Monday, April 20, 2015

Horseradish. Transplanted

When I divided my horseradish last year I dumped some of the extra soil off to the side to use somewhere else. I thought I did  good job of getting the roots out but it sprouted more anyway, so rather than fight it it's now my second bed.
When we moved 3 years ago I got to start my first horseradish.

We use it 
for sauces and sandwich spreads. Great in cheese dips for chips when your grilling. 

When I dig the roots to use I bring them in and wash them. 

This is where I dumped the extra soil.
All the green is volunteer horseradish from the tiny pieces that I missed. I would have laughed before if someone called it invasive but now I see. It does spread, but very slowly. The problem is, if your trying to move it or get rid of it (god forbid), every little clipping or piece that you miss can re-sprout.

I thought I had done a good job of getting it all, this is what I have a year later.

Since we love it anyway and I had set the soil aside in a place that wouldn't hurt anything I'm just replanting and keeping it. If you really want to get rid of it you'll have to dig and be careful what you do with and where you put the soil. DO NOT put it in you compost or you'll have it everywhere! The spot you dug it from will need to be left alone for a while to see what more sprouts. Do not till an area that you just dug out because you will only spread it. I turned the soil out and dug the roots, some to use and some to replant. By using the box corner I was able to put all the soil back right where I want it.

Cut about an inch or two off the tops to plant. Trim the leaves back and they can go directly back into the ground. In my case I'm trading mine for Jerusalim Artichokes so I set them aside. The largest roots I kept to prepare for us. All of the smaller pieces I cut into 2 inch pieces to plant.

After the soil is turned from digging the roots and softened up I spread the small root pieces across the top and covered with straw. This spot had compost on it before I moved the pile so the soil is soft. We have very wet springs so rather than digging a hole I decided to go this route. They will grow as they please which is fine with me and I don't have to worry about them drowning. The mulch on the top will allow extra water to run off and in the summer will help to hold moisture.

If your starting a new patch in hard soil you'll want to dig down and loosen the soil. Horseradish wants a spot that can be kept sorta moist but not soggy, with loose soil and no large rocks (rocks deform the roots when they try to grow around them). Dig down about 12-24 inches, mix with compost, it likes some nitrogen in the mix. Rabbit or goat manure would work or aged horse, pig or cow manure. I never add chicken manure to anything without mixing it because it is so high in nitrogen you can burn the roots. When your cutting your roots to plant cut straight across the top and at an angle on the lower end. Plant by poking down into the loose soil and then covering with another couple inches of soil and straw them in to help retain moisture. Remember as you water it will settle and you don't want them sitting in a puddle.