Touted as one of the most expensive spices, saffron is used for its medicinal and therapeutic properties. It is also used in an array of cuisines and can be cultivated with utmost ease.
Growing Saffron – Tips and Techniques
You can purchase the plant or blub from a plant nursery or a garden centre for growing saffron. These are readily available and one can also find the same online, if it is not available in the neighbourhood. Next step is to find an appropriate place in your garden to plant it. Ideally, one should dig a 4-inch hole to plant the same. It is best to plant as many bulbs you can while growing saffron, as each plant produces only minute quantities of saffron. While planting multiple bulbs, ensure that you leave a space of at least 4-5 inches between each bulb so that each of those receive nutrients from soil in equal proportion. This can be grown indoors as well.
Saffron Flower – Extracting Saffron
The saffron flower is lavender in colour and can add grace and beauty to your garden. Each flower possesses about 3 red coloured stigmas. These stigmas are processed to obtain saffron. Few studies and researchers have suggested that making of one pound of saffron involves the processing of stigmas from over 75000 flowers. Extracting the stigmas from a saffron flower is a very tedious process and is performed manually. The stigma from each flower is pulled out cautiously by means of tweezers. The red coloured stigma from each flower is then carefully air dried and then sealed in appropriate containers to keep its aroma and potency intact.
Saffron Bulbs – Growth Tips
Ensure that you pick healthy, firm, unspoiled and slightly moist saffron bulbs. Most essential point to remember while planting these bulbs is to plant the same in soil rich in nutrients. You can add adequate manure, compost and fertilizer beforehand and prepare the soil to cultivate saffron. The best time to plant saffron bulbs is during springs. Unlike other plants, this does not need as much watering during summers, as it is inactive during this season. It is essential to water it on a regular basis during spring season when it comes to life. Make certain that the plants receive at least 5-8 hours of sunlight every day.