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Horseradish can be called a traditionally Russian food plant. The history of its use goes back about ten centuries! Horseradish does not lose its popularity even today.
Pungent spices made from it are part of the national cuisine. Horseradish is a plant that is not only tasty, but also healthy. And it is also very easy to grow it on your personal plot.
In the article you can find out what horseradish is - a vegetable, grass or root crop, what types of plants there are, what kind of flowers it has and a lot of other information about it, as well as see photos.
What is it, what does it look like and how does it bloom?
Horseradish is a herbaceous perennial. Belongs to the Cabbage family and the Horseradish genus of the same name. It is grown as a vegetable plant. Horseradish has large oblong leaves, high stems (it grows up to one and a half meters in height). It blooms in small white abundant flowers. It has a rather thick, long fleshy root.
History of origin
Initially, horseradish is a wild plant that lives in Europe (except for the regions of the Far North), in the Caucasus and Siberia. Horseradish also took root on the American continent and in Asia.
Two types of it grow in Russia:
The first is in the European territory of the Russian Federation, the second is in Siberia. Wild horseradish prefers moist soil, often growing along river banks. It is believed that it began to be cultivated and used as a seasoning as early as the 9th century.
Horseradish bush is a large rhizome, lush large bush (rosette of tall stems and elongated leaves). It blooms and produces seeds in small pods. For the sake of the roots and leaves it is grown.
The benefits and harms of a vegetable
Our ancestors knew about the benefits of horseradish centuries ago. This is not only a seasoning, but also a medicinal plant known for its medicinal properties.
Horseradish is good because:
- helps digestion;
- stimulates the secretion of gastric juice during meals;
- increases appetite;
- improves bowel function;
- contains vitamins;
- disinfecting volatile substances (phytoncides).
We suggest watching a video about the beneficial and harmful properties of horseradish:
But anyway not everyone can eat horseradish. This "vigorous root" has a strong, caustic effect on the stomach, intestines, kidneys. Concerning:
- for those who need to lose weight and limit themselves to food, there is no need to whet an appetite with horseradish;
- if there are diseases of the stomach and intestines (from gastritis to colitis and ulcers), kidney problems or liver problems - doctors recommend refraining from taking this hot spice.
Traditional medicine advises:
- Use horseradish root juice for rubbing with rheumatism.
- Gargle your mouth and throat for infectious diseases of the oral cavity (tonsillitis, pharyngitis, gum disease).
- Compresses made from horseradish or grated root tincture are an alternative to classic mustard plasters.
- Regular consumption of a small amount of horseradish in food gives a general strengthening, tonic effect.
Read more about the medicinal properties of hen here, and in more detail about the prevention of diseases and the treatment of potency with horseradish, read this material.
Varieties, types and their photos
You should choose a variety according to zoning (varieties for the Middle Lane are not suitable for Siberian frosts). Also pay attention to the characteristics of the variety (when ripe, etc.).
Has an even root without branches, length up to 30 cm, dense juicy root vegetable. A well-proven variety.
A variety that is resistant even to severe frosts and droughts. Optimal for the harsh Siberian and Far Eastern climates. Good storage quality, crispy white root pulp. Mid-season.
A late-ripening variety with a juicy white root vegetable pulp. Relevant for home preservation preparations.
Well suited for Central Russian regions.
Smooth roots of regular shape, juicy white flesh. The variety winters well, in this regard, it is sometimes preferred to grow it for the sake of spicy leaves, while the roots are left in the ground for the winter.
It belongs to exotic species. It is not resistant to temperature extremes, so in cooler climates it is more likely to grow successfully in a greenhouse than outdoors. When grown without a greenhouse, you need to maintain sufficient moisture, cover from the sun and mulch to prevent overheating.
Step-by-step instructions for growing
We decide on the site (horseradish is a perennial, it is best to choose the place where it can grow for many years). It is advisable to choose a place not in the bright sun, but slightly shaded. You can plant horseradish roots in autumn and early spring.
An interesting and important detail! It is necessary to plant the root exactly as it grew initially (not "upside down"!). So when digging up roots in autumn, it is best to make cuts of different shapes at the top and bottom of the root (beveled and even).
Place the root in the ground at an angle (about 45 °). We do not deepen the root: it is enough to cover it with four centimeters of soil. 30 cm - minimum distance between plants, 70 cm - between rows.
It's pretty simple. Regular watering (so that the soil does not dry out). Timely weeding and loosening. In the fall, it will be nice to add organic matter to the soil on the site. After horseradish has begun in the spring and sprouted, you can fertilize with potash-nitrogen fertilizer. Further feeding is not superfluous, but you can really do without it.
Harvesting and storage
When to dig up and cut the horseradish? Root crops are harvested in mid-autumn, closer to November (or in early spring, before the first leaves appear). The best in taste and keeping quality are two-three-year-old horseradish rhizomes. In the fall, you need to cut off the leaves from the bush, then dig it up with a pitchfork and collect it from the ground by hand. It is advisable to dig in deeper: the rhizomes can go deep into the ground. You want to sort the largest and evenest specimens. It is they who will go into storage.
In the basement, horseradish is stored in wooden boxes with clean and damp sand. Can be placed together with carrots or other root crops (at the bottom of the container - horseradish, carrots - on top, everything is sprinkled with sand). Periodically it is worth spraying the sand with water from a spray bottle.
Under the same conditions, horseradish remains on the balcony of an ordinary city apartment. If there is no balcony, use the refrigerator. Washed, thoroughly wiped from moisture and hermetically sealed in cellophane, the root vegetable will remain fresh for several months. You can also freeze the cut roots. Dried horseradish, grated, or sauce made from it also retain their consumer qualities well.
Read more about how to grow horseradish here.
How to get out of the garden?
Horseradish has a "superpower" to capture large areas and can easily spread throughout the entire site. The root system sometimes reaches seven meters! Even from a small piece of root left in the ground, a new bush will sprout up in the spring. What to do?
- The most environmentally friendly and efficient way: we close the first shoots of horseradish in the spring with any opaque material. In the dark, horseradish will not be able to grow and will die. The procedure may need to be repeated next year. It depends on how powerful the root system is in the ground.
- Another option is herbicides, chemicals that kill the plant.
Attention! The method is dangerous, not environmentally friendly! Be careful not to damage other plants in the area.
The fight against horseradish in the garden can last for more than one year. It is optimal from the very beginning to prevent horseradish from spreading throughout the site by digging metal sheets into the ground around the garden bed. Or place an iron box or barrel in the ground and plant horseradish in it.
We offer you to watch a video on how you can get horseradish out of the garden:
Diseases and pests
Despite the unpretentiousness in general, horseradish is susceptible to a number of diseases and the attack of insect pests. Let's consider the main dangers.
- Babanukha (cabbage or horseradish leaf beetle). A small beetle capable of completely destroying horseradish leaves.
First aid: Immediately remove the affected parts of the plant. Adult beetles and larvae can be hand-picked. In the case of a mass distribution of beetles on a home plantation, it is optimal to carry out a deep digging of the soil, and then treat the horseradish with the drug "Karbofos" or the like.
- Cabbage fireball. A butterfly whose larvae feed on horseradish leaves.
Methods of prevention and control: early planting of horseradish, if necessary - treatment with drugs ("Actellik", "Inta-vir", etc.).
- Wavy flea. A tiny, barely visible bug that can do serious harm by devouring horseradish leaves.
Prevention: harvesting tops in the fall, after harvesting, deep digging of the soil. In the spring and summer, during the growth of horseradish, you also need to loosen the soil in the beds with horseradish. If the wavy flea is still wound up, then insecticides are used.
If the horseradish is infected with parasites, you can try to arrange glue traps for them. For example, apply strips of honey to the leaves.
The most dangerous horseradish diseases are provoked by pathogenic fungi:
- White rot affects the rhizomes of horseradish (the "web" of the mycelium is visible on the affected plants).
Prevention: do not overmoisten the soil, do not thicken the bushes when planting, weed the beds in a timely manner.
If, nevertheless, the fungus appears, remove the affected plants, treat the rest of the bushes with fungicidal preparations containing copper.
If you find that white rot has affected horseradish, you need to change the area under this crop next year. We do not plant horseradish on the previous site for at least three years!
- Verticillary wilting. The leaves begin to wither from below, and soon all the plants will die. The methods of struggle are only radical. The affected plants are removed, the soil from under the diseased bush is also removed. It is required to loosen the soil well after watering. In the fall - destroy all leaves and stems of plants left after harvesting, dig deeply into the area.
Growing as a business
Growing horseradish as a business idea looks pretty attractive. Undemanding crops, coupled with high yields, promise a good income. From a small area of five acres, it is theoretically possible to collect up to a ton of rhizomes.
On an industrial scale, it is the roots of horseradish that are usually used. However, leaves are sometimes put up for sale. Estimated prices in 2018:
- Horseradish leaf - about 36 rubles / kg.
- Root - from 40 to 350 rubles / kg.
The main problem, perhaps, is finding wholesale buyers. You can offer products directly to manufacturers of condiments like "crap" or publish your offer on specialized message boards on the Internet. Of course, there is always a risk of crop failure in agriculture. But this applies to any culture, not just horseradish.
Read more about growing hen on an industrial scale here.
For yourself or for sale, but this simple plant should be allocated a plot on your site. The benefits, taste, ease of growing and storage make horseradish an indispensable inhabitant of the Russian vegetable garden. As you can see, it is quite simple to cultivate it. With a minimum of effort, it's easy to get a solid amount of a pungent, pungent crop. Strong root vegetables are the basis of popular spices, which is always useful on the everyday and festive table!