Plenty to beef about invasive horseradish

Plant of horse radish
Plant of horse radish

Horseradish (armoracia rusticana)is delicious with roast beef and all the trimmings but also goes well with smoked salmon and other strong-flavoured fish, adding a hot shot to any meal.

Some gardeners veer away from this plant because it can be invasive, with roots that come back when they’ve broken off.

The solution is to grow it in a pot or bottomless bucket in rich, fertile ground with added organic matter.

Available from herb nurseries and from a couple of seed firms, the best bet is to feed a single long thin root into a hole made from a cane, leaving the fat tip at ground level.

Plant three roots in a triangular shape to make a large clump, sinking old slates or plastic sheeting vertically into the ground around the clump to contain the roots.

You need to be patient for horseradish, waiting two years before harvesting your first crop, digging up one plant in September or October, when the flavour is strongest. But be warned, horseradish can be as pernicious as ground elder, so you need to be vigilant to stop it spreading because it’s a devil to remove once it’s somewhere you don’t want it to be.