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Thread: Growing your own Saffron?

  1. #1

    Default Growing your own Saffron?

    Would this be possible?

    I have a little space in my garden where I have created a raised box from sleepers, I am planning to use it for something, but everyones advice is to make it something useful, rather than something that will just go to waste.

    So i thought about spices I can dry and use, then I thought about saffron, being tighter than a drum skin i never use saffron becaise of the price, but if i can grow it, well it opens up loads of ideas!!

    Saffron Tea for example http://www.ehow.com/how_2177298_kash...ffron-tea.html
    The things that come to those who wait will be the things left by those who got there first.

  2. #2
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    I think you need an awful lot of crocuses to get any decent amount of saffron. I don't think Falkirk has the climate for it either, it's not even hot enough in Kirkliston. The saffron crocus flowers in autumn and it'll still need to be warm.

    I love the stuff, every time someone I know goes to the Mediterranean - where's it's obviously much cheaper - I ask them to bring me some back.
    Last edited by locum76; 26-04-2011 at 20:25.
    speak softly and carry a great big stick...

  3. #3
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    Spices which will work outdoors in summer are coriander, horseradish, fennel. Horseradish would work well in a box as it can be quite invasive.
    speak softly and carry a great big stick...

  4. #4
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    If anyone has a source for saffron crocuses would they let me know ?
    I'll try it here, I can borrow a garden that's in full sun

    cheers,
    M
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain.

  5. #5
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    Believe it or not, Sutton's have started selling them:

    http://www.suttons.co.uk/Gardening/F...FYFB4QodllsTAA

    and a better deal from dobies:

    http://www.dobies.co.uk/Shop/Flower+...cus+230169.htm
    Last edited by locum76; 26-04-2011 at 20:31.
    speak softly and carry a great big stick...

  6. #6

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    The things that come to those who wait will be the things left by those who got there first.

  7. #7
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    I've got into this thread a bit quick, cheers for that johnny.

    Here's some decent chat on the subject if you decide to go ahead.

    http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gra...lbs_10829.html

    It looks easier than I thought - well worth a go.
    Last edited by locum76; 26-04-2011 at 20:32.
    speak softly and carry a great big stick...

  8. #8
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    Brilliant

    Thanks folks

    cheers,
    M
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain.

  9. #9

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    Surely it would be ok here, its grown in the moutains in allot of places!! falkrik is no that bad lol, i can make the raised bed into a mini green house and where it is situated is in the sun all day and sheletered by fencing right round my garden!! I'm no expert Locum, but the links i seen said it was easy to grow!! the box is about 4ft by 8ft, do you think its worth a shot?
    The things that come to those who wait will be the things left by those who got there first.

  10. #10
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    Absolutely, having read up on it a bit more I fancy a go too. Like I said I love the stuff.

    I'll see you two in October for a saffron party.
    speak softly and carry a great big stick...

  11. #11

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    lol we will end up with that much saffron it will be getting used in everything, sloe and saffron gin :-D

    I was thinking if it worked it might make an addition to family christmas presents!!
    The things that come to those who wait will be the things left by those who got there first.

  12. #12
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    Very difficult growing the saffron crocuses north of the mediteranian, it needs specific weather conditions,a warm spring with a certain quantity of rainfall ( just before flowering) & a hot, dry summer........ it hates cool as well as hot & humid conditions while in flower,...they are very susceptible to rot if the weather is wet during the summer......If you can get hold of some bulbs & can afford to loose them, why not try.

  13. #13

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    Have you tried it timberwolf? interested in any tips you could give us from success or failure?
    The things that come to those who wait will be the things left by those who got there first.

  14. #14

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    The things that come to those who wait will be the things left by those who got there first.

  15. #15

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    We've grown it for several years and not had many problems with it, if anything it's quite an easy plant to grow. I'm in Surrey, so not that far north but I know it's grown in Wales.

    We grow the bulbs in large tubs and have always got it to flower. IIRC you plant the bulbs deep to flower and less deep so they produce extra bulbs, although we've always found they bulk up quite quickly.

    No problems with cold weather, they seem to survive cold, snow and ice. I don't know about damp as ours never sit in very wet soil. They do flower in Autumn and the leaves grow in Autumn and Winter.

    Main problem we've had is mice eating bulbs that we've lifted and stored.

  16. #16
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    Mmm, thats a tasty recipe. Given that the general advice in the UK is to plant saffron bulbs/corms out in august for an October harvest what are you going to put in your box until then? Like I said coriander runs to seed quite quickly around here out of doors in the summer. You might be able to get two spice crops in one year..
    speak softly and carry a great big stick...

  17. #17

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    Well that would be great idea locum, also slowworm just pointed out something, pests!!! my garden gets a pile of rabbits, so the coriander would be a test run for potetial pest damage!!

    I have never gardened in my life, why would you lift and store bulbs?
    The things that come to those who wait will be the things left by those who got there first.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnytheboy View Post
    I have never gardened in my life, why would you lift and store bulbs?
    I don't after the mice got them.

    The bulbs only spend about 6 months of the year growing so I lifted them to prevent them rotting off or something. Sadly I did't think the mice would get them, now I just leave them in pots. Squirrels could also be a problem but some fine chicken wire laid over the soil surface should stop them.

    If you've never gardened before I'm not sure they'd be the first thing I'd suggest growing. As has been said earlier, they don't produce a huge amount.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnytheboy View Post
    Have you tried it timberwolf? interested in any tips you could give us from success or failure?
    No I've never tried as I don't have the necessary weather conditions & quite frankly for what you harvest, 3 stigmas per plant, you need an aweful lot of crocuses if you want to do more than just flavour 1 paella . As well as the weather there are a lot of wee beasties & furries that just love to nible them.....growing under cover is not really ideal as it can get damp & they just love dry heat when in flower,......It's a lot of work & worry for the result, As I said if you're motivated give it a go,...you may get lucky, & a 1976 summer is just around the corner ( optimitic or what ?)

  20. #20

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    Loads of squirrels about here as well!! I forsee allot of squirrel and rabbit getting eaten soon, how do they go with coriander and saffron :-D

    I work in a ferrari bodyshop, I think the apprentice will be welding up a mesh cage/greenhouse frame to protect the box!!
    The things that come to those who wait will be the things left by those who got there first.

  21. #21
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    Tbh I live next to a nature walk and if there's a beast that'll eat something in my garden, it's here. Nothing eats the crocus but the sparrows pull the yellow flowers off. No idea why they don't touch the blue or purple ones at all.

    If each wee bulb can be coaxed to grow five or six flowers, that's two bulbs worth per meal.....and that's a lot of saffron
    I'm fond of the stuff and use if quite a lot, it's the labour costs that make it expensive but I'll not mind picking it in my own garden

    cheers,
    M
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain.

  22. #22

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    true toddy, one site said plant 4" apart, so in my wee 8x4ft box i could get quite a few in!! the thing about all this is it could open up allot of new recipes that might have been impractical from a fincial perspective previously
    The things that come to those who wait will be the things left by those who got there first.

  23. #23
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    Sounds like an idea to me, as pound for pound, saffron is more expensive than gold - you could literaly grow your own money plants!
    Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional

  24. #24
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    They have been grown successfully in the UK. In Saffron Walden in Essex in the 16th century and 17th century the saffron crocus was widely grown, hence the name of the place.


    Geoff
    "An old forager is a good forager, that is why he is an old forager."

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy View Post
    If each wee bulb can be coaxed to grow five or six flowers, that's two bulbs worth per meal.....and that's a lot of saffron
    I've found you're more likely just to get a single flower per bulb, but then the bulb will produce several smaller bulbs so, after a few years, you can build up a large supply of bulbs which will flower. But then you will need a decent amount of space.

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