How to Grow Saffron (5 Steps)
Have you ever heard about the word saffron? Probably now you are wondering what it is, and why do you need to plant one?
Well, cutting any other intros, saffron is a perennial spice plant that is also called as red gold. The saffron is the stigma of the flowering plant named crocus sativus or known as the saffron crocus. It is used as a coloring agent and seasoning in the food industry. The saffron thread in the saffron flower is collected, dried, and used for spice. It has a sweet-smelling herb and a strong aroma with a bitter taste. The saffron is one of the costliest spices traded across the globe.
Why is it that saffron is said to be expensive? It is costly because it requires a high labor cost. Yielding saffron is only once in a few years, although it is grown commercially in many parts of the world.
Although our main topic here is “how to grow saffron” from bulbs and planting methods of saffron, I will give you at the same time the benefits and uses of saffron as enumerated below:
- Saffron is good for digestion
- It helps in curing asthma
- Saffron boosts brain health
- It may cure conditions of insomnia
- Saffron helps in improving vision
- It fights against certain types of cancer
- Saffron helps treat inflammation
- It is suitable for the liver and heart
- Saffron boosts immune power
- It is ideal during pregnancy
- Saffron is a good wound healer
- It is used as a perfume in cosmetics
- Saffron is used as a culinary seasoning
- It is used in “Ayurveda” to heal arthritis
Giving you also the top producing countries of Saffron:
Let us go to our main topic, “how to grow saffron?” These are some steps and procedures:
First – Purchase A Crocus Corm
The first step is to purchase a crocus corm that is fresh and is useful or ready to plant. Buying this plant is available through online and other local plant stores.
Second – Find A Planting Location
Now that you have the seeds or the crocus corm to be planted, the next step is to prepare or find the right location to plant it. The best area to plant it is the place where it has a full shade of the sun and has well-draining soil. You can also loosen the soil by tilting it before planting. You can also add an organic matter for about 10 inches (25 cm) to the ground. An example of organic matters is the shredded leaves, compost, peat, and more. By adding an organic matter, it helps in providing a nutrient to the crocus bulbs and makes it survive, especially during the winter season.
A little tip for you. If your garden has a pest, you should plant your corms in containers as an alternative. In this procedure, you will need plastic milk crates, weed cloth, and duct tape to secure. Choose a container with drainage holes. Secure your line plastic milk crates with duct tape. Be sure that your plastic milk crates contain weed cloth. You can fill the milk crate with topsoil for about 5 inches or 13 cm.
Also, you should plant the crocus earlier—the ground freezes. For better results, you should plant the corms for about 6 to 8 weeks before the depth frost of the season. Well, it also depends on the climate in your location, but relatively it is good, from October to November.
Third – Plant Your Corms
You must plant your crocus corms in clusters rather than planting in rows. Planting the flowers into groups has a big chance for it to grow better. By planting the crocus, it is also advised that you plant it for about 3 inches or 7.6 cm distance from each other. And you must cluster it for about a group of ten to twelve.
Fourth – Water Your Corms
Water your corms regularly during autumn because this is the growing season of crocus corms. During this time, always keep the soil moist, but be sure not to water-log it. In watering your corms here are the following tips:
- Water your corms 1-2 times per week
- Gauge the moistness of your soil by inserting your two fingers into the soil
- If the soil are still wet after a day, change your watering schedule only for once a week
- If the land is parched after a day of watering, adjust your schedule to water it three times per week
Fifth – Apply Fertilizer
The fifth step is to apply fertilizer to the plant. This is best to do once every season. So, if your area is in a short warm spring, you should apply fertilizer during the early fall. And if you are living in the area that has a high spring temperature, you should use compost in the bulbs after it flowers. By adding the fertilizer during this season, it will help build up substantial storage of carbohydrates to the plant. And our best to help the plant to also survive up to the succeeding year.
After the planting season, the next is the harvesting time. For a little tip in harvesting the saffron plant, here is the proper procedure to do it.
The first thing that you should have is patience. This is because every corm can only produce one flower, and each of the flowers only have three saffron stigmas. This means to say that at the end of your harvest, you will only wind up with a tiny bit of usable saffron. Carefully remove by your fingers the stigmas from each of your crocus bloom. Also, wait for a sunny day for the flowers to fully blooms. For a good harvest, you should find three orange-red stigmas in the center of each purple crocus flower.
Let the saffron dry and store it in a cool, dry area. You can also place them in a paper towel. The saffron is too good to store in an airtight container, which is also good to last up to five years. An additional tip, you can use the saffron for your recipes as simple as soaking the dried stigma into a hot liquid. Which could be water, milk, or even both. Soups, baked goods, potatoes and other dishes, saffron, are also useful in addition to it. By adding the stigmas with the liquid allows it to release its flavor and colors more.
So, that’s it! We hope that we have provide you an ample knowledge, especially in growing the saffron.