Our goose has laid its first eggs against the barn, and in the herb garden’s raised beds the young tarragon leaves are just big enough to snip for the kitchen.sativa), which probably originated in western Asia, is the commonly grown temperate-zone tarragon used for culinary purposes.The stem was longer, the leaves were similar in shape but larger and coarser, and it had no flavor—like Russian tarragon.It is a marigold (Tagetes lucida), grown as an annual in temperate zones and as a perennial in hot climates.Russian tarragon is sometimes identified or mislabeled as French, so it’s a good idea to beg a leaf for tasting.In late winter or very early spring (March in the Pacific Northwest), we gently lift the oldest patches of plants with a garden fork (photos, below).Our friend Gery Prasing, a wholesale grower, used to propagate plants from stem cuttings.It will benefit from some winter protection in Zone 2, so lay down a 2- or 3-inch layer of straw or dead leaves.Mature plants should be watered every three days to encourage a continual supply of fresh leaves.Mature plants can survive for long periods without water, but under these conditions they will not grow new leaves.Although average to good garden soil is adequate for tarragon, we top-dress our beds with compost every winter.French tarragon is harder to grow in areas of high humidity where the dormant season is short.French tarragon appears to need a two-month dormancy period when the temperature drops close to freezing.Individual stems can be shortened and stripped of their leaves, but for a continuous supply through August and September, you must cut back about half your plants in late June, leaving the remaining half for harvesting while the cut ones regrow.It is better to preserve the leaves in vinegar or to chop and freeze tarragon in water in ice cube trays.Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat it dry inside and out with a paper towel.Put bay leaves and a handful of tarragon sprigs under the bird to flavor the pan drippings.Add extra water, wine, or stock if the liquid in the roasting pan dries up. .
How to Grow and Care for French Tarragon
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. .
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.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.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 times 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 the 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 well 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.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.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.).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.). .
My favorite shrimp salad recipe is flavored with celery and chives, but it’s the fresh tarragon that grabs me.It’s the main flavoring in Bérnaise sauce and is a component of fines herbes found in so many recipes.Russian tarragon plants are quite hardy, drought tolerant and prefer poor soils.Mature plants reach three feet in height with leaves that have a milder flavor than their French cousin.To harvest your tarragon, cut the top ⅓ of each branch.Prune it regularly to keep the entire plant at a height of 2 feet or it may be prone to falling over.In ancient times, tarragon was reputed to cure the bites of venomous snakes and rabid dogs. .
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. .
How to grow tarragon
If you live in a cold area or have an exposed garden, protect plants with horticultural fleece.Raise containers off the ground with pot feet or place in a cold greenhouse or front porch.French Tarragon is a sterile, perfectly hardy, herbaceous perennial which ideally requires full sun, excellent drainage, and an undisturbed and uncrowded site.Given all that, it will produce a multi-stemmed feathery clump with narrow, thin, grey-green leaves starting in March or April and lasting until September.A common fungal disease of many plants that can be recognised by orange, yellow or black spots or blisters that form on leaves, along with pale and distorted stems.Carefully check plants before buying to ensure they are healthy and show no signs of disease. .
How to Trim Your Herbs and Keep Them Happy!
Regular pruning promotes general health while preventing plants from getting leggy and unattractive.Whether you are growing herbs outside in the ground or in pots, or inside on a windowsill, you need to trim them regularly.Prune new growth from perennial herbs like rosemary, sage and tarragon every week during the summer.Pinch off the top 2 inches of all new shoots to encourage a fuller plant with strong root growth.Caring for an herb garden might be a little more work but the results are worth the time and effort. .