Aromatic plants

Saffron cultivation

The water supply in the cultivation of saffron

The cultivation of saffron does not require frequent irrigation. The saffron plant resists well even to short torrid periods characterized by prolonged drought. Only in this case, with the approach of summer, it might be recommended to wet the ground. During seasons when rains occur naturally, saffron plants placed outdoors will grow without additional watering. Indeed, throughout the life of the plant we will have to periodically check that no water stagnations form and that the soil is able to absorb rain. Puddles and stagnations are very dangerous for the integrity of the bulbs. The plant grown in pot, perhaps sheltered from rainfall, can be watered in moderation if necessary,

Cultivation techniques and care

Saffron is planted starting from the bulbs. They can be taken from an already developed plant or purchased online on gardening sites or at a specialized nursery. It is essential, for a correct cultivation of saffron, to find healthy bulbs, with dimensions of at least 3-4 cm. We will go to plant the bulbs in September, being able to choose the cultivation in pots and placing more seedlings inside the same container or placing them in the open field, spaced a few centimeters apart to promote air circulation and growth. We will periodically remove the weeds that will grow near the base of the plant by subtracting the nutrients contained in the earth. We will operate manually or with the aid of a hoe without acting in depth.

Soil and fertilization

The soil for the cultivation of saffron must be prepared in advance. We can start digging as early as the spring preceding the planting of the plants. Plowing and digging must be carried out in depth, with a manual intervention of at least 40 cm, trying to eliminate the clods and make the soil as friable and draining as possible. We can add organic fertilizer or mature manure, possibly adding it with natural compost. We will mix the fertilization to the earth with the help of a rake, compacting gently and letting it rest so that the decomposition takes place completely before moving on to sowing operations.

Saffron cultivation: Exposure, climate and adversity

The ideal place to grow saffron in Italy is in the hills, reaching altitudes of 500 m above sea level. The saffron plant resists intense cold, even at temperatures that drop 10 degrees below zero. It also tolerates hot summers, withstanding temperatures above 35 ° C. The saffron plant can be attacked by wild rabbits and mice that can be kept away with specific products that can be purchased in gardening and DIY stores, avoiding as much as possible overly aggressive chemicals. It is a hardy enough plant that shouldn’t be attacked by serious diseases. However, rot can arise affecting both the aerial part and the bulb. The cause is most often sought in incorrect irrigation. Limiting additional watering interventions should solve the problem. The pistils are consumed from the saffron, taken from the flower, dried and reduced to the known powder to enrich risottos and other dishes.

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