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Tarragon comes in two varieties, French tarragon which you'll often see in shop, and Russian tarragon. The Russian variety is hardier so a good option to grow at home as it doesn't need protection in winter. Both types are perennial and have a distinctive aniseed taste
Growing calendar
Sow indoors Mar - Apr
Plant out/transplant May - Jun
Harvest May - Sep

How to grow tarragon

Plant bought French tarragon plants or use rooted cuttings taken in the summer (7cm long shoots). If you want to grow tarragon from seed choose the Russian tarragon variety.

Choose well-drained soil in a a sunny site.

Protect French tarragon with horticultural fleece in colder winters.

Harvesting and using tarragon

Pick tarragon leaves before flowering for use fresh or for freezing. Tarragon is a perennial herbs so plants will crop year after year. Dig up and split tarragon plants every two years to maintain vigour.

Tips on growing tarragon

Cut back shoots to encourage lush growth. Remove flower spikes to prolong leaf production.

Growing notes
Difficulty Moderate
Germination time 7-14 days
Average time to harvest From 12 weeks
Equipment needed Horticultural fleece
Average plant size Up to 90cm tall, 45cm wide
Family group to grow with Asteraceae: lettuce, chicory
Seed saving notes Tricky
Key nutritional content Fresh: calcium