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Containing horseradish

 
pollinator
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Location: Southern Illinois
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Hello all,

I love horseradish and horseradish sauces.  Unfortunately I can’t find a good strong horseradish sauce in the grocery store and would like to grow some myself.  From what I have read it is an easy to grow perineal in my area (Southern Illinois, zone 6b).  In fact I have been told that they are so easy to grow that they can easily become a weed if not kept in check.

With this in mind, are these terribly invasive plants?  Can I mow around them to control them?  If I make a raised bed just for 1-2 horseradish plants, will they stay contained in the bed (say 12-18 inches tall and 2’x2’ square)?

I have thought planted peppermint and it did take over a garden bed and mowing around that bed today gives me a nice, pleasant peppermint smell.  I also have comfrey that does grow relentlessly, but basically stays put and behaves.

Does horseradish lie somewhere between peppermint and comfrey (bocking 14)?  Or should I just grow it in a bucket and really keep it bottled up?  Thanks in advance for your input.

Eric
 
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Location: Central NY, Eastern Edge of Oneida Co. ,Town of Trenton
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mine won't die and I've been trying to kill it for years.
sadly it also won't make decent sized roots due to my soil conditions.

I would recommend planting it in a dedicated raised bed AWAY from your garden, lots of manure and sand and you will never have to buy it again. Any small piece of root that is left in the soil will regrow but the top growth will generally not spread it around. So long as you keep it(and any scraps) away from the compost pile the rest of your garden should be safe.
 
pollinator
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Location: South West France
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I grow horseradish in three places in the garden where the earth is really rich and the big roots are worth harvesting. If it's not getting enough nutriments it wears itself out but it will stay alive and take up space without giving anything back. You don't need much to get enough sauce for a year.

Once your plants are really showing signs of enjoying life and have huge healthy leaves, then wait until the end of summer when they start to wither, then dig straight down around the plant with a spade, wiggle it a bit to get the whole complete root out. You can then decide to leave some in for next year or to take the whole lot out. It's only when you cut the root in little bits that it becomes invasive.

Here, it's growing next to Egyptian onions, Melissa, Rhubarb and some pink Lamium.





 
pollinator
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Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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Nice pic Irene. Hi Eric, horseradish takes a long time to grow fat roots. I got it in three places as well. I take then this spot, then the other spot to dig some up. On one old spot it keeps coming back. And i keep picking the young fresh leaves and adding them to my salads. Zingy taste. At another spot it spread out a bit, but mowing keeps it in check. It’s no mint by no means. Just don’t plant it in a whole lot of places or a big spot just for that.2 or 3 will do. The bigger the root you plant the faster it will grow as beautiful as Irenes. I’m jealous.
 
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I grow horseradish inside plastic drums. The problem with horse radish is its tap root. Normally you can never dig down deep enough to get access to all of the tap root, so it will come back on you, and then spread.

Growing inside a container [with a serious bottom] the tap root hits the bottom and then it coils. Byt flipping the container upside down once a year, you will find the tap root in coils on top. It is very easy to remove at this point. And return the plant to grow yet another tap root.


 
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Location: 7b desert southern Idaho
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Horse radish has started to invade my garden. So I’ve been digging once a week all summer long. I’ve covered the plot with cardboard and wood chips. I’m half expecting this will encourage spring growth of this horrible plant!
 
pollinator
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I don't find it spreads, yes it's probably hard to irradiate, but it doesn't seem to run around the place. In my garden it takes one year for roots to get to a good 1.5 inch width. I dig out all the roots down one spade and leave the deeper ones, it comes back from those and I can do the same the next year.
 
Eric Hanson
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Thanks for all the quick replies,

What I am getting is that horseradish is hard to kill but does not spread and take over hill and dale.  I think I will try planting near my pond.  I have a 1/4 acre pond with a dam that probably has more earth than the pond has water.  As the top of the dam sits about 4’ higher than the surface of the water, I should have no problem with the roots drowning.  I think I will plant about 4 plants far enough apart that I can mow between and around them for containment.  I will dig a hole and backfill with a better soil than the heavy, dense clay that comprises my dam.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan?  Did I get anything obviously wrong?  What suggestions would you make?

Thanks in advance,

Eric
 
gardener & author
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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I have no actual experience with dams, but setting things up so that you have to dig deep roots out annually on top of your dam doesn't really sound great. I imagine that on solid ground would be safer? But again, I have no practical experience so...
 
Eric Hanson
pollinator
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Rebecca,

Normally I would agree with you.  However, the dam for my pond is vastly oversized for the water it holds back.  I did not build it, it was there when I bought the property.  Most people looking at the dam think it is just a hill.  It is plenty wide at the top and then slopes very gently off to the side.  Most dams have a fairly narrow top with steep sides.  My sides are gentle enough that I can mow them sideways with a zero turn mower with no fear of slipping off to the sides.  As I stated earlier, there might be more earth in the dam than water in the pond.  In the past I have grown raspberries on the dam with no troubles whatsoever and at present I have an asparagus patch on the dam.

Normally your point would be a perfectly valid concern, but this is a highly atypical dam.

Thanks for your concern though,

Eric
 
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