Horseradish

(Question)

Horseradish is a beautiful plant as well as delicious but it’s under soil creeping roots have new plant shooting up in neighbouring plant beds as well as overtaken the garden space.

I am seeking a method to eliminate the horseradish in my garden bed.

We have dug and dug some more to pull up the roots without success.

A recommendation of a burying container to continue would be appreciated – I am in zone 5b.
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Many thanks in advance.

 

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.   As you’ve discovered, horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is easy to grow but a bit of a thug. Tiny pieces of root left behind after harvest can generate new plants. To grow horseradish as a perennial, it is best to site it in a corner of your garden where it’s spread will not crowd out other plants. While horseradish likes a sunny spot, it will grow almost anywhere except in deep shade or soggy areas.

Because of its aggressive spread such as you are experiencing, most home gardeners choose to grow horseradish in containers. To allow that fleshy root to develop, you’ll need a big container – a 20 gallon pot or half-barrel will work. Make sure it’s at least 24 inches deep and there are lot’s of drainage holes in the bottom of the container. This method assumes you are harvesting the roots in the fall and/or early spring. Leaving one or two pieces in the container will ensure you have new plants next year.

Sounds like you want to use horseradish as an ornamental as well as a culinary plant so are looking to bury a container among other plants. I’ve seen this approach suggested. One reference advised removing the bottom of a large, plastic storage container and burying it in the ground to contain your horseradish. Might be worth a try, but this doesn’t appear to be a tried and true method of containment. (Click here to check out this online article.)

Keeping your container above ground and siting it among your other plants seems to be the better choice. 

To read further on growing horseradish in containers, here are a couple of good online articles:

http://suburbantomato.com/2012/06/growing-horseradish-in-a-pot/

http://www.gardeningblog.net/how-to-grow/horseradish/