Grow saffron hydroponically is one of the new methods of growing saffron which has been much discussed in the saffron community but has not yet been fully confirmed. Let’s be clear first: we have some concerns about the risks and costs of this method, so we cannot recommend it to everyone.
Do the voices of the older men come?
Yes, we must be careful not to endanger anyone with the wrong advice. But you can be brave and start some limited and controlled experiments, and we will be by your side.
Hydroponic Saffron Cultivation
We have two main greenhouse saffron methods:
- Grow saffron aeroponic
- Grow saffron hydroponic
The aeroponic method is based on feeding saffron plants with vapors and air droplets and has particular advantages and risks. In this method, we can control the weather conditions when harvesting saffron and increase the yield of the saffron farm.
Imagine you live in an area with heavy winter rains, and this leads to destroying some parts of your products, and it will be complicated to harvest saffron. In this condition, you can use greenhouse methods and protect your products.
Hydroponic methods are in development, and now, we can use them in the saffron planting process. We can grow saffron hydroponics in this method and benefit from its advantages. We desire to grow saffron in wet or icy areas, and now we can do this.
Maybe, the big difference and advantage of this method compared to the aeroponic process is no need to transfer saffron bulbs between the field and the greenhouse. But this method has not yet been thoroughly tested and proven, and in fact, everything should first be tested completely and then be recommended to others.
1. Hydroponic Saffron Farming Advantages
Hydroponic saffron cultivation provides some advantages for saffron farmers, and the brief of these advantages are as follows:
- The high density of saffron planting
- Reduce water consumption
- Reduce infections and diseases
- Possibility of producing organic saffron
- Control of environmental conditions and temperature
- Grow saffron in the coldest and even wettest places
- No need for land in the advanced method
In other words, we have some challenges and problems in the traditional saffron planting method, which this greenhouse method can solve. The most important of them is controlling adverse weather conditions.
Also, this method helps us to grow organic saffron. As you know, the primary source of infections and diseases is soil. If we grow saffron hydroponically, we will eliminate the most crucial source of pollution, so we will not need to use pesticides, and we will have organic saffron.
2. Hydroponic Saffron Risks
Every solution may have some risks, and planting hydroponic saffron is no exception to this rule. Some of the growing saffron hydroponically risks are as follows:
- Need a high investment in the starting work
- Need to expert human source
- The final saffron quality will not be better than cultivation in soil
- Limit in use of saffron harvesting machines
Planting saffron hydroponically needs significant investment to get started, and this is a considerable risk for something that is still in the testing phase. We should be aware of the cost of equipment and construction of a greenhouse and try to optimize and reduce them.
Also, we can’t use saffron harvesting machines in this method, and may we need some human force for harvesting the saffron process.
3. Results Reported
The result reported by this method shows that the quality of hydroponic saffron is not better than soil-planted saffron. It is because of the basicity of this method and the need for further research and studies.
Of course, multiple reports refer to the high efficiency of this method but based on our experience, these reports are not valid. They are designed solely to increase sales of saffron cultivation greenhouse equipment.
Now is the time of designing an outline for growing saffron hydroponically to have a clear insight into how to plant hydroponic saffron.
1. Suitable Hydroponic System
There are multiple hydroponics systems that we can use in the saffron greenhouse, but one of the most efficient of these systems is the NFT hydroponic system.
Discussing hydroponic systems is beyond our expertise, so please follow this from other specialized sources.
2. Nutritional Solution
A simple principle in this mechanism is to create similar soil conditions for plant growth in the most efficient way possible. For example, we should provide a balanced concentration of elements to have the highest rate of saffron flowering and decreased growth of vegetative parts of the plant.
Some of the essential nutrient elements that we should provide and optimize are N, P, k, Fe, Zn, S, B, Cu, and Ca. These elements are necessary to plant growth and naturally present in the soil, and if we want to grow saffron without soil, we should supply a proper combination of all materials in the ground.
Also, we should optimize water EC and PH to have the best performance. We should provide (EC < 2 and PH = 5.5).
This system gives us an excellent opportunity to plant plants. We now have the opportunity to create the best possible condition for plant growth. Maybe you can never optimize vegetative growth and compelling growth in the soil, but hydroponic systems can do this for us.
3. Adjust Temperature and Light
The Saffron plant is susceptible and relative to temperature and light, so we should provide enough light and temperature to grow saffron hydroponically. Depending on the time we choose to start flowering, we must reduce the temperature to zero degrees Celsius for a few days and, at the same time, provide nutrient elements in the water for feeding saffron seeds.
Imagine you want to start flowering time in the next ten days. You should decrease the temperature to under zero degrees Celsius for 3 to 5 days and begin feeding bulbs with water and nutrient elements. Your saffron flower blooms in the next few days, and you can harvest them.
Saffron plants need long light days, and we should provide more than 10 hours of light per day to have good growth. This light can be supplied by sunlight or even artificial lights in the greenhouse space.
4. Transfer Saffron Bulbs
We have one move of saffron bulbs from the greenhouse to the agricultural land in the greenhouse saffron cultivation methods. Still, some farmers could find solutions to avoid this moving and solve one of the most significant risks of greenhouse saffron production.
Our team is still researching this, but we will provide more information soon.
Growing saffron hydroponically can solve many of our problems in the traditional saffron planting methods, such as bad weather conditions, soil Salinity, producing organic saffron, etc. But our information about this method and its risk isn’t enough, and we should do more tests and solve the troubles.
Many people sell only dreams and, along with this sweet dream, also sell saffron greenhouse construction equipment. Please get enough insight first before doing anything.