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 him. Caution of choose the right variety of tarragon to have a tasty plant! Let’s see how to plant it, what its needs are, when and how to harvest it.
Culture of the tarragon
Tarragon thrives in full sun. It 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.
There are several varieties of tarragon. Some can be sown since they provide seeds. In contrast, true tarragon (Artemisia Dracunculus) gives sterile flowers. It therefore does not sow itself. Young plants are purchased in pots. It’s from afar the most fragrant, both aniseed and slightly pepperywhich works wonders in the kitchen.
Some gardeners cultivate the variety ofRussian tarragon (Artemisia dracunculoides) because it supports 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 make it possible to obtain a tasty aromatic plant.
Anyway, the semis 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 one chooses to sow directly in the ground. It must have been well warmed by sufficient sunshine.
Once the seeds have been sown, they are covered with a very thin layer of compost not to exceed 1 cm. During the following 15 days, the watering in rain or by vaporization must absolutely be regular because the substrate must remain humid.
Young feet are ready to be transplanted when they count 5 sheets. Only the strongest ones are kept.
Plant true tarragon in the ground
The plants purchased in pots are to be repotted in soil warmed by the sun or in a planter. We take care to space them in all directions of 50 cm. They will grow best with enough room.
It is important that the earth was enriched with compost before the previous winter. Simply dig holes twice as large as 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 tamp down without hurting the roots, then water copiously.
You can buy thetarragon in jar to keep it in the kitchen. But it is necessary to transplant it as soon as it is purchased into a larger container in order to keep it indoors for some time. It is however preferable to plant it in the ground or to install the pot outsidein a sunny and warm corner of the garden, balcony or terrace.
It takes between 8 and 9 weeks for the tarragon to mature.
Caring for your tarragon
L’watering tarragon, both in the ground and in pots, is essential for the plant to thrive. But unlike others, he has no no need for fertilizer. It is even to be avoided. Many fertilizers are rich in nitrogen, and this nutrient tends to reduce the particular flavor of this aromatic.
It is recommended protect tarragon against frost by a veil of wintering if it is cultivated in pot or by a mulch of leaves spread on the stumps in the ground and whose branches have been cut beforehand.
About the size of tarragonit is limited to the removal of mature stems during harvesting.
Every three years, as soon as the young shoots appear in the spring, it is necessary to split each stump in order to regenerate the plant which has become exhausted. To do this, we use a sharp spade then we replant in the garden or in a pot each new foot with roots and which must have 5 or 6 stems then we just water generously. Thereafter, the ramification will be ensured by the stem pinching at their end.
Finally, tarragon is rarely affected by diseases and parasites.
Tarragon is harvested from the month May to October. It is advisable to cut the oldest stems, one by one, rather than tearing off a few leaves here and there. The 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 potiche. We do not hesitate to associate tarragon with basil, parsley, chives or even thyme…