Horse – Radish (Armoracia rusticana)

It belongs to the Cruciferae family and botanically known as Armoracia Rusticana. There are several forms, and although the wild types usually produce small white flowers, they seldom develop seed. Although seed is formed it is never used for propagation. Leaves and roots of horse-radish were used as food in Germany, USA., UK. and Holland. However, it is not a very popular vegetable in India. The pungent roots of House-Radish are mixed with salt and vinegar and eaten as an appetizer with other foods. The pungency is due to the presence of an allylisothiocyanate and butyl thiocyanate similar to the mustard oils, occurring in combination with the glucoside sinigain.


A deep, rich loam or sandy loam soil is suitable for growing house-radish. It does not succeed in heavy soils or waterlogged conditions. On hard soils the roots are much branched and irregular in shapes. The roots grow luxuriantly in light and medium soils with plenty of organic matters. Low temperatures do not impair the growth of the roots and the crops. A well-prepared and thoroughly pulverised soil is necessary for production of straight and strong roots.


The plant is propagated by root cuttings. The cuttings are obtained from the side roots, which are trimmed off in the preparation of roots for market. It is also propagated from crowns. The propagation roots for market. It is also propagated from crowns. The propagation roots should be 10 to 20cm long and the size from 65cm to 1.25cm in diameter. The long cuttings are best. The cuttings are planted during winter in furrows made with a plough. The cuttings are planted in a slanting manner 7.5cm to 10.0cm below the surface soil. The soil around the cuttings is then well packed. The distance of planting is about 25cm to 32cm apart in rows and row to row is kept at 7.5 cm to 10.0cm apart.


The soils should be given a dressing of well-rotted farmyard manure (F.Y.M) before ploughing. Green manuring and commercial fertilizers can also be used. Fertilizers containing about 50 lbs each of nitrogen and potash and 70 to 100 lbs of phosphorus per acre are sufficient. A fertilizer high in potash seems essential for proper development of roots. A larger yield is obtained when the roots are trimmed then when they are allowed to grow without being disturbed.


The roots are harvested by ploughing the whole bed and the tops and the side roots are removed. Cuttings are then made from the basal roots and the marketable products sold or stored. The marketable roots after harvest are cleaned, washed and packed. The root for sale should be straight 20cm to 25cm long and 3 to 5cm in diameter. The roots can be stored in a cool, moist storehouse or can be kept in good condition for several weeks in moist sand.


25 to 100 quintals per hectare.