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Big Top Horseradish is a popular variety of horseradish known for its robust and spicy flavor. Here's a description and planting instructions for Big Top Horseradish:
Big Top Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is a hardy perennial plant that belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which includes mustard and cabbage. It is primarily cultivated for its pungent and peppery roots, which are commonly used as a condiment or spice in various culinary dishes. The leaves of the horseradish plant are large and have a coarse texture, while the roots are thick, tapered, and grow deep into the soil.
Big Top Horseradish is known for its vigorous growth and high yield. It produces large, flavorful roots that can be harvested and processed to make horseradish sauce or used as a seasoning in various recipes. This variety is well-suited for home gardeners who enjoy the distinct, spicy taste of horseradish.
Choosing the Right Location: Select a sunny or partially shaded spot in your garden with well-draining soil. Horseradish prefers loamy, sandy, or clay soils with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0.
Obtaining Horseradish Roots: You can start horseradish from root cuttings, which are readily available at garden centers or online. Ensure that the roots are fresh and healthy, free from any signs of disease or damage.
Planting Time: Plant horseradish roots in the spring, after the last frost but before new growth begins. Horseradish is typically planted from March to early April.
Preparing the Soil:
Loosen the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches and remove any rocks, debris, or weeds.
Incorporate well-rotted compost or organic matter to improve soil fertility and structure.
Cut the horseradish root into 6-8 inch long sections, ensuring each piece has at least one bud or "eye."
Dig a trench or hole that is about 2-3 inches deep.
Place the horseradish root sections horizontally in the trench or hole, with the bud side facing up.
Space the root sections about 18-24 inches apart, allowing enough room for growth.
Covering and Watering:
Gently cover the horseradish roots with soil.
Water thoroughly to settle the soil and promote root establishment.
Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
Mulch around the horseradish plants to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.
Fertilize with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring.
Harvesting: Big Top Horseradish roots are typically ready for harvest in the fall, after the first frost. You can dig up the roots, wash them thoroughly, and use them to prepare horseradish sauce or store them for later use.
Care and Propagation: Horseradish is a hardy plant and can be left in the ground over the winter. It will continue to grow each year, and you can propagate new plants by dividing the roots in the spring.
With proper care, your Big Top Horseradish should thrive and provide you with a steady supply of flavorful roots for culinary use.
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