Herb Garden Essentials: Grow Your Own Tarragon

For many folks, tarragon is just one of those herbs you’ve heard of but don’t really know. It is not particularly flamboyant or too aromatic, yet its leaves are a staple of classic French cuisine, and its light aroma is said to repel insects.

It is a compact plant, usually less than 2 ft tall, and it is a slow spreader, so is also a fantastic container option. It’s easy to grow where it can do nicely, but doesn’t enjoy climate extremes. For the greatest culinary tarragon, you are going to need to grow it from nursery plants or cuttings.

Regrettably for shoppers, while French tarragon is what cooks decoration, a plant tagged “Tarragon” is just as likely to be the hardier but less flavorful Russian tarragon. If it’s labeled “Sativa,” it is what you desire. You’ll need to check labels carefully and, for good measure, taste the leaves to make certain that you’re getting the flavor you desire.

Shoppers from the hottest climates and people searching seed catalogs will discover Mexican tarragon available for sale. Though not related to true tarragon, it has a flavor that is similar, holds up in warm weather and can be grown from seed. If you reside in the Southwest or even Deep South, it may be your only option.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Light requirement: Complete sun in the morning and also partial shade in the afternoon, especially where summers are hot

Water necessity: Moderate to regular

Prime growing season: Spring through fall; spring and early summer is the best time to plant

Favorites: French (Sativa)

Planting and maintenance: Choose a place with rich, well-drained dirt and set plants out at 2-foot intervals. If growing in a container, select one at least 10 to 12 inches deep.

Let the plants dry out between waterings. Harvesting the tips on a regular basis will help keep the plants from getting overgrown or leggy. Insert a full fertilizer in spring and after a massive crop. The plants will die back in winter should come back except in the coldest winter climates. You will likely need to divide them every few decades.

The main pests you will encounter will probably be snails and slugs. Rust and mildew may also cause a few issues, though that’s rare.

Harvest: Select the leaves as necessary. Utilize the earliest spring leaves to taste vinegar. Drying tarragon can result in less flavorful leaves, but they do suspend.

More manuals: Learn to Cultivate your own tasty herbs

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