How to grow saffron
Saffron is one of the most valuable crops that can be grown and which, knowing the necessary precautions, can be easy to produce. In fact, for each hectare of land, Crocus sativus crops that are more productive and in ideal conditions can reach a yield of 3 kg of saffron. It may seem a small yield but if you consider the price of this very precious spice, which can reach for only one gram of pistils the price of 25 – 30 euros (practically how much gold) is understood as a hectare of cultivation can give an income gross of 75,000 to 90,000 euros.
However, cultivating saffron is not difficult; in fact it is a rustic species and very resistant to diseases but whose cultivation obviously has high production costs, this because saffron is produced manually and not with machines.
The cultivation of saffron starts from the planting of the chromium that can occur in the ground or in pot on the terrace or balcony (the saffron bulbs are chromium).
To start cultivation, just choose a well-drained soil and a sunny exposure.
The chromium begins to vegetate and then to flower from the end of October until the end of November while the crop of Crocus sativus flowers for saffron production takes place in December.
The chromium of Crocus sativus should be buried with the tip upwards and at a depth twice that of their height and placed in a luminous position. They are buried between the end of August and the beginning of September. It is always necessary to avoid cultivating saffron with wet soil (shortly after a rain), in fact saffron is sensitive to rotting and does not tolerate water stagnation.
For the harvest, consider that the stigmas of the flowers must collect just after the opening of the flower. The stigmas must be collected manually and then transferred to a dry place for drying. The flowers should be cut and the red stigmas should be removed with extreme delicacy and with the help of tweezers. The stigmas must be placed in a small container and left to dry. At this point they can be transferred to a jar.
Remember that after the harvest of the stigmas, in multi-year cultivations, the cultivation cures continue. In fact, it is necessary to give the right care to the plants even after flowering to have excellent yields even in the following years.
In winter, saffron does not need to be protected from frost, while during the vegetative cycle, saffron should be irrigated only during periods of real drought. Remember that due to its physiology, in the summer, saffron should not be irrigated.
For the cultivation system the distance between the bulbs must be at least 5 cm. This distance must also be respected in pot cultivations. The distance between the rows should be 50 cm to allow cleaning work between the rows.