This is important that we buy saffron bulbs where, when, and from who. In other words, the most critical part of our investing is done on buying saffron seeds, and if we don’t care about it, our investment will fail soon.
In this post, we will answer all of your questions about saffron Crocus bulbs and their properties. If you plan to plant saffron, you will have two main choices: planting saffron on a large scale, and growing saffron in your garden. In both cases, we have helpful suggestions for you.
To grow saffron professionally, you should buy “1 kg saffron corms per 1 square meter” and plant them 20 cm deep. Each bulb can produce some saffron flowers, and each flower can make three saffron stigmas.
The first time I bought Crocus Sativus seeds, I was thirteen years old, and I didn’t have any information about how to maintain or plant bulbs in the soil, so saffron bulbs were spoiled soon. It’s better to get some info before buying saffron Crocus bulbs.
Saffron bulbs features
The best criterion for classifying saffron Crocus bulbs is their size. We should have a strategy for our saffron farm, and we should buy saffron bulbs based on that strategy. Sometimes we need to harvest a lot of saffron in the first year of cultivation to cover our expenses.
In this case, we can buy large size bulbs, and they will flower well in the first year.
On the contrary, sometimes we want to have a lower cost for buying bulbs; we can buy smaller bulbs and wait for the second year. When we have medium or small bulbs, our bulbs commonly can’t bloom in the first year, and we should wait for the following year.
1. Saffron bulbs size grading
- Small size: less than 8g
- Median size: 12 to 15g
- Large size: more than 15g
Saffron bulbs taken out of the ground for sale are usually 8 to 30g. 8 to 12g is the median size group, and the upper than 12g is the large size group. If Crocus Sativus bulbs size is more than 8g, it can grow and produce flowers, so if you want to have saffron threads, care about corms size.
The best size for greenhouse saffron cultivation is more than 15g. In other words, the best size for saffron bulbs for greenhouse saffron is 15 to 30g, and a saffron corm with 25g weight can produce a high amount of saffron flowers. (maybe 12 flowers)
2. The health of saffron bulbs
The next important factor about saffron bulbs is the health of the bulb. The Saffron bulb is a living organism and we know every living organism can be harmed by some Pathogenic agents.
The most important pathogens of the saffron bulbs are fungi and mites. Fungi and mites can lead to the destruction of saffron bulbs and the loss of their ability to produce saffron.
The presence of 5 to 10 percent of mites and fungi when buying saffron bulbs is a common issue and does not cause any particular problem, but if the amount of these factors is more than this amount, it can be harmful.
3. Indicators of high-quality saffron bulbs
- The bulbs should not have more than 2% activated sprouts at the time of delivery.
- Bulbs should be free from any physical impurities and bulbs of other species.
- The terminal bud of the saffron bulb must be healthy.
- Bulbs should be free of signs of mites and fungus.
- Saffron bulbs should be disinfected with suitable fungicides and acaricides at the time of planting.
- The initial pods of saffron bulbs must be healthy when supplied.
Buy saffron bulbs
1. Bulk saffron bulbs
Buying bulk saffron bulbs is different from buying 20 or 40 bulbs. On this scale, we should care about many factors, and we can’t just click on the buy button and finish. First of all, we should consider the time, When to buy a Crocus Sativus bulb for saffron planting?
The best time to buy is summer. The sleeping season of saffron bulbs in summer, and we can transfer them between two farms. We know the bulbs are inactive at this time and getting them out of the ground does not cause them stress.
The second factor is the soil percentage of bulbs. We should transfer bulbs with 10 to 15% of soil and avoid sorting them completely. Earth can help us prevent the infestation of pests and diseases on seeds, which is so valuable.
We know that the big saffron bulbs seller in Asia sell their bulbs with soil, and this is one of the reasons for their high productivity in saffron farms.
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Iranian saffron bulbs for sale
Iranian farms are the primary source of saffron bulb production, and naturally, the biggest bulb market is in Iran. Saffron bulbs’ trade volume usually is around 10 to 20 tons or more. But the strategy of Iran isn’t exporting saffron seeds, and their priority is preserving the bulb’s source.
So, we can’t access Iran’s saffron bulbs. Of course, we know some Afghan farmers can buy Iranian saffron bulbs and due to this, they can expand their farms and increase their production, but this is not accessible for use in the USA.
2. Buy Saffron Seeds for Home Garden
It is so good if we can plant our saffron at home, we can grow saffron indoors in almost all zones in the USA, and there is no limitation.
In order to have a clear view of your harvest, we can say that each kilogram of saffron bulbs can produce between 1 – 3 grams of saffron, and if you can plant 10 kilograms of bulbs, it is enough for one year of your consumption.
The best time for buying saffron bulbs, same as the high-scale planting, is summer and the best size for this type of saffron planting is 15 g or bigger. Our purpose is just harvesting saffron, and we don’t want saffron bulbs to multiply at this stage.
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How to Maintain Crocus Sativus Bulbs?
The best condition for maintaining bulbs is a dry and cold place. You can retain saffron bulbs in the darkroom and at least 30cm up the floor.
Don’t forget to plant the seed as soon as fast. Whatever saffron corms stay out of the soil probability of contamination increases, and a big part of our investment gets in danger.
Ideal Cultivation Methods of Saffron
Rich lands are limited, and human resource isn’t ideal. An increase in production cost forced farmers to change their traditional methods. Now, saffron farms must use complete automated agricultural machines and, with increasing production, control the costs.
New methods have some benefits versus traditional saffron planting, such as:
- Reduce water consumption
- Increase productivity
- Reduce the amount of land required
- Reduce the cost of fertilizing
- And more…
1. How Many Saffron Bulbs per Acre?
There are multiple methods for planting saffron, and the best way is “Ideal cultivation.“In Ideal cultivation, we grow 1-ton bulbs in 1000 square meters. The traditional saffron planting method is based on human sources and doesn’t use the sources as efficiently.
2. How many Saffron Bulbs are in 1 kg?
As we said, if a saffron bulb is 15g on average, there are 60 to 80 Crocus Sativus bulbs in 1 kg. Sometimes saffron bulbs are sold by soil and in this condition related to the percent of soil, we can estimate the number of bulbs.
Typically, 10 to 15% of the weight of saffron bulbs is soil.
3. Do we have to remove the straw around the saffron bulbs?
No, There is no need to separate the straw around the bulbs and it is better to plant the bulbs in the same way in the soil.
4. Do the bulbs should be separated or stuck together?
when we harvest saffron bulbs from the soil, they are stacked together, and we should separate them while planting.
5. How to disinfect saffron bulbs?
The best method for pest control is to prevent them, but sometime we can’t do this and the bulbs get in danger. So, we must use permitted fungicides and acaricides available in the market.