Growing saffron is not complicated, but you have to consider the quantities needed to obtain the spice. It is a plant with a high degree of adaptability to both the climate and the soil, as long as it has good drainage and there are no stagnations. Here are some tips on how to grow it.
1) If you want to dedicate land to the cultivation of saffron, work it the year before, in autumn. As for the fertilization, if necessary, provide with mature manure.
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2) Start cultivating towards the end of summer, from July to September, according to your area. Plant the bulbs with the tuft upwards, to a depth of about 10-15 centimeters. How to organize the rows? There are several methods; one is to make two or four grooves that are about 15-20 centimeters wide. On the sides, plan for two additional, wider grooves so that you can pass through them.
3) About two weeks after planting, rearrange the furrows with the rake.
4) Let nature take its course, that is, let the rains feed the bulbs. In fact, you do not have to water saffron.
5) Around October-November, you will see the flowers appear; pick them up at dawn, very early in the morning, before they open.
6) During the day, you must take the stigmas, the red filaments which, dried in a ventilated oven or the dryer, make up the spice. The process is called grazing or hulling.
7) In the meantime, the bulbs remain in the ground, and other small bulbs originate from the mother bulb, the bulbils. What to do? There are two schools of thought; there are those who leave them in the ground for a few years and those who prefer to remove them to replant them in another land, to favor subsequent production. The choice is yours.
8) When you extract the bulbs, clean them and remove the tunics and the mother, or the dried parts; you can replant them in properly worked soil, but throw away the damaged ones. Consider that those smaller than 2.5 centimeters are not very productive. Usually, they are eliminated.
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9) As for the leaves, you can cut them when they turn yellow and eventually feed them to the animals.
10) When growing saffron, beware of mice, moles, diseases such as fusarium.
11) In general, don’t grow saffron in the same place. Usually, it takes 10 years to put it back in the same land.
Adapted and translated by Wiki Avenue Staff