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Thread: Saffron bulbs

  1. #1
    Carl is offline Seedling
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    Default Saffron bulbs

    Hi Everyone,

    Just wondering if anyone has any advice about growing saffron. I have 6 bulbs in 2 pots in a cheap plastic greenhouse, they all have leaves, I'm not too worried about getting flowers as I bought them because I just liked the idea of having saffron bulbs, however if anyone has any words of wisdom, it would be greatly appreciated.


    Carl
    Last edited by Carl; 13-11-2007 at 07:54 PM. Reason: spelling!

  2. #2
    mat
    mat is offline Germinator
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    They're a bit hit and miss in my experience, Carl; some years I get enough saffron for a few good meals, and then I'll get several years without any of them flowering at all.

    Saffron crocus grows very easily - but it doesn't flower easily.

    A few things worth trying ...

    Use very deep pots, the deepest you've got. Saffron bulbs like to be planted deep. Don't let the bulbs become crowded; they're fussy about that, too. Make sure you've got really good drainage in the compost - they're even fussier about that.

    Some say it's worth putting the pots into the (unheated) greenhouse during the winter, after flowering (or if they don't flower), to help bulk up the bulb for next year. Flowers come from big bulbs, not small ones. Certainly water and feed while the plants are green.

    When they do flower (any time from Oct to Dec, I find), the bit you're after is the stigma; long, red, floppy things sticking out of the bloom. Pinch them off as soon as they appear - first thing in the morning, preferably - using tweezers. The stigma are joined together at the base - take them as one unit. Put that on a bit of loo paper, folded over to stop the "red gold" from blowing away, and put it somewhere moderately warm (kitchen, perhaps), for a day or three, until it is completely dry - really dry and papery to the touch. Then keep it in a jar with a good lid, in the dark.

    Saffron potato salad on Boxing Day ... now that really does impress the non-gardeners!

    And - to any passing browser - please remember only to use saffron crocus for cooking ... if you eat any part of the Autumn Crocus you will die. Which will probably get you into trouble at work.

  3. #3
    Carl is offline Seedling
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    Thanks for that Mat, looks as though I will have to change those pots - good to hear that you've had some flowers though - there's hope!

    Carl

  4. #4
    Rhona's Avatar
    Rhona is offline Early Fruiter
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    Just reviving this ancient thread...I'm going to try some this year. I've had a hankering to have a go for about 7 years. I read the Windowbox Allotment over and over (didn't even have a window box at the time!) and the author convinced me to give it go at some point. We use quite a lot of saffron - love paella and tagines - but really just for the thrill of doing it.

    Anyone else had a bash?

  5. #5
    WeeGarden's Avatar
    WeeGarden is offline Sprouter
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    I've been looking to have a bash too, in a trough. But I'm paranoid about getting the wrong bulbs...

  6. #6
    stella's Avatar
    stella is offline Cropper
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    Me too, (the wrong bulbs I mean). Where can you get them from.

  7. #7
    WeeGarden's Avatar
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    I found some here

    ...but it doesn't give any indication that it's edible.
    Last edited by WeeGarden; 04-02-2010 at 03:25 PM.

  8. #8
    Rhona's Avatar
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    There's a couple of good suppliers of saffron corms - I'll dig out the details and post.
    I don't roll on Shabbos

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