Tarragon: planting, growing, caring for and harvesting


Tarragon, a perennial aromatic plant with semi-evergreen foliage whose flavor is subtly aniseed, is widely used in cooking. It can be grown in the ground in southern regions and in pots in harsher climates because it is not hardy. The cold is therefore detrimental to it. Attention from choose the right variety of tarragon to have a tasty plant! Let’s see how to plant it, what are its needs, when and how to harvest it.

Cultivation of tarragon

Tarragon thrives in full sun. He likes well-drained, humus-rich and light soils. A stony ground suits him perfectly. On the other hand, heavy soil must be lightened with a little river sand.

Sow tarragon

There are several varieties of tarragon. Some can be sown since they provide seeds. On the other hand, true tarragon (Artemisia Dracunculus) gives sterile flowers. It is therefore not sown. Young plants are bought in pots. It is from afar the most fragrant, both anise and slightly peppery, which works wonders in the kitchen.

Some gardeners cultivate the variety ofRussian tarragon (Dracunculoid Artemisia) because it tolerates frost, but its flavor does not no taste interest. We can even say that it is almost tasteless. Sachets of tarragon seeds can be found on the market, but their cultivation will not produce a tasty aromatic plant.

Anyway, the sowing can be done:

  • Ideally, between February and the end of March under shelter where the temperature must be 18 to 20 ° C,
  • After May 15 if you choose to sow directly in the ground. It must have been well warmed by sufficient sunlight.

Once the seeds are sown, they are covered with a very thin layer of potting soil not to exceed 1 cm. During the following 15 days, watering in rain or by spraying must absolutely be regular because the substrate must remain humid.

Young feet are ready to be transplanted when they count 5 sheets. We only keep the most vigorous.

Plant true tarragon in the ground

The plants purchased in buckets are to be repotted in soil warmed by the sun or in a planter. Care is taken to space them in all directions by 50 cm. They will develop better if they have enough space.

It is important that the earth has been enriched with compost before the previous winter. Just dig holes twice the size of the bucket and place a layer of pebbles or gravel at the bottom to ensure drainage. Once the plant is installed in the center of the hole, fill it with soil and compact it without hurting the roots, then water copiously.

We can buy thetarragon in pot in order to keep it in the kitchen. But it is necessary to transplant it upon purchase in a larger container in order to keep it for some time inside. It is however preferable to plant it in the ground or to install the pot outside, in a sunny and warm corner of the garden, on the balcony or on the terrace.

It takes between 8 and 9 weeks for the tarragon to mature.

Maintain your tarragon

Thewatering tarragon, both in the ground and in pots, is essential for the plant to thrive. But unlike others, he did no need for fertilizer. It is even to be avoided. Many fertilizers are rich in nitrogen, and this nutrient tends to diminish the distinctive flavor of this aromatic.

It is recommended protect tarragon against frost by a wintering veil if it is grown in a pot or by a leaf mulch spread over the stumps in the ground and whose branches have been cut beforehand.

About the tarragon size, it is limited to removing the mature stems during harvest.

Every three years, from the appearance of young shoots in spring, it is necessary to divide each stump in order to regenerate the plant that has run out. To do this, we use a sharp spade then we replant in the garden or in a pot each new plant with roots and which must have 5 or 6 stems then we are content to water generously. Subsequently, branching will be ensured by the pinching of stems at their end.

Finally, tarragon is rarely affected by diseases and parasites.

Harvest tarragon

Tarragon is harvested from the month from May to October. We recommend cutting the oldest stems one by one, rather than pulling a few leaves here and there. Picking is done as needed because this aromatic does not retain its flavor for long once picked.

Aromatic, condiment and / or medicinal herbs (as is the case with tarragon, for example) can be grown together in a vegetable patch or a large vase. We don’t hesitate to associate tarragon with basil, parsley, chives or even thyme …

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