Growing Mexican Mint Marigold is a great way to begin your herb garden. The leaves have a licorice-like flavor and can be a substitute for French tarragon when cooking. It does well in Texas heat and has beautiful yellow blooms all summer long. The blooms and flowers can be eaten.
This herb is also known as Tagetes Lucida, sweet mace, Mexican tarragon and Spanish tarragon.
Interestingly, here in the Southwest and in Latin Ameria, Mexican Mint Marigold is used on The Day of the Dead, the day after Halloween, as offerings to decorate the graves of the dearly departed.
Crushed dried leaves of the Mexican Mint Marigold are used in cooking, flavoring sauces and in soups. The flower petals are used as a garnish.
Plant these seeds in early spring or in the early fall in full sun in a well-draining raised bed. Plant seeds two feet apart. Do not over-water. This herb is drought tolerant and enjoys heat. It takes about 90 days from planting until maturity is reached.
When planting, do not plant the seeds deeper than about 1/4 inch. The seed is an embryo carrying enough energy to get the seedling to the surface. Once at the surface, it will use the sun to make more energy.
But if it is planted too deep, it will run out of energy before breaking to the surface and will die. They you will get upset with the seller of the seeds and say they sold old or bad seeds.
Proper depth and water are very important to new seedlings. Too much water and the seed will drown before it even gets a chance to start germinate.
You can begin harvesting the leaves of the Mexican Mint Marigold one at a time or you can cut branches off. Do not cut away more than half of the plant or it will not continue to grow. Always harvest early in the morning for maximum flavor. If harvested later on in the day, it will still smell good, but the delicious flavor will be gone.
Rinse the leaves in a bowl of warm water. Dry by placing in a salad spinner and spinning or with paper towels. Store in a baggie in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Mexican Mint Marigold aids the body in the digestion process. It also acts as a diuretic and as a stimulant.
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