Tarragon - Seeds
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Tarragon is a perennial herb with long, light green leaves and tiny greenish or yellowish white flowers. For cooking, use French tarragon. Russian tarragon can easily be mistaken for French, but Russian tarragon is coarser and less flavorful than French tarragon.
French tarragon creates a shrubby presence in the garden border, combining fine texture with wonderful green-to-gray foliage. Leaves dish up a sweet anise flavor used to create traditional Bearnaise sauce and the fines herbes blend vital to French cooking. In rich soil, plants practically jump out of the ground, thriving with little care.
Tarragon is native to soils that have relatively little water retention. But it is not a desert plant. It is found natively in a number of areas of the Northern Hemisphere. It grows to 120–150 cm tall, with slender branched stems
The name "tarragon" is believed to have been borrowed from the Persian name.
- Plant Type:Perennial,Herb,Shrub
- Landscape Uses:Containers,Beds & Borders
- Special Features:Attractive Foliage,Dried Flowers,Deer Resistant,Easy to Grow
- Light: Sun,Part Sun
- Plant Height: 1-5 feet tall
- Plant Width: 1-2 feet wide
- Temprature: Best planted at soil temperatures between 10°C and 25°C. (Show °F/in)
- Space plants: 40 - 60 cm apart
- Harvest: 30-40 days. Pick leaves when young for best flavour.
- You can't grow French tarragon from seeds. You must purchase the plants or take an established plant from a friend's garden. Get the transplants in the spring or fall.
- Plant the transplants in well-drained soil about 2 to 3 feet apart in order to give each plant room to grow. A full-grown plant should cover about 12 inches of soil.
- The plants should grow to around 2 or 3 feet in height.
- Tarragon is a good companion to most vegetables in the garden.
Harvesting and Storing Tarragon Herb Plants
You can harvest both the leaves and flowers of tarragon herb plants. Harvesting usually takes place in late summer. While best used fresh, tarragon plants can be frozen or dried until ready for use. Plants should be divided every 3-5 years as well.
- Be sure to prune the plant regularly to prevent flowering and to keep the height to around 2 feet (otherwise the plant will fall over).
- If you live in a colder climate, be sure to put mulch around the plants in late fall in order to protect the roots during the winter.
- To help keep your plants healthy, divide them every 3 to 4 years in the spring or fall. New plants can grow from stem cuttings or root cuttings.
- Tarragon is one of the four fines herbes of French cooking, and is particularly suitable for chicken, fish and egg dishes. Tarragon is the main flavoring component of Béarnaise sauce. Fresh, lightly bruised sprigs of tarragon are steeped in vinegar to produce tarragon vinegar.
- Tarragon is used to flavor a popular carbonated soft drink in the countries of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and, by extension, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The drink, named Tarhun, is made out of sugary tarragon concentrate and colored bright green.
- In Slovenia, tarragon is used as a spice for a traditional sweet cake called potica. In Hungary a popular kind of chicken soup is flavored with tarragon.
- cis-Pellitorin, an isobutyramide eliciting a pungent taste, has been isolated from Tarragon plant.
- Tarragon goes well with fish, pork, beef, poultry, game, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, and most vegetables.
- Tarragon can be used in cream sauces, herbed butters and vinegars, soups, sour creams, and yogurt.
- However, it can be overpowering in large amounts.