It seems that saffron cultivation was common in England a few hundred years ago, and at that time, England was one of the important centers of trading and growth of saffron in the world. Due to some socio-economic developments, the center of saffron cultivation gradually left Europe and went east.
Now we have a new trend in the saffron industry, and saffron is back in Europe. We are now at the beginning of a golden age, an era in which the saffron trade will enter a new phase, and the latest technology of saffron planting will be our drivers on this road.
Is Saffron Cultivation a Profitable Business?
Saffron is not a common spice and is used as an approved medicinal herb to treat many diseases. Every year, we see a growth in saffron consumption demand in the market, and this, along with the exit of the leading saffron producing countries from the global market, can be a sign of growth in saffron prices.
Even without considering all the signs, we are witnessing a high price of saffron in the British saffron market, which is an excellent sign to enter the saffron production business.
When to Plant Saffron Crocus Bulbs in the UK?
The time of planting saffron bulbs can vary related to climate, but July, August, September, and early October are suitable for saffron planting in the Uk.
This time is suited for saffron planting on farms and soil. Of course, in greenhouse saffron cultivation, we have different time programs which change due to some environmental factors.
How to Grow Saffron in the Uk
The basic of growing saffron in the Uk is very simple and is the same as growing other crops. But if you want to grow saffron as a business, you should know and do some professional techniques that increase the quality and quantity of your products.
The saffron market in the Uk is very good for future saffron farmers and is relatively bad for consumers, It is ideal that a high percentage of people can consume saffron and enjoy its benefits, but at this price of saffron in the UK we do not think we are even close to that point.
One of the goals of our team is able to reduce the cost of saffron by spreading the culture of planting it, and eventually, more people will be able to consume saffron.
Before everything, you should buy saffron bulbs. We should prepare 0.5 to 1 kg of saffron bulbs per square meter in the best and ideal form. Of course, this amount is related to multiple factors such as humidity, cultivation bed, and your strategy.
Sometimes we want to plant saffron in the greenhouse, and we should prepare big size saffron bulbs. This saffron bulb is more than 15g and can grow fast and flower in the first year.
We usually use median saffron bulbs (8 to 15g) to plant on the farm, this type of bulb is suited for long-term saffron growing strategy, and we can harvest saffron for 5 to 7 years.
You can buy our saffron bulbs from local suppliers of saffron farmers in the Uk, We mention some saffron farmers in the Uk at the end of this post, and you can contact them and get advice.
Also, you can buy your saffron bulbs from saffron bulb suppliers in the Netherlands.
2. Soil Preparation
Soil preparation is a very important step in the saffron growing process, when we plant our bulbs in the soil, we can let them remain in the soil for 5 to 7 years and this shows the importance of having good soil.
We should enrich the soil with fertilizers and modify the soil texture. This step is related to your farm soil structure and we can’t say what you should do exactly, but some of the usual functions are as follows:
- Strengthen the soil with animal-based fertilizers
- Physical weed control
- Plow the land a few months before planting
- Plowing to a depth of 20 cm
3. Planting Bulbs in Soils
After completing the previous steps. Plant the bulbs in the soil between July and early October. It would be best to plant bulbs individually and in a row at a distance of 10 cm.
Also, the distance of each row from the side row should be about 15 to 20 cm.
Water management is one of the most important steps in the saffron growing process. If you live in a humid and rainfall area, you don’t need to water your farm, and the rain is enough for your saffron bulbs.
If necessary, you can send us information about your area so that we can think about how to manage your farm. Also, you can read saffron irrigation related posts on our blog.
5. Harvesting and Processing
Saffron bulbs start flowering around mid-autumn depending on your geographical area, and you should harvest the saffron flowers within ten days.
After picking the flowers, you should separate the saffron strand from the flowers and then dry them.
Suitable Cities for Saffron Growing in England
1. Saffron at Essex
Essex and Saffron Walden is a familiar name in the British saffron market. This area is one of the main important saffron cultivation centers in England, which has had many activities in saffron advertising and tourism.
The temperature range of this area is between 35 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, which is very suitable for planting saffron.
Devon is one of the areas in England where saffron is grown. If you look at the climatic conditions of this region, you will notice that it has a favorable temperature and conditions for growing saffron.
Published on Norfolk Saffron website:
Norfolk Saffron, England’s leading commercial saffron producer, is based in Norfolk near Burnham Market, and run by Dr Sally Francis, an Oxford-educated botanist born and bred in Norfolk. Sally is helped by her family during busy periods in the year, especially by her mother Jill – probably the most experienced saffron picker in England!
The first steps to doing a great job, I think, are excellent and professional. Good luck to friends.