There are two main types of tarragon: French and Russian. The taste of French tarragon is stronger and the leaves more tender, whilst Russian tarragon is easier to grow with a milder flavour, but the leaves are more chewy. French tarragon is the preferred choice of many cooks. The flavour of tarragon goes well with baked fish and adding flavour to oils, with a taste a mixture between aniseed and vanilla.
French tarragon is typically not grown from seed, but bought from garden centres. These plants have been grown from cuttings or runners of a mature plant. Tarragon can be invasive, like mint. Growing in a bottomless pot submerged in soil helps to keep growth under control. Tarragon naturally dies back in late autumn, and if growing in pots, it will need protection in freezing weather. Russian tarragon can be grown from seed. Both varieties should be well watered for the best quality leaves.
Planting: February-April (Russian tarragon) (buy French tarragon as plants)
Planning what to grow? See the allotment planner and record keeper.