After recently spending an afternoon getting my pea garden ready and planted, I am thankful for the herbs that I grow that just come back on their own – I wish the peas would do that! A lot of herbs come back – but not all of them. Today I wanted to talk about one of my favorite herbs, tarragon, and how it performs after a long Michigan winter.
Does Tarragon Survive the Winter?
Here in zone 5, I can confirm that tarragon is a perennial. It will regrow itself from it’s roots. Depending on the temperatures it will begin growing in late March to early April. It’s around the same time my tulips begin pushing up. When I see it begin growing, I snip off all the dead stems, to make sure it’s getting enough sun exposure. It’s one of the first herbs you should have coming up. I find that tarragon grows big enough for me to harvest before any of my other herbs (such as thyme, oregano, sage). The flavor is best at the start of the season.
How Does Tarragon Do in the Summer?
As we get into the warmer months it doesn’t perform as well or taste as good. It may seem like it’s not really growing anymore. If you are growing in a pot, and I think you should, you could move it to a cooler location in the summer time. No manner how badly my tarragon plant has looked in the summer, it keeps coming back each spring. Even if you think it has died, leave it alone, and see what happens in the spring – you may be surprised.
Uses for Fresh Tarragon
If you have an abundance of tarragon to use I have several ideas of what you can do with it. I really like it on carrots – boiled or roasted, with a drizzle of buckwheat, wildflower, or orange blossom honey. It’s great with fish or chicken. It’s an excellent addition to salads, just chop some up and toss it right with your greens. Or you could put it into your salad dressing, it goes perfect in blue cheese dressing. Check out my other blog, Eat Like No One Else for a smoky blue cheese dressing with tarragon.
Here are a few more recipes to check out:
Rainbow Salad & Homemade Dressing Recipes (with tarragon)
Oven Roasted Tender Juicy Chicken Breast
Pork Sirloin Roast