Average Days To Maturity: 60-70 days
Distance Between Rows: 1.5-2 feet
Spacing Between Plants: 12-18 inches apart
When To Plant: Charley recommends planting Tarragon in mid to late April after the threat of frost, but experienced gardeners can plant earlier and protect the young plants with buckets and milk jugs or start them out in a cold frame or small greenhouse.
Planting Tip: When growing Tarragon in a pot or container, make sure there is good drainage. This can be achieved by putting a layer of gravel or small rocks in before the dirt.
Tarragon has a healthy root system so be sure to give it plenty of room in the garden so that it doesn’t grow into another plant’s root system and choke it out. Because of this you will need to divide Tarragon every one to two years especially if grown in a pot.
Preparation and Care: Tarragon is a member of the Marigold family so it is pretty tough and can grow in most any conditions though it prefers light, well drained soil. If you have dense clay, work in some compost or sand to loosen it up. Tossing in a bit of bone meal before placing the plant in the hole should provide all the nutrients that the plant will need during it’s life.
Choose a sunny location in either spring or early fall to plant. Tarragon is pretty self sufficient once established. If you live in an area where temperatures get over 90 you may want to provide a location with a little shade.
Make sure there is plenty of air flow around the plants to prevent rot and disease.
Watering: Tarragon prefers to be kept on the drier side of things. Let the soil dry out a bit between watering. It may require more water in periods of drought.
Fertilize: Tossing a handful of bone meal or other organic matter or fertilizer into the hole before planting Tarragon should provide enough nutrients for the life of your plant. Some herbs produce an abundance of foliage when fertilized, but Tarragon is one such herb that does better and has more flavor in less fertile soil.
Harvesting: It seems that farming is definitely an early morning chore. It is best to harvest most herbs as soon as the dew has dried. If you wait until evening the sun tends to evaporate the oils that produce the flavor and aroma.
Clip 6-8 inch stems from your plant and carefully remove the leaves for use right away or to prepare for storage. You can hang bunches of Tarragon in a cool, dry place for a few days and then remove the leaves and store in an air tight container for several months. Chop the leaves and place them in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer. This method usually preserves the flavor best.
Common Insect Problems
Tarragon is not usually bothered by insects.
Common Disease Problems
Tarragon is not bothered by many diseases. The following may occur if planted where conditions stay wet.