Tarragon is one of the herb commonly grown for its aromatic leaves and peppery-like flavor.
With a faint hint of licorice – less than fennel but more than basil – it’s refreshing without being overpowering.
It keeps the same old fish, chicken and egg dishes from becoming too repetitive. It adds flavor notes to mustard, buttermilk, mayo and vinegar, so it can transform a sauce, condiment, dressing or dip, making it an easy herb to use in recipes and store in the fridge.
Most dishes made with tarragon taste as good cold as they do hot, too. If you’re trying to cajole your family into eating more lean meat, using tarragon is one way to provide variety without having to invest much more time in the kitchen.
Tarragon has two basic varieties :
- French (Artemisia dracunculus sativa) tarragon that is used for cooking.
- Russian (Artemisia dracunculus L.) tarragon has a much milder flavor and a distinctive bitter aftertaste.
Tarragon seeds should be started indoors around April.
It’s usually easier to sow about four to six seeds per pot using moist, composted potting soil.
Cover the seeds lightly and keep them in low light at room temperature.
Once seedlings begin to sprout or reach a couple inches tall, they can be thinned down to one plant per pot, preferably the healthiest or strongest looking.
Tarragon herb plants should be grown in areas receiving full sun. It can easily be grown indoors but choose a position to get maximum sunlight.
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 three to five years as well.
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Buy ready to use nutrient rich soil:
In general use a soil-based compost placed over a generous layer of drainage material such as earthenware crocks, pebbles or gravel. Water and feed regularly, especially while plants are bearing flowers and fruit, when a high-potash fertilizer is recommended.
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