sativa A delightful and easy herb to grow for the kitchen garden, French tarragon has an appealing flavor similar to sweet anise and licorice.It makes a fast-growing and attractive plant in containers or herb borders, and features upright growth, slender green and silver leaves, and a distinct, appealing fragrance.The fresh leaves are used in a variety of dishes, such as those with eggs, fish, mushrooms, tomatoes, and poultry, and are noted for their use in French cuisine and sauces.And although its chromosomal profile shows it to be a sterile derivative of the Russian variety, A. dracunculoides pursch, the two shouldn’t be confused.However, its use in the kitchen is limited due to its bitter taste and musty aroma – although people from the Caucasus countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia use it to flavor soft drinks, cider, and tobacco.Mexican mint tarragon, Tagetes lucida, is an unrelated perennial native to Mexico and Guatemala and also grows from seed, with germination and growth habits similar to that of marigolds.Hardy only to Zone 9, the foliage has a distinct and rich licorice flavor very similar to true tarragon – which makes it well-suited as a culinary substitute in regions with intense summer heat.In comparison, the French variety has a much fuller flavor than the closely related Russian type, and is considered by chefs and home cooks alike to be of superior quality for culinary purposes.The fresh leaves are used extensively with egg, fish, and poultry dishes, and veggies such as mushrooms and tomatoes.sativa is one of the first herbs to break dormancy, sending up shoots in late winter or early spring.According to herbalist folklore, it was later brought to France in the 14th century by Saint Catherine of Siena, and quickly spread throughout Europe where it was grown in monastic gardens.Plants reach a height of 24 to 36 inches with a 12 to 15-inch spread, and quickly form robust clumps via root runners.The small cream or yellow flowers are insignificant and seeds are sterile, with propagation achieved vegetatively through root division or stem cuttings.An outstanding feature is that frequent pruning produces vigorous branching for a steady supply of leaves throughout spring and summer.Tarragon is a “nurse” plant considered to be beneficial throughout the garden, and can be used in herb knots as well as flower and vegetable beds.Pests, such as flea beetles and whiteflies, dislike the fragrance and tend to avoid areas where it’s planted.It’s also well suited to container growth, and makes an attractive and fragrant addition to kitchen gardens and patio pots.Plant the divisions in containers filled with fresh soil or directly in the ground as outlined in the How to Grow section below.Growth is most active in the cool temperatures of spring, and plants will appreciate some afternoon shade in summer’s heat when hot, direct sunshine can cause them to sag.Continue to harvest or clip the stems regularly to maintain lush, branching growth throughout the season.In late fall, clean beds and containers of any plant debris to prevent harmful pathogens from overwintering.Before winter, mulch the crown with a two- to four-inch layer of leaf mold or straw to protect against freezing temperatures.In late winter before new growth emerges, remove any mulch, cut back any remaining stems to one inch, and top-dress with organic material such as well-rotted manure or compost.Transferred by wind, leaves develop brown, white, or yellow spots with a fuzzy gray mold on the underside.Ensure proper air circulation and water plants in the morning, so that leaves dry by evening.It appears as small white or yellow spots that form orange or red pustules, causing deformation and defoliation.Remove and destroy infected leaves, and ensure plant debris is cleared away before winter sets in.Transfer frozen stems to a resealable plastic bag and remove excess air before sealing and storing in the freezer.When dry, crumble the leaves into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and store in a cool, dark cupboard.Create your own herbed vinaigrette for salads and vegetables – and be sure to add a pinch of dry mustard for an unforgettable flavor.Add fresh leaves to roasted chicken, fish en papillote, a frittata or omelet, or as a pizza topping.And for a unique and refreshing drink, add a sprig to a cool summer spritzer or vinegar shrub. .

Tarragon: Care and Growing Guide

Botanical Name Artemisia dracunculus (Sativa subspecies) Common Name Estragon Plant Type Perennial herb Mature Size 24 inches Sun Exposure Part Sun/Part Shade Soil Type Sandy, well-drained Soil pH Neutral (6.5 to 7.5) Bloom Time Summer Flower Color Light green leaves Hardiness Zones 4 and warmer Native Area Temperate Europe and Asia.French Tarragon produces sterile flowers, so it can't be sown from seed in your garden.Planting up in early spring will help ensure the best flavor, and making sure your Tarragon doesn't get too much direct sun in hot climates is best.French Tarragon, unlike many other herbs, isn't a fan of direct sun in hot climates.A rich, acidic, moist soil will result in poor growth, rotting roots and a reduced flavor.Young Tarragon will benefit from watering on alternate days if you're experiencing prolonged hot, dry spells.These plants can cope in dry ground, and care should be taken not to overwater as this will diminish growth and flavor intensity.In very cold conditions, you would be best to put mulch around the plant in winter to help protect the roots when it dies back and goes into dormancy.You could cut the root ball in half and plant the division in fresh soil in containers or directly into the ground.By keeping the flower buds trimmed back during the peak growing season, this will help ensure that any leaves harvested will retain their best flavor, and it'll promote the most generous and bushy growth.Letting the potted plants become overly root bound before dividing and replanting will diminish the flavor, so don't wait until it's too far gone. .

How to Grow French Tarragon

It is one of the four sweet or fines herbes favored in French cooking—along with chervil, parsley, and chives.Tarragon is particularly compatible with eggs, fish and shellfish, tomatoes, chicken, and salad greens.Tarragon is perennial but is often treated as annual and started new with a fresh plant every spring.Caspian Sea, Siberia Type of plant: French tarragon is a perennial often grown as an annual.French tarragon grows from 12 to 24 inches tall; it spreads from tangled, underground rhizomes.French tarragon is a sprawling, mostly flowerless plant with aromatic leaves reminiscent of anise and mint.French tarragon grows from 12 to 24 inches tall; it spreads from tangled, underground rhizomes.Flowers: French tarragon produces sterile cloves and cannot be grown from seed.(A different plant called Russian tarragon can be grown from seed, but it is considered by most to be too bitter for culinary use.).French tarragon produces sterile cloves and cannot be grown from seed.(A different plant called Russian tarragon can be grown from seed, but it is considered by most to be too bitter for culinary use.).Best location: Plant French tarragon in full sun or partial shade.Plant French tarragon in full sun or partial shade.Outdoor planting time: French tarragon cuttings or divisions started indoors can be transplanted into the garden a week or two after the last frost in spring.Established plants can survive cold winters outdoors if protected with a thick layer of mulch.French tarragon cuttings or divisions started indoors can be transplanted into the garden a week or two after the last frost in spring.Established plants can survive cold winters outdoors if protected with a thick layer of mulch.Watering: Keep French tarragon evenly moist until plants are established.Feeding: French tarragon is a light feeder; foliar spray plants with compost tea or a seaweed extract 2 to 3 time during the growing season.French tarragon is a light feeder; foliar spray plants with compost tea or a seaweed extract 2 to 3 time during the growing season.Divide French tarragon every 3 to 4 years to keep plants growing vigorously.Divide French tarragon every 3 to 4 years to keep plants growing vigorously.French tarragon can be grown easily in a container 6 to 12 inches wide and deep.Avoid planting French tarragon where water collects or where leaves are slow to dry.When to harvest: Pick young, top leaves in early summer for best flavor.Leaves: Tarragon enhances the flavor of fish, pork, beef, lamb, poultry, pates, leeks, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, onions, artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, peas, parsley, chervil, garlic, chives, lemons, oranges, and rice.Tarragon enhances the flavor of fish, pork, beef, lamb, poultry, pates, leeks, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, onions, artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, peas, parsley, chervil, garlic, chives, lemons, oranges, and rice.Culinary companions: Tarragon is good served with carrots, green beans, peas, and asparagus.To refrigerate, wrap leaves in a paper towel and place in a plastic bag; tarragon will keep for 2 or 3 weeks.To refrigerate, wrap leaves in a paper towel and place in a plastic bag; tarragon will keep for 2 or 3 weeks.Freezing: French tarragon can be frozen in a zippered plastic bag.Prune roots back to about 2 inches and then replant in just moist planting mix.Russian tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus sativa) is coarse and bitter-tasting, not recommended for cooking. .

Growing French Tarragon

In an herb bed, it becomes one of a cook's resources to create a memorable meal, but for the gardener, the ingredient is less remarkable.That means that new plants must be produced from rooted cuttings in order to have the classic tarragon flavor.Grown as a clump-forming perennial in most of the country, French tarragon thrives in regions where winter provides a period of rest and summers are not too hot or too wet.French tarragon has a fleshy root system that prefers a loose, soil enriched with organic matter.If your soil is heavy and your climate hot and humid, you will have the best chance of success by planting in a container or hanging basket where it drains well and has good air circulation.If your container plant turns brown and looks dead in winter, even if it is in your house or greenhouse, cut it back and give it time.Like most herbs, French tarragon is delicious fresh, but for winter the leaves need to be preserved.French terragon is a traditional seasoning with eggs, poultry, salads, cheese, and fish. .

Growing French Tarragon: A Tender Perennial with Rich Anise Flavor

The leaves of French tarragon have a fresh rich flavor which is sometimes compared to anise and licorice.This sprawling hardy perennial plant can produce for many years if it is regularly dug up and divided.Plants grown in nutrient-poor soil will have a more intense flavor, so it’s best not to fertilize heavily when you set your tarragon out.Sarah Garland says in her Complete Book of Herbs and Spices that plants grown in poorer soil will grow more slowly.However, tarragon will grow best in soil with plenty of organic matter, which can improve both water retention and drainage.The Illinois Extension recommends leaving the dead tops in place over winter and cutting them back in spring.Sarah Garland and the University of Florida recommend cutting the tops back in autumn.Start by buying French tarragon seedlings or by taking cuttings or root divisions from an established plant.To improve your tarragon’s chances over the winter, plant it in a well-drained spot (roots in soggy frozen soil are more likely to die) and mulch it well.Anyway, as noted above, tarragon has to be dug up and divided every 2-4 years in order to stay healthy.Strip the leaves from the lower part of the cutting and set them in sand or some other growing medium.Rodale’s Garden Problem Solver says that tarragon can be brought inside and forced to grow through the winter.Pot up a large division in late summer and cut the stem off at the base.Basil, parsley, and cilantro are good choices for complimentary herb companions.Tarragon can also be dried, though its flavor grows much weaker during the process and its bright green color turns brown.Bundle tips and hang them in a dry airy place out of direct sunlight.When the leaves are dry and brittle, strip them from the stems and store them in airtight containers. .

How to Grow Tarragon

Yet with some care and caution, you can grow a thriving French tarragon patch that will keep you well-supplied with herbs through the spring and summer months.Look for tarragon from spring through the summer months at your garden center, or order online from a reputable plant nursery.Since French tarragon is a temperamental plant to grow in the garden, it is best to place it where you can somewhat control soil, water and temperature conditions.A raised bed in a sunny location, where it can get at least 8 hours of sun, is ideal, or if you live in a climate that experiences frost or snow, plant in a container that can be brought indoors during the winter.Water in and cover with about a half-inch of mulch, just enough to keep the sun off the roots and the soil moist.The oregano, chives and thyme in the same bed make it challenging to keep tarragon growing.Russian Mild to no flavor Easier to grow; big perennial; can sow from seed in warmer climates; attractive plant Mexican Not good for cooking; some medicinal uses.To keep French tarragon thriving in the garden, it is important to protect its roots.Micro sprinklers are quite gentle to the tarragon plant and keep the leaves clean.French tarragon has fairly shallow roots, so during summer months, you will need to water daily.In winter, when the plant has died back, you don't need to water until you see new shoots coming up in early spring.To use tarragon, simply cut the sprig with scissors or garden shears.Give the entire plant a haircut, cutting all the sprigs about halfway down, in July.This will help the plant send out more leaves, keeping you in tarragon until late fall or even early winter.Gently clip back brown stems to the ground, taking care not to disturb the soil.Provided that you do not get too many frost days, the tarragon plant will come back in spring.2-3 long sprigs French tarragon (tear or chop leaves, discard stems).Mix together cubed chicken breast, tarragon leaves, grapes, cornichons, and mayonnaise until well-combined.Mound chicken salad mixture onto one slice of wheat bread.Top with lettuce leaf and second slice of bread to make sandwich.Should I bring it up into the kitchen (warm and dry) or put it in my mini greenhouse?Answer: It might do better in your outdoor greenhouse, provided that you aren’t in an area that gets below 40 degree temperatures.Great piece of writing and good advice on herb tending.I enjoy sprinkling flakes of french terragon on baked fish.KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on July 05, 2013:.Kawika Chann from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place on July 05, 2013:.Nice work study buddy - excellent job, your hub looks great!I grow a lot of my herbs in containers only because I find many of them can become quite territorial and overgrow fast.I plan on planting herbs at some point, and will check back on this hub when the time comes.KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on July 05, 2013:.I knew when I commented on this article a couple of weeks back that it was definitely HOTD material.KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on June 16, 2013:. .

How To Grow Tarragon

Common name for Artemisia dracunculus a perennial herb the leaves of which are used for seasoning, especially vinegar.Tarragon is unique in that during growth, it seems to have little aroma, yet after the leaves or tops are harvested, the oils concentrate and start emitting their unique tarragon sweet smell, similar to freshly cut hay.Tarragon grows to two or three feet tall and likes moderate sun, preferring a little shade during the warmest part of the day.Sow Russian tarragon seed indoors in sunny location or under plant grow lights six weeks before last frost.French tarragon only propagates via division, stem cuttings, or layering.Russian tarragon seeds will germinate in soil in approximately 10 to 14 days, but can germinate in as few as 7 to 10 days in dedicated propagation media such as Oasis Rootcubes, Rapid Rooters, or Grodan Stonewool.Tarragon grown outdoors prefers full sun but can tolerate some shade.Tarragon will grow indoors satisfactorily under standard fluorescent lamps, and exceptionally well under high output T5 fluorescent grow lights, compact fluorescent, or high intensity discharge (metal halide or high pressure sodium) plant growing lights.Have an oscillating fan gently stir seedlings for at least 2 hours per day to stimulate shorter, sturdier, and more natural plant habit.Tarragon can be susceptible to whitefly and spider mites but has minimal disease issues.Tarragon is also believed to enhance the growth and flavor of crops grown with it. .

How to Grow Tarragon

An attractive plant it is ideal for a warm sheltered spot in well drained soil, but being half hardy is best grown in containers in most areas so that it can be given some protection from frost during the winter.However, you will have to buy a plant from your garden centre or a herb specialist to get you started as the French version does not produce viable seeds.The seeds of Russian tarragon are sown in the spring and both sorts can be propagated once established either by taking root cuttings or division (splitting a clump into smaller portions).Tarragon is best picked fresh, but can be frozen in small quantities in freezer bags to keep supplies going through the winter months. .

How to Grow French Tarragon Indoors

This is an herb that’s great for culinary uses, adds natural beauty to your living space, and is very simple to grow.Whatever your gardening experience, here’s what you should know to begin raising this herb inside your home.In my experience, using shop lights and wire pantry shelving works beautifully when growing plants indoors.Depending upon how you choose to increase the humidity surrounding your herb plant, you may need to invest in a water bottle or a second planter with pebbles.As you’ll see, humidity is a key ingredient to maintaining a healthy plant.Invest in these necessary items to start your indoor herb growing experience on the right foot.In the event you don’t receive eight hours of sunlight, around your home, you can use supplemental lighting.Ensure the grow light is hanging a foot over the herb to avoid scorching it.It’s vital that everything surrounding the plant drains adequately to avoid oversaturating the roots.Be sure to moisten the soil surrounding the plant to make the process of digging it up easier.Fill the pot with well-draining soil and dig a small hole in the middle of the dirt.Press firmly around the base of the plant to avoid any air from reaching the roots.Once the roots have formed, separate the cuttings into different containers and continue caring for them as you would any French tarragon plant.This herb requires water, humidity, pruning, and air flow.Stick your finger into the soil and ensure it’s dry to your first knuckle before applying more water.You can do this by spritzing the plant with a spray bottle a few times per week, or you can grow it in a naturally humid room of your home.The water shouldn’t reach the bottom of the planter where the French tarragon is growing.By providing these few things to your herb, you should have an enjoyable time raising this plant.By catching these issues early, your herb should be able to bounce back from any damage the bugs may cause.You shouldn’t begin harvesting the plant until it’s a minimum of one foot tall. .


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