When it comes to tarragon there is a real trade off between the type of tarragon you grow and it’s flavour.
Which is why it’s very important to select the right type for the types of foods you would like to prepare.
Follow the links below for details, or read on for growing and cooking advice:
The 3 Main Tarragon Varieties
The 3 main types
There are 3 types:
- Russian – easy to grow (from seed)
- French – great flavour but not easy to grow
- Spanish or Mexican – not a good as the French one for cooking but easy to grow.
That is why when growing tarragon at home the key question is – how important is your cooking for you ?
If you are serious about cooking then the French variety will need to be your choice.
The french one has a very delicate aromatic flavour and is one of the most important herbs in French cooking & recipes. Ideal for seasoning salads, sauces, pickles, etc.
However you can’t grow it from seed, as it is grown by root division – best option when growing it at home is to buy plugs.
- Cream (for filling small vols-au-vents, canapes, etc.)
- Sauce (for poached fowl)
- Sauce (for small cuts of beef)
Spanish or Mexican Tarragon
A potential substitute for the French one is the or Mexican one. Which is also known as Mexican mint marigold and Texas or winter tarragon.
The advantage is that you can grow them from seed, and is easier to grow. However it’s important to realise that it has less flavour than the French one, although it does have a slightly stronger aniseed flavour resulting in slighty differently tasting meals.
The Russian one is easy to grow, it can be grown from seed and is a very hardy and fast growing plant. It prefers poor soil and can cope with not enough water and neglect.
However it is much, much weaker in flavour than French (or even Spanish) one and is often not even classified as a herb.
- We haven’t added typical recipes.
- If using the russian one then make sure it’s fresh
- And add 3 to 4 times as much as when using the French one
How to grow indoors
Growing in pots using soil
Growing the French one is very easy – just buy a plant.
On the other hand Spanish or Mexican one is available from seed and can be planted outside in a pot on a balcony or terrace or inside on a sunny windowsill (or using lighting)
- Sow thinly into soil at a depth of 6mm
- Will germinate in 14 to 28 days
- Thin the seedlings or transplant leaving 60 cm between plants
Growing using Hydroponics or Aquaponics
Tarragon can be grown using both hydroponics and aquaponics.
How to prepare
When you want to use it at home there are 2 items to consider.
Firstly the video below will show you how to cut tarragon:
Secondly, once you have Tarragon at home you will need to consider making Béarnaise sauce.
We make absolutely no excuse in focussing on only 1 recipe – it is simply the one most closely associated with the herb. Again, the video below will provide ‘step by step’ cooking instructions:
How to start
Hopefully our guide showing how to grow tarragon indoors has helped.