The pungent smell and taste of horseradish is due to the large amount of essential mustard oil. In addition, the roots contain carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, carotene, minerals and lysozyme - a bactericidal substance! properties.
Horseradish in cooking
Used mainly horseradish roots. The leaves are used for salting and preserving vegetables. Due to its strong antimicrobial effect, horseradish is used to prevent deterioration of the product during storage.
For medicinal purposes, horseradish is recommended to increase appetite as a choleretic agent, with inflammation of the oral mucosa.
Used for angina, as well as a general tonic. In folk medicine, horseradish juice with honey is taken for liver disease, and externally for rheumatism and gout.
How Horseradish Grows
It is a perennial herbaceous rhizome plant of the cruciferous family with a powerful branching root system, on which there are many dormant buds.
Its rhizomes are very tenacious and penetrate into the soil to a depth of 2 m.The ability of dormant buds to start growing from almost any depth, even from small segments of rhizomes, made horseradish undesirable in areas, since getting rid of it is as difficult as getting rid of the most vicious weeds ...
If you do not take care of him, he easily runs wild and everywhere (in the European part of Russia, Siberia, the Caucasus) weed in wastelands, in gardens. Despite the fact that horseradish is quite unpretentious: frost-resistant, withstands in the open field up to - 25 ° C, shade-tolerant, grows and yields under fruit trees and shrubs, can grow on any, even marginal soils - it is quite difficult to grow even, fleshy roots.
Horseradish runs wild in household plots solely due to non-fulfillment of the main requirement: digging out rhizomes 1-2 years after planting cuttings.
In what soil to plant horseradish
With a longer growth in one, even a suitable and well-fertilized place, its rhizomes branch out strongly, thin out, deepen and do not lend themselves well to sampling from the soil. A good harvest of horseradish is obtained when it is grown on fertile soils with a deep arable layer, especially on medium loamy, neutral or slightly acidic.
On heavy, clayey areas, the roots branch out strongly, turn wood, acquire a bitter taste; on light soils, due to a lack of moisture, their juiciness decreases. There will be no lateral roots.
Time to plant horseradish
Horseradish is planted in early spring with segments of rhizomes 12-15 cm thick, 20-25 cm long, separated from the central rhizome in the fall when harvesting horseradish and stored in a basement or other cool place covered with a layer of earth about 10 cm.
30-40 days before planting for the award of dormant buds, the cuttings are brought out into the light in a warm room (in the south - in an open place), covering the middle of the planting cutting from the light with any dense material, leaving about 5 cm in the light from each end.
This is done in order to activate the growth of the buds, from which the aerial part and root will develop, and to suppress the buds in the middle, in order to exclude the formation of a large number of lateral roots and new offspring. On pre-germinated cuttings for the same purpose, before planting, remove all buds that have begun to grow in the middle of the planting cuttings, peeling them off with a coarse cloth or cutting with a knife.
The upper section of the cutting (1 - 1, 5 cm) with developing aerial rosette leaves and the lower end (2-3 cm) with the resulting roots are left. Some gardeners stimulate the development of the root in thickness, raking off the soil in the second half of summer from the top of the rhizome and cutting off all lateral roots from it.
How to limit it in growth on the site
Some horseradish lovers manage to grow good roots and not clog the area, planting pieces of rhizomes in deep boxes or other devices that limit the spread of horseradish in width and depth,
Harvesting horseradish for planting
Horseradish root is a very unpretentious perennial plant to grow. Propagated by dividing rhizomes. Planting material must be harvested in the fall. These can be parts of a large root or thin roots. But the lateral roots from the bottom of the rhizome are best.
You can take up to five cuttings from one plant. Planting material is stored in the basement until spring, covered with a 10-15 cm layer of earth. Can be planted in spring. In order not to plant "upside down", you can mark in the fall where the upper and where the lower cut. Cuttings can be planted in the fall.
Before planting, be sure to wipe them with a coarse cloth to remove dormant lateral buds and small roots. It is not necessary to strip only 1 cm from the upper and 5 cm from the lower end, since roots and leaves are formed from the buds of these areas.