Why the saffron harvesting process is essential, and why should we be precise about it?
When saffron flowers grow, we have saffron threads that are wet, and these wet threads are highly vulnerable to the environment. So, we must harvest saffron quickly after flowering so that the quality of the product does not decrease.
We should predict how many workers and resources we need for saffron harvesting time, and if we have a mistake in this process, our investment will be in danger.
Also, we should provide an appropriate condition for cleaning saffron flowers after harvesting them.
These two steps of saffron planting are necessary, and we should be severe and alert about them. Sometimes we can increase our income three times or even destroy our product and investment in a moment. It is us and our critical mission.
When to Harvest Saffron?
Saffron harvesting time is in the middle of fall. The exact time of saffron harvesting depends on the climate and weather temperature. We need a low temperature to start the saffron bulb’s growth phase, and any delay in a decrease of weather temperature can affect saffron flowering.
Specifically, the decrease in temperature and water is essential for starting the growth phase. We should do saffron irrigation on the first of fall to provide one of the necessary conditions. A decrease in weather temperature is out of our access, and we should wait.
20-30 days after providing this condition, saffron bulbs start flowering, and we can begin the harvesting process. If you live in the hot areas, you can harvest flowers in September, and if you live in the cold regions, your flowers rise in August.
We need 2 to 5 days under zero temperature to start saffron flowering. Of course, if you can’t provide this condition, you can try greenhouse saffron cultivation. We can control the environmental situation, such as weather temperature in the greenhouse, which can increase our efficiency.
How Often Does Saffron Bloom?
Crocus Sativus or saffron species only bloom one time and in the fall. Of course, may there be some methods in the greenhouse that prepare conditions for blooming saffron flowers more than usual.
Also, may we see some of the other crocus species that bloom in different months of the year, but they can’t produce saffron for us.
Saffron Harvesting Methods
The harvesting saffron process takes about 10 days, and we should predict and provide our essential instrument. It entirely depends on our farm’s scale, and if we have a big saffron farm, we should prepare saffron harvesting machines; otherwise, we can use the traditional method.
The golden time for the harvest of any saffron flower is 4-5 hours, and if we can’t harvest flowers in this time zone, our product quality decreases, and we probably missed our products. This is why we use saffron harvesting machines on big farms.
The second method is traditional saffron harvesting done by hand and has high efficiency on small farms. In other words, if you have a saffron farm that is 2 or 4 thousand meters, you can harvest your farm by this method.
1. Saffron Harvesting Machine
There are many saffron harvesting machines in the market, and you can buy and use them. Of course, you should consider some points. First, if you don’t have a Special program for expanding your farms, you don’t need these machines, and it’s better to harvest your farm by the traditional method.
Second, the best way to buy saffron cultivation tools is to buy them jointly. You need this machine for ten days, and after that, you can give it to another farmer. Also, if you have a specialty, you can build it on your own, which will not be a problem for a technical person.
You can see in the below video a hand-made saffron harvesting machine.
2. The Traditional Saffron Harvesting
This method is suitable for small saffron farms. In this method, we should be present on-farm early in the day (about 6-8 am) and start harvesting flowers. Every worker can harvest 5-6 kg of saffron flowers per day. For example, if you have a 2000 meters farm, you will need 4-5 workers for harvesting saffron.
You can use your family people’s help and do the harvesting process in the first and second years, but after that and in the third and fourth years, you will need the help of other people to harvest the farm. The reason is that a saffron farm arrives at its highest productivity in the third and fourth years.
If you are growing saffron in your garden or home, you don’t need any workers, and you can harvest your saffron independently.
What Should We Do After Harvesting Saffron?
We should start cleaning flowers instantly after harvesting them. We should collect the whole of the flowers during the day and then clean them the last of the day or the night of the same day. Whatever we will be fast, our products will have higher quality.
The saffron cleaning place should be bright and disinfected. In this step, we can determine our product type. In other words, the first step of producing a particular type of saffron is in this step. We can have Negin saffron or any different kind of this spice.
The different types of saffron have different prices in the market, and if we can produce Super Negin, we can sell it at the highest price in the market.