Any gourmet knows that even the smallest touch of saffron raises the dish to another level and leaves beautiful and vibrant yellow colour.
Since it is a very expensive spice, many wants to know is it possible and how to to grow saffron at home.
Besides this answer, we bring you other useful advice on how to grow a healthy and useful plant.
Is It Possible To Grow Saffron At Home And Why You Should Do It
Growing saffron at home may be very successful and can save you a lot of money. This can be ideal for people who like to try gardening and enjoy spending time with plants. What is more, it can be very decorative as a flower so it’s a good idea to use it to decorate your kitchen island or to decorate your kitchen counters. It is completely possible to grow saffron very easily and for beginners and can adjust to a different climate. The high price is because of its quantity and hard harvesting. Each bulb produces only one flower and a tiny red stigma, which is the female part of a plant that is used for spice. With satisfying some basic needs, it can be grown in any home and you can get first results even in the first year of growing.
Types Of Saffron To Grow
Several types of saffron can be used as a spice. They differ in flavour and colour, but mostly in the part of the world where they grow. Kashmiri saffron is typical in India and has a rich flavour, but its colour can vary to dark red and purple. Aquila saffron is one of the most produced species and grows in Iran. It is typically red and has a rich and deep flavour. Spanish saffron has a milder taste and colour similar to orange. It is specific for the Mediterranean area and part of their most popular dishes.
How To Grow Saffron At Home In The Greenhouse
For colder climates and better results, it is best to use a greenhouse that will protect plants from colder temperatures and freezing. The first step is to find the ideal greenhouse for your needs, which can be smaller or bigger depending on the place you want to grow it. Also, be sure that it has a minimum of 8 hours of daylight much needed for correct growing. The easiest way is to grow it in containers and with humus soil. The usual time for planting in containers is July, although you can do it till August. In well-prepared soil, plant them 4 inches deep and apart from the other. Saffron likes a drier climate, so it needs to be watered once in 7 days. Also, you need to fertilize it once a month during the growing time. You should rotate soil every four to five years to avoid some common problems, like a fungal disease.
Growing Saffron In Open Space
In a milder climate, you can grow saffron in the open space. There are two main techniques, annually or periodically. You can plant them in containers or directly into the ground, depending on how much you want them to grow. Be sure to leave enough space between bulbs because they will duplicate during the time. The ideal soil is well-drained with enough organic material in it. The ideal position is on the full sun, but you should water it only during the long dry period. Be sure that you fertilize it during the growing period and protect bulbs before winter and soil freezing. Also, plant it away from other edible roots and vegetables and check them annually to split excess bulbs and spot any disease on time.
Saffron is very delicate and takes more time to harvest than any other spice. It flowers eight weeks after planting, usually around October. Its stigma is very fragile, so you need to delicately plug it and use tweezers to do so. The green part of the plant, including leaves, should be naturally left to die. Flowers should be harvested during dry weather because rain can damage stigmas which will lead to milder taste and colour. Once stigma is removed, you need to dry it, so use a paper towel and leave it for a day or two to rest. Once it is dehydrated, store it in an airtight container.
Food And Health Benefits
Saffron is a rare space that is used in many cuisines around the world. It has a deep flavour, but most importantly, it has a bright yellow colour that gives many dishes intense colour. Usually, it is used with rice, lamb and a lot of vegetables. Some of the most popular dishes that contain saffron are risotto and paella. It’s always a good idea to add saffron to a healthy rice cooker when cooking rice. Besides nutritional benefits, it should be consumed because is rich in antioxidants and minerals like calcium and iron.
To Wrap It Up
If you was wondering how to grow saffron at home, you could learn the most common ways to plan it. Saffron is a very expensive and delicate spice that can be grown at home. The high price is mostly because of delicate harvesting, but growing it is pretty simple and requires a minimum of care, like good soil and watering. Besides colour, it should be consumed for its health benefits. You can store it easily using one of the best kitchen vacuum sealers or use it while cooking with a electric cooker steamer.