I harvested horseradish and garlic yesterday. Because it was perfect gardening weather. As you can tell.
Horseradish should be harvested in dormancy, in the late fall or winter. After the first frost. Not necessarily after the first snow, but that’s when Boomer and I finally got around to it.
Mr. Scarecrow has experienced a bit of sun-fade.
He doesn’t look so creepy now. He just looks cold.
There’s the horseradish!
You can’t pull it up. You’ve got to dig it up. It’s best if you can coerce someone else into digging it up while you take pictures. Figure out a way to make that your job. (See how smart I am?!)
Leave smaller roots for next year, and you can even cut off the tops of the larger roots you’re harvesting and plant them back. Not that horseradish needs much help once it’s established–it’s invasive and spreads like crazy. We’ve got several patches started, and we just dug up a few of the larger roots.
The roots can be stored for several weeks in the refrigerator before preparing. Shake off the dirt and wrap in something to keep out light. I put mine in paper bags inside plastic bags and stuck them in the fridge for now. (More on preparing horseradish coming up.) On to the garlic! You know, as long as we’re already cold.
Garlic, too, should be dug up, not pulled up. Usually, before it snows. Like in the fall when the tops die down. My tops died down and grew back a little during a warm spell. I’m guilty of garlic neglect. Harvest only the largest bulbs. Separate the smaller ones and plant them back, spreading them out. More garlic next year! Some of the smaller bulbs sneaked into my bucket. I have plenty of garlic, so I wasn’t too worried about it. We only dug up a few of the garlic patches. (That is the royal we.)
After harvesting garlic, you can cure it for several weeks by allowing it to dry in a cool, dark spot. I shook off the dirt and rinsed the bulbs lightly then braided them to hang. After the tops and roots are dried, I can cut them off. For now, I hung the garlic braid in my pantry.
But considering how it smells in there, I’m going to have to move it. I’m thinking….. Jupiter.