Mexican Tarragon is a type of Marigold that produces flavorful leaves. Similar to French Tarragon but easier to grow and better suited to Southern California.
Planting by Zones
- Tarragon is a tasty warm season crop that can grow from early spring until late fall. Southern California growers may grow tarragon year-round in frost-free areas.
- Sow seeds indoors 6–8 weeks before the last frost.
Planting Tarragon Seeds
- Tarragon seeds can be direct sown or transplanted (recommended). Regardless of how you begin, seeds should be planted into well-worked moist soil that is free of debris. Tarragon seeds are small and should be covered with finely sifted soil for the best results.
- If you are starting Tarragon in starter pots to transplant out, plant seeds on the top of moist high-quality seed starting soil and cover with 1/8” of finely sifted soil. When the seedlings are 3-4” tall, pinch back the tips; repeat after two weeks. Pinching the tips promotes branching and strengthens the plant. Harden off before planting outside.
- If you are direct sowing the seeds, make sure you sow them in thoroughly moistened soil. Tarragon thrives in full sun locations. Plant seeds on the top of moist high-quality seed starting soil and cover with 1/4” of finely sifted soil. Seeds must remain moist to germinate evenly and quickly. Thin and pinch back when the first set of true leaves appear.
- Space plants 8-12” apart.
- Keep your plants weed-free by pulling any weeds that may compete with your crop.
Growing Tarragon in Containers
- Tarragon is an excellent container crop. Make sure your container is at least 10” deep. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture.
- Harvest by snipping tarragon leaves as needed. Tarragon is best fresh or dried; the plant’s flowers are edible too!
Southern California Pro-tips
- In areas of Zones 9 and 10, tarragon is a very easy crop that will give you delicious foliage well into the fall and beyond.
- Mulch heavily around your tarragon plants to ensure the soil does not dry out or heat up too much. Compost added to the soil at the time of planting will help retain moisture in the soil during hot, dry weather.
- Tarragon grows well with other culinary herbs like marjoram, oregano, and summer savory.
- Mexican tarragon has bright yellow flowers that bloom all summer long attracting beneficial insects and deterring unwanted pests with their strong fragrance. It is especially beautiful planted with other flowering herbs like purple echinacea, calendula, and blue or scarlet sage.
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