Thursday, April 21, 2011

Horseradish plant from the produce section

Horseradish plant started from a section of horseradish root I purchased last fall in the grocery store. 
One of my favorite ways of obtaining and growing plants starts in the produce section of the grocery store.  Here there are an abundance of seeds and roots from the produce that is for sale that can be grown in the garden or inside.  I have mentioned obtaining fresh ginger root from the grocery store and growing it, but this last fall I also did it with a section of horseradish root.  I simply purchased a healthy looking section of root and then made sure it was dried out well by letting it sit on a counter for several days.  After that I simply planted it in the ground about three inches deep and waited to see what happened. I planted the root mid-October, it took a few weeks before any sprouts appeared, and the leaves died back after our winter frosts.  About March however the plant started growing like crazy!  From what I have read horseradish can become an invasive weed in the garden in more temperate climates but in Phoenix the summer heat should make it die back.  So my plan is to let it grow until the heat kills the leaves, then I will see if there are any roots to dig up.
Section of horseradish root similar to what I planted in October.
Starting plants from materials found in the grocery store produce section can be quite exciting.  You never know quite what you are going to get.  You also have access to a lot of different plants that normally are not available in seed catalogs or garden stores.  Unfortunately, growing grocery produce is experimental and some of your attempts will fail, but that's the way science goes.  We are still trying to successfully germinate and grow coconuts from the grocery store.  We are currently on our second coconut attempt and if we don't succeed we will try again!

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