The famous and esteemed chef James Beard once said that if he could only pick one herb to have with him on a deserted island, he would pick tarragon. Tarragon is an essential ingredient in Bérnaise Sauce, the French herb mixture Fines Herbes, and Green Goddess salad dressing. For cullinary use, it is important to grow French tarragon Artemisia dracunculus and not it's less flavorful relative Russian tarragon Artemisia dracunculoides. Tarragon is a popular ingredient in <a href="http://greatlakesgardeners.com/community/index.php?/topic/3427-herbal-blends/" target="_blank">herbal blends</a>.
Tarragon is a sub-shrub perrenial returning every spring. If it gets a bit straggly after a few years, it will benefit from being devided which will also provide you with new plants.
- Perennial sub-shrub herb.
- Full sun to partial shade.
- The seed of French tarragon are sterile, so start plants from divisions or cuttings. Instructions for propagating plants from cuttings. Cuttings will be ready to transplant in about 4 weeks.
- Plant into garden after all danger of frost has past. Frost dates by US state and Canadian province.
Planting and Tending
- Plant in garden AFTER the last frost (dogwoods will be in full bloom) or use special protection to get ahead of Mother Nature. Soil temperature should be at least 55 ° F to transplant.
- Average to rich well-drained soil.
- Water with a liquid organic fertilizer one month after setting out in the garden. No fertilizer needed after that.
- Trim back in the spring (NOT fall) to encourage bushy new growth.
- The scent and flavor of tarragon deters many pests making tarragon a good gompanion plant for other herbs and vegetables.
- Visit this link for a complete Vegetable and Herb Companion Chart.
Visit the Herbs Forum at GreatLakesGardeners.com to get answers to your growing herbs questions. To ask a new question, Register if you haven't already done so(it's free and helps protect the forum from spam), click on Start New Topic, enter your question and click on Post New Topic.
You may also appreciate these books on growing herbs.