to grate it as you need it.

Mary Barbara Says:
Mar 29th, 2012 at 4:49 am

i live in the Caribbean and have brought back a root of horseradish from a grocery in Canada. We are at an elevation of 1600 feet and it gets quite cool at nights, about 68 degrees. The root has grown well but now I am not certain when to reap it as we get no Frost!  Any advice anyone?


Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Jan 28th, 2013 at 1:29 am

Mary Barbara, Here is our Growing Guide for Horseradish with more detailed information about harvesting. Even when you have no frost, go ahead and harvest late in the Fall, to keep the roots from getting too old.


Steve Dillner Says:
Feb 12th, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Were can I buy horse radish this time of year?

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Feb 12th, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Steve, We have horseradish crowns for sale right now http://www.groworganic.com/seasonal-items/vegetable-crowns/horseradish-crowns.html

Shirley Menges Says:
May 10th, 2013 at 10:54 am

I have been growing horseradish for the last twenty-five years. We belong to WR Heritage Society and this is one of our colonial food demonstrations.
We clean and grate it with an old fashioned grinder the first weekend in Oct. every year. The young people are taught how to process the horseradish, tell the public how it was used and its history. It’s a great avenue for teaching young and old.  Many times we learn from the people that attend our demonstration. The last hour of the weekend on Sunday there is an auction of the many things that are made during the weekend. Last year a 4oz jar of horseradish brough $ 58 dollars. It’s a great weekend of learning and sharing.

Barbara Says:
Oct 12th, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Last fall I bought a horseradish plant at a farmers market. I live in Montana, it was getting on toward winter, so I stuck it in the dirt and didn’t expect it to survive! It did, in a big way! I am reading up on how to harvest it and I’m confused. I know to use a spade and try to not leave any pieces. Do I put any back in the dirt now (autumn) or store it and re-plant in the spring? Thanks!

Leslie Says:
Jun 1st, 2014 at 2:06 pm

I live in Indiana and bought a Horseradish plant the 1st of May.  I planted it in a large bucket….It look very healthy but what do I do with it now??  Wait to fall????
Thank you

Stephanie Brown Says:
Jun 2nd, 2014 at 8:19 am

Hello Leslie,

Yes, horseradish will be harvested in fall.

Marky Says:
Jul 12th, 2014 at 12:28 pm

I have wasabi in the fridge for months and it is still good; why is this only good for 3 weeks?

Judy Brodersen Says:
Oct 10th, 2014 at 1:25 pm

We have had horseradish in a spot in the lawn for many years.  We have harvested and ground it, put in glass jars in the refrigerator, and it will keep for several years.  It does turn a little brown, but tastes great and is fine.  We mix it with various things as we use it, such as shrimp sauce or with sour cream for baked potatoes or roast beef.  If you freeze it, I would assume it would stay white.

john Says:
Nov 22nd, 2014 at 10:59 am

When we grated the horseradish, we waited for a time before putting in vinegar.  Vinegar stops the flavor from getting hotter…3 minutes is a good hot flavor but not unbearable. Waiting five minutes before putting in vinegar was too much for me…whew! it was burning…my kids liked it. 
We planted extra plants and never found them to spread out of the area we put them.
With an early hard frost and the ground freezing deep early in Nov. we couldn’t dig up the plants. But, now it is the middle of Nov and warm…is the root going to be ok to dig it now? thanks

Alhaji Says:
Dec 31st, 2014 at 1:04 am

At last! Someone with real extispere gives us the answer. Thanks!

Dale Says:
Mar 1st, 2015 at 8:31 pm

I grind it in a food processor and add organic mayonnaise.
I have found it to keep very well and keeps it kick and flavor.

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