Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tarragon

Tarragon is another herb plant that I bought from Sg. Buloh in August, the same batch with the dill. I did a search from the web, and found out that this variety is the French Tarragon.


These are some interesting facts about tarragon from the web :


"Also known as Artemisia dracunculus, tarragon is a perennial herb and the leaves are used for seasoning, especially vinegar.


Tarragon grows to two or three feet tall and likes moderate sun, preferring a little shade during the warmest part of the day. It grows well in a rich loamy soil that holds moisture, but drains well. Mulching is beneficial to this end.



Tarragon is unique in that during growth, it seems to have little aroma, yet after the leaves or tops are harvested, the oils concentrate and start emitting their unique tarragon sweet smell, similar to freshly cut hay.



Tarragon propagates best through root division, planting the divisions at least 18 inches apart. Since tarragon has a shallow root system, care must be taken not to damage the roots when weeding, and special care must be shown during the winter after transplanting, as the root systems will not have developed fully.



Tarragon is used in vegetable dishes and soups, mild cheeses, egg dishes, fish and white sauces."


The plant started to flower in November, and this interesting info from the web states that there are approx 6000 seeds for each gram of dried seeds! Can you believe it! 


It grows very well during the first few months and even harvested some leaves for my dinner!


These are the leaves which I "harvest" from the plant for a baked chicken, see photo below, 


Yummy!


 Unfortunately, the plant starts to show signs of wilting after it started to flower, 


The flowers of a tarragon plant, yellow in colour and really small


Are these seeds? Further research from the web states that "French tarragon can only be grown from root or stem cuttings, or by dividing an already established plant. Even if your French tarragon blooms, the chance of it actually setting seeds is virtually nil."


 That's all the "seeds" collected


I'm not sure whether I did it right. The flowers are still visible although it is dried. It is extremely small, so it is very difficult to see. These may not be the seeds after all. They may just be the dried flowers! The only way to find out is to sow the "seeds" and wait for them to germinate! 



This is what's left, I pruned the branches, hoping that it will grow new leaves! I propagate some of the stems when I pruned the plant and keeping my fingers crossed that they will root. If all these three methods fails, then I guess, I just have to pay a visit to Sg. Buloh again!



Does anyone knows about the seeds of tarragon? Would appreciate for more details on this. Funny thing is, a search from the web for a picture of the seeds are fruitless. 

There are much for me to learn about growing Tarragon!





11 comments:

  1. I always have Tarragon in my kitchen garden as it adds a very delicate flavour to certain dishes, and it is also a traditional herb for French people (such as me!).
    However, I have always heard as well that you could not create a new plant from seeds but from cuting or dividing only.
    So the result of your experience will be very interesting.
    My Tarragon plant look always dead during our harsh winters...and then new shoots pops up in the first days of spring...the beauty of Nature, isn't it?

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  2. I guess we just have to wait and see. I saw some photo where they pickle something and put a sprig of tarragon inside the bottle look very nice.I saw in seed catalog Russian and Mexican Tarragon. But not French ones.This is another fun experiment you are doing. Do keep us update.

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  3. You've just introduced something new to me. Thanks. The leaves seem quite similar to rosemary.

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  4. Stopping by from Miz Helen's Country Cottage, congratulations!

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  5. I hope your 'seeds' will give you some tarragons. Keep us update! ...p/s your baked chicken looks yummy!

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  6. Hi DeeBee,
    Thank you for stopping by! Yes, nature's beauty does has its own surprises, often unexpected! In my case, I hope it will give me some nice surprises, though I think that there is a very slim chance or none at all that the "seeds" will germinate! Anyway, keeping my fingers crossed for this one!

    Hi Diana,
    I have not seen other varieties of Tarragon here, only the French ones, which is usually used in the kitchen. Will definitely keep you update on my 'experiment', hopefully with happy results!

    Hi One,
    Not many of us know of tarragon, as these are usually used in Western and European cuisines. The leaves are softer than the rosemary's, even though there are similarities in their shapes. The smell of tarragon is very mild compared to the strong smell of rosemary.

    Hi Melynda,
    Thank you! Nice to see you here. Miz Helen is really sweet! You're welcome to browse thru my very tiny garden anytime!

    Hi milka,
    Yes, I do really, really, hope that the "seeds" from the tarragon will reward me with little plants! The chicken was really good...he! he! the family really enjoyed it!

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  7. Have always wondered about this herb... hope those are really seeds that you collected... keep us posted on it...

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  8. I hope your seeds do well...not sure about starting from seed as mine were from organic 2" starters, but as I am in California an winters are not very harsh, mine have continued to grow. Excited to see how this turns out :)

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  9. The baked chicken looks so tasty! You're really good in cooking! I wish you're my neighbour so tht i can learn baking from you!
    I never plant Tarragon before but i hope yours will be growing fine!

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  10. Sow more seeds. If successful, keep one baby plant for me!! :) Tarragon chicken smells good!!

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  11. I love Tarragon and just bought my seeds for the first time. Often I can't get them fresh here in Alaska.

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