Gardening Tips: How to Grow Horseradish in Your Backyard

Horseradish leaves

Are there anti-cancer properties in horseradish?

Horseradish is an unsung hero amidst our spring planting. This perennial, according to Rodale’s Organic Life, is one of the easiest to grow edible plants out there.

In an article written by Anne Raver, published in the New York Times, Raver informs us that when a horseradish root is broken down, it produces isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates are a chemical compound that has been studied for their anti-cancer properties.

“It would take about a tablespoon, on your steak, to give you that little anti-cancer shot,” said Mark E. Uchanski, an assistant professor at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, who did his doctoral thesis at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on horseradish.”

How to Plant Horseradish

  • Pick a spot in your garden that gets full to particle sun. Horseradish is pretty low maintenance about the soil, only requesting that the soil is not waterlogged.
  • Know that once you have planted horseradish, you will not want to move it. Pick a spot where it can stay and where it’s not around other plants. Horseradish can take over your garden. You may consider planting it in a container.
  • According to Plant Natural, you can plant horseradish either in the early spring or fall.
  • Plant each root with the crown facing up about 4 inches into the soil. Make sure there is a one to two feet distance between the roots when planting. Add organic compost and water thoroughly.
  • Removing the top foliage will make the horseradish strong and grow larger roots. In this case, the bigger the root, the stronger the flavor.

How to Harvest Horseradish

  • Horseradish planted in the spring will be ready in the late fall.
  • Fall planted horseradish will be ready in the spring.
  • Harvest once a year.
  • Wait until after the first frost to harvest.
  • When it’s time dig up the roots, brush them off and store in a refrigerator.


Although it packs quite the punch in the kitchen, there is nothing like fresh horseradish. With these tips on how to plant and harvest horseradish, you will be enjoying this fresh and potent perennial plant at home, too.

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