Digging Horseradish and Garlic in the Snow


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.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on December 7, 2009  

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  1. 12-7


    What kind of garlic is that? I don’t see the cloves. We just planted for next year. We love it.

  2. 12-7

    You must grow a different variety of garlic than I do. Mine isn’t so smooth, it has lumpy cloves, and my stems are dried out and flopping by August. Your bulbs are very clean and pretty, mine look dirty–I wonder why, since they grew in dirt, after all! lol

  3. 12-7

    Voted for the last time! When do they announce the winner? Can’t wait until I get to read your new blog!! :yes:

  4. 12-7

    I voted, I just wanted to thank you for your blog, your time that you put in to it , I do hope that you get this job.

  5. 12-7

    Just voted and have everything crossed for you!

  6. 12-7

    I forgot!! To plant the garlic!! The garden is finished, and I just forgot that there’s more to do!

    Voted for the last time. Hmmm, now maybe I can head over to Sam-e to READ your blog instead of VOTING! Otherwise, I just don’t know what I’ll do! :happyflower:

  7. 12-7

    Procrastination is a mark of wisdom among the aged….I use to be in a hurry to get everything done and finally decided I better take my time…the only thing I am running out of in this great game of life.

  8. 12-7

    Ohhh I didn’t mean you were old…..I meant…..take foot out of mouth and shut up

  9. 12-7

    So funny, I can imagine the pungency of that GARLIC!!!! It will keep the vampires and the 52’s away!

  10. 12-7

    Yes, please tell us more about your garlic. Around here we plant in the fall and harvest in July or August, so I’m quite curious!

  11. 12-7

    I am putting in my last 3 votes. Now I will pray they give you the job. I wonder how long the company will take to make a decision.

  12. 12-7

    Well, Suzanne, I cast my last vote. I voted every day, first thing in the morning. I wish you luck, and really, really hope that the people who make the final decision take a look at your blog, take a look at the archives, and see your sincerity and fabulous sense of humour, and see the regular fan base you have.

    I rarely vote in these kind of competitions because they turn into a popularity contest and the votes become meaningless. They have nothing to do with the true value of what we’re supposed to be voting for. But you’re the real deal. So, again, best wishes.


  13. 12-7

    That Boomer is so helpful. Aren’t you glad that he found you and that he “stuck”??? He’s just the best.
    And I voted again. Good luck. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out.

  14. 12-7

    I don’t know what kind of garlic it is. It was given to me. You just can’t see it in the pictures, but the cloves are visible and touchable up close. They will probably appear more pronounced when they’re dried more. Some of these are kinda small, too. It probably would have been just as well to separate all of it and put it all back in the ground, but I wanted some!

  15. 12-7

    I’ll miss voting…I’ve done it since day one and I’m sure it will feel like I forgot to do something in the mornings. OH well…hopefuly soon we’ll be reading two blogs from you because I know I’ll be heading over to Sam-e to see what you’ve written. You make my day Suzanne. Good luck with finding a good spot for your garlic…I love garlic but not that much! Enjoy your day.

  16. 12-7

    MMMmmmm! Your garlic does look very bright and shiny- but as it dries out it will become more like the traditional papery covered cloves, I think!
    I ground fresh horseradish to go with oysters at Thanksgiving. I added white balsamic vinegar to keep it from getting too hot. It is my favorite food item from Thanksgiving this year. Balsamic vinegar is a little pricey, but well worth it in my opinion!
    I’ve been voting every day, and I read the comments on Sam-e the other day. I think they have painted themselves into a corner. No matter who they pick they are going to lose a substantial group of followers. I’m not sure what they pay, but I think they should hire all three of the top vote getters and then highlight different styles and blogs each week. If not- I’m hoping they go for substance rather than flash and just choose you!

  17. 12-7

    Horseradish!!! I just paid $5.99 a pound for some that doesn’t look too fresh. Sounds like you could market yours in a year or so. I wish you the very best, it will seem strange not voting on a daily basis.

  18. 12-7

    I voted and voted and voted. Those other two must have bribed and bribed and bribed!!! I hope you win. Your blog is inciteful,helpful, funny and REAL! Thanks for what you do Suzanne, you do a great job. (yoga ppfffhhtt) :reindeer:

  19. 12-7

    I love how you braided the garlic together, very professional!!!

    I plant garlic with all my rose bushes because I believe it helps prevent those pesky aphids away from my roses. I love the garlicky smell when I brush up against the garlic stem as I ramble around my roses.

    Done voted!!! Can’t believe the last day is here!


  20. 12-7


  21. 12-7

    I’ll miss the voting too! First thing I’ve done every morning since this began! I haven’t watched the votes, can’t take it! Will keep praying you get the job!

  22. 12-7

    I hope you win too Suzanne…I always learn something when I come here. I thought of planting garlic this year but had no idea how to harvest it. Thanks for the info on it.

  23. 12-7

    The pantry looks FULL! Isn’t that a great feeling when the cold snow blows??? Your blog means so much to so many Suzanne, you are my bright spot every morning!
    joy c. at grannymountain

  24. 12-7

    I know your life isn’t easy but, I have to admit, I’m jealous! I’d love to be digging up stuff, canning stuff, feeding my goats (and other animals) and living someplace so beautiful. I really hope you get that job to help make things easier.

  25. 12-7

    Garlic? Sigh. I have to use it in only very small amounts. My mil never cooked with it, so dh never developed a taste for it. (She was an interesting lady–from Wakefield in England and a war bride who lived in the U.S. for forty years without relilnquishing her British citizenship…which has nothing to do with this topic, other than the fact that this post reminded me of her distaste for garlic). I, on the other hand, love it. :hungry:

    Suzanne, I hope you get this job. Your blog is always a spot of sunshine that starts the day off right, even when it’s gloomy outside, which it is today. (And I say that as someone who lives in suburbia and has absolutely no contact with farms other than my local farmer’s market. Doesn’t matter. I love the stories, the sharing, the upbeat attitude and the atmosphere here). It would be great to have another place to read an entry from you every morning!

  26. 12-7

    wow, your ground isn’t frozen there in WV? Every year I tell myself I am going to dig horseradish because I want to make my own and then I don’t do it. You are the incentive I needed and NEXT year I will be digging. The homemade stuff is so much better! I am hoping you get the Good Mood gig Suzanne. Not only are you my happy drug every morning, but if I had to look at one of those dang videos by one of the nameless other candidates every day and try to figure out what in sam hill she was trying to say, I wouldn’t want to get out of bed. You are a blessing to us all Suzanne, and whatever the outcome, I will be here for you and I know that you will be here for US. thank you thank you thank you :hug:

  27. 12-7

    Oh, and I loved my mil, despite our differing views on garlic (gotta love individuality). :sun: And she made some luscious lemon curd that I can taste even now. Great on pound cake or toast. Wish I had that recipe. I’ll bet you could make some mean lemon curd, Suzanne, if you could grow lemons in your area.

  28. 12-7

    thanks for this info, I never have been brave enough to plant garlic or horse radish and have always wanted to try

  29. 12-7

    Just voted for you hope you get the job!

  30. 12-7

    Count me in the voting every day category. Best of luck, Suzanne.

    My husband also did not really care a lot for garlic, but I persisted, and now he’s like me, it’s almost impossible to get “too much” garlic in a dish. It’s one of my favorite things, next to dark chocolate! Thanks for sharing your tips.

    One question: I assume this is a softneck variety, right?

  31. 12-7

    Good luck Suzanne!

  32. 12-7

    I don’t know, but I believe so! It was given to me, so I don’t know the name of the variety.

  33. 12-7

    :purpleflower: That must have been fun to dig up all your hard labors! I love fresh horseradish. My favorite sauce for salmon is just water, butter, lemon, and fresh horseradish. Yum!! Good luck woman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :happyflower:

  34. 12-7

    Yummm, freshly-ground horseradish! Do be careful with the processing, though. The fumes can be wicked — burned my sinusus with an ill-timed inhale the first time ground some.

  35. 12-7

    My friend and I grew horseradish in our garden. No one told us how invasive it was and so we had lots of roots to dig. (Must be why it was free.) Nothing better than fresh ground horseradish, butter and rye crisp. We mixed in a little cream to smooth it out. YUM

  36. 12-7

    Gee, I feel kind of sad that the daily voting is over! I remembered to do it everyday which is quite remarkable for my addled brain!
    It will be nice to read your daily writing for SamE. I just know you are going to be the winner!

    I’ll be looking forward to seeing what you do with the horseradish. I have some in the garden that a friend gave me, but I am afraid to dig it up because I don’t know what to do with it, or if you grind it up how long it will last. I love the taste, but have only had the stuff in a jar from the grocery store.

  37. 12-7

    I’ve tried growing garlic and I’m just not very good at it. I was hoping to put some in this year but I forgot. Going to have to add it to my calendar for next year…

  38. 12-7

    Your pantry looks wonderful! Put in my last votes today. I sure hope you get the job, Suzanne….you deserve it. Do you know when they will announce the winner?

    I love the way Boomer is “helping” you. ;) My Gracie like to help like that too.

  39. 12-7

    LOL @ the garlic smell! I want to grow garlic…next year and make garlic powder. I have read that homemade is a lot better as commercial stuff has filler in it. Ditto for onion powder.

    That Boomer is so sweet! He has such great expressions!(Somebody needs to sketch that one! (soon…maybe after Christmas…)

  40. 12-7

    Voted today and everyday. You just seem to know so much about a lot of different things. I have lived here in AZ for 11 yrs on 2.3 acres, it is full of juniper trees. Have any idea what to do with juniper berries? Besides making gin (have no interest in that). I feel its such a waste to let the berries fall off the tree and be wasted. Love the garlic btw.

  41. 12-7

    I for one am Happy the voting is over. I voted for you each day and I am trusting the judges will be fair and Wise in their decision. You are by far the best of the best. Thank you for all your hard work and for being so willing to share the results of that work. You make the world a better place.

  42. 12-7

    Thats amazing, I like way you hung it, looks great. :pinkbunny:

  43. 12-7

    I am inspired to grow garlic as well, I’ve had great success with herbs. I want to try some horseradish now too!… Prime Rib with fresh horseradish! Can you tell I love to cook! That is why I enjoy coming to your site everyday, there are many kindred spirits here. My kids are still asking me to make pepperoni rolls! I have voted for you everyday as well and hope you have a good outcome. Love that Boomer! :snoopy:

  44. 12-7

    Can’t wait for the horseradish tutorial. Your garlic braid is neat. I have never tried growing either one. Something to put on my list. Voted for the last time. You are a winner no matter what happens! :shimmy: :shimmy: :shimmy:

    Kathleen H in Indiana

  45. 12-7

    what a wonderful pantry! I have never tried to grow garlic or horseradish.. yours looks wonderful!

  46. 12-7

    You are so cool. I know it doesn’t always feel that way, but there it is. I live in the Adirondacks on a small farm up near Canada. It’s only snowing for the first time today!

  47. 12-7

    Rainy days and Mondays……..always make me smile! Yaaaaaaa, Sandy Eggo has rain, rain, rain. I am home, luxuriating, all Christmas lights are on (love the clusters of red peppah lights), and enjoying every drop of rain. You blog is frosting on the cake! Thanks, Suzanne.

  48. 12-7


  49. 12-7

    This post came at a wonderful time as I have Horde radish to harvest. I love this stuff! Nothing better pork or roast beed sandwiches or mix with a bit of mayo if if you dont like it “straight”.
    I will be making jars as gifts along with the cranberry sauce, what a wonderful duo packed in a little basket.
    I, like everyone else will happy that the contest is over, and I am sure you will be glad to have some peace in your life again, this has to have been very stressful for you.
    You are clearly the winner when it comes to what you have to offer your readers and you honesty through this event. Lets hope the folks at Sam-e see that as well. Nothing is good if it isnt done in an honest way.
    I also have to add that all of your supporters have conducted themselves in the same manner in the comments they left for you, no nastiness about the other contestants, it says alot about the people you attract.
    We all know who the winner really is, and we all would like to see you get the job.


  50. 12-7

    Spelling is a bit off today–but you get the idea –:smilerabbit:

  51. 12-7

    Mmmmmmm!! I don’t know how MyrnaMac managed to take this from Horseradish and Garlic to Lemon Curd, but I love them ALL! There’s some great recipes for making Lemon Curd Myrna! We should explore that on the forum. It’s Meyer Lemon season, which is the BEST :snoopy: for lemon curd.

    I need to plant some horseradish too! I hope the chickens don’t eat it, that would make for some funny tasting eggs. :chicken: :chicken: :chicken:

    I hope the decision makers at SAM-e/Nature Made really look at the substance of all who enter. No matter what they say though, Suzanne is OUR winner!

  52. 12-7

    Hey Suzanne!

    We tried to grow garlic about two years ago but the drought did them in. I don’t know what I would do with horseradish. I’ve never even tried it.

    I cast my last vote too! :shimmy: :shimmy: :shimmy: :happyfeet: :happyfeet: :shimmy: :shimmy: :shimmy:

    Angela :wave:

  53. 12-7

    Yes, I did get off track a bit with the lemon curd, :o but I’ll have to check out the forum. Now you have me wondering what exactly Meyer lemons are.

  54. 12-7

    Today is the last day of voting, and we ALL know who the real winner is no matter what. I hope you win Suzanne! WE LOVE YOU and we can’t wait to follow the SAM-e blog as well (IF you get the job of course!) :butterfly:

  55. 12-7

    There are different types of entertainment, Suzanne, and I must say this voting thing has seemed like a big party – if the others feel like me, I have to say: We have had a ball. Hope it hasn’t been toooo hard on you. Family and I voted daily as many as we could, plus, I pulled in as many extra people as I could get, plus reading all the comments from your long-time regulars and new fans, it has been (as the kids say) Awesome! Thanks for the ride – a fun ride. Now, I guess it is time to dismount and start praying. If anyone is into ESP you might try that, too. ;) Positive thinking! That’s it, is what we need now, everyone, focused positive thinking. By the way, Suzanne, do you think your animals talk to one-another on Christmas eve night like the fable says? Just a thought.

  56. 12-7

    Someone gave me garlic to plant this year and I never got around to it – shame on me. In my defense I needed to buy more pots and dirt (don’t have that much room to plant). Maybe next year (sigh).
    Hope they decide soon – I really hate waiting lol.

  57. 12-7

    Well, my last vote #33482. I did my best.And youre the best for the job…hope you get it!

  58. 12-7

    Voted for the last time. Hope you win the job!

  59. 12-7

    I voted!

    Hope you win!

    Love your blog!

    You and a cup of tea start me off for the day!

  60. 12-7

    Hmmm….that sure looks like green onions to me. You know those big white bulbs with the green tops? Unless you’ve got some elephant garlic going on…but it just looks like onions to me.

    Suzanne, I just want you to know that regardless of the outcome, in my mind you are the only one who truly deserved to win in view of the content of your blog. It filled all the requirements that contest asked for. Your blog delivers on every single point and then some! I really don’t know how those two contestants got so ahead, I really don’t. I’m sure they are quite talented, but I suspect those points are not on the up and up. They seem to rely more on ‘beauty’ and ‘youth’ points than anything else. Not that you aren’t beautiful or youthful, but I hope you know what I meant.
    I tend to agree with one of your commenters that sometimes these can turn out to be ‘popularity’ contests. Sad, sad thing if that is the case. I’m hopeful the judges will see how absolutely wonderful your blog is and how it is like a ray of sunshine in your reader’s lives (and that you’re a downright great writer!)

    Well, I voted every single day since the contest started, and even had my Hubby do so as well. So best of luck, and I’m certain this event will open many new doors of opportunity for you, regardless of what happens. Take care and God bless! I’ll continue to read your blog because for me it is just simply ‘MUST READ’ material! :snoopy:

  61. 12-7

    Me too! Voted each and every day!

  62. 12-7

    Suzanne–could I plant garlic cloves from my pantry?

  63. 12-7

    I plan to do some garlic and horseradish in my new garden next year.
    And everything else needed for making my own salsa and pickles. And maybe some dilled green beans. Strawberry and raspberry plants would be nice, too. Gotta try potatoes again, this year my manure was a wee bit too hot. I could go on and on.
    Good luck Suzanne with the contest. I’ve been praying you get the gig. You are certainly the most qualified and best blogger. You have succeeded in bringing together thousands of people and tens of thousands of votes. You’ve brought us close together through our comments here and participation in the forum. It has a surreal quality about it to me. Thanks so much for all you do. :heart:

  64. 12-7

    JoJo, re planting garlic bulbs from your pantry, I don’t know so I asked 52 and he said you can.

  65. 12-7

    Yikes! I almost missed voting today!

    But I made it: 33751 votes.

    Last day – good luck!

  66. 12-7

    Hey Suzanne! I just wanted to tell you that I have the utmost respect for you and how you have handled this “contest” for the blog job! No matter what happens, you really should be proud of yourself! Sure, if you don’t get picked, I’ll do this for you..


    But if you do get picked, I’ll do this…. :happyfeet:

    Either way….you rock!!!

  67. 12-7

    Interesting. Husband and I were just talking about harvesting horse radish. My garden is about the size of most people’s throw rugs but I have horse radish and Jerusalem artichokes in it. I told him I thought it was too late to harvest horse radish and here you (and Boomer) are, just a-digging away. Maybe if the ground isn’t frozen I’ll try digging up some tomorrow.

    Now what do you know about separating peonies? That’s supposed to be done in the fall also. I promised my sister a piece of mine but suppose it’s too late to replant considering the snow is sort of flying around here, not sticking, just sort of flying around.

    Did my last vote. Good luck to you, Suzanne, we all know you deserve the gig.

  68. 12-7

    Thank you–I will plant it tomorrow!

  69. 12-7

    What great timing since my mom and I are getting ready to harvest our horseradish. Now maybe we’ll wait until we see how you process it. We’ve had a difficult time finding a consistent way to can it: steam, pressure or hot water bath? And for how long??? Looking forward to the horseradish post!

  70. 12-7

    Placed my last vote. Good luck!

  71. 12-8

    Can’t wait to hear if you won….this blog is the highlight of my day, lots of substance, not just fluff!

  72. 12-8

    I am not sure why you bothered freezing over the garlic :) it is only good for keeping vampires away! I work in the Garlic Capitol of the World (Gilroy, California) and the smell is enough to keep everyone away. I hope you win this contest/job. Yours is the only blog I ever check, and I love the homey attitude mixed with the practical advise on things like wool dying and cooking! Keep it up, we love you in California

  73. 12-8

    52, Thanks for the info. Calling sister, now and heading out in the WNY chill to see if the ground is too frozen.

  74. 12-29

    I was researching growing and harvesting horseradish and came across your post… Good info… Your pantry is so pretty with all that ovely home canned stuff :O)… I live on a farm in East Texas!

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