Grow saffron in California is not a new trend, and we know a significant portion of American saffron is produced in this state. So, the answer to this question is clear; Does saffron grow in California? Yes, absolutely.
So, what should they do if anyone wants to grow saffron in California?
In this post, we will help you do this. You will have an outline of growing saffron in California. Let’s start by examining the environmental conditions in California for growing saffron.
Can You Grow Saffron in California?
Yes, you can. When we want to grow saffron in an area, we should consider some important local features, and California is suitable for planting saffron because it is good for most of them. Some of the most important requirements for planting saffron are as follows:
- Locating between USDA zones 6 to 9
- Suitable soil has 30% gravel and clay and 30% silt
- Sufficient rain and humidity
- Cold winters and relatively dry summers
- Existence of an appropriate workforce
- Presence of a community of saffron farmers
As you know, California has most of the above essentials, and this is so good. But we should consider other requirements factors too. For example, the most important problem that you may face is the lack of specialized labor during the saffron harvest season.
If we lived in the last two centuries, we would have had severe problems with this problem, but now, we live in the age of innovation and technology.
We don’t need a high labor force for harvesting saffron season, and we can use saffron harvesting machines. Also, there are some machines for planting and drying saffron threads, and this helps us to increase our productivity.
Please note that the above criteria are general and for the whole state, we must first carefully examine that land before starting saffron growing there. You can contact us for a detailed analysis of your land for saffron cultivation.
How to Grow Saffron in California?
The first step in growing saffron in California is making a decision. You should determine what you want, consider your goals and tools, and then choose one of the saffron growing methods.
If you are not a farmer and don’t have a farm, you can grow saffron in your home and have an excellent experience. Also, if you be serious and do the growing work well, you can also get and consume a significant amount of saffron.
If you are a farmer and want to profit from growing saffron in California, you can grow saffron in the soil or grow saffron in the greenhouse. It is back to your tools and favorites. Sometimes the greenhouse method is suitable, and sometimes the other ways are better.
In the soil method, you will plant saffron bulbs in the soil for one time, and then you can harvest saffron for 7 -10 years. You will have a fully scalable business. We used the scalable business word. Do you know why? We will discuss it in the income and profit section at the end of this post.
1. Home Scale
Growing saffron on a home scale is very simple, and you can do it all over the state. You can move your saffron boxes when you want and when necessary, pick up the boxes and move them to the next place, and this is why you can grow saffron everywhere.
If you want to grow saffron at home in California, follow these simple steps:
- Buy some saffron bulbs. In the best case, you need a half kilogram of bulb per square meter
- Prepare some boxes.
- Plant your saffron bulbs in the containers in summer and harvest saffron threads for seven years in the fall.
- Water your saffron bulbs 3 to 5 times in the fall and winter, and don’t water them in the summer
2. Farm Scale
The basics of growing saffron on the farm are the same as on the home method, and we can see the same principles in both ways. But we know that 80% of the results are due to 20% of our efforts, which is true of saffron planting.
In this post, we will explain the outline of growing saffron on the farm for you, and if you want to know more about saffron planting, you can refer to our blog, or contact us.
- Plow the land in spring or summer
- In summer, fertilize the soil with other animal and organic fertilizers
- Plant saffron bulbs in the soil
- Irrigate the ground just before the autumn rains
- Harvest your saffron in autumn for ten days
- Irrigate and fertilize the land
- Take care of your farm until the fall of next year
3. Greenhouse Saffron in California
Greenhouse saffron is applicable worldwide and has significant efficiency, but it isn’t a standard saffron planting method because of its high risks and costs.
We are here, to tell the truth, and we think greenhouse saffron cultivation is just appropriate ten percent of the time, and other than that, it is not economical and logical.
If you are in the ten percent group, you will have a good business, and if you are among the 90% of people who only think that this method is profitable, it is better to think more. In any case, we have prepared an outline for you here:
- Consider a greenhouse hall
- Prepare the equipment according to the size of your hall (ventilation systems, light, and temperature)
- Make greenhouse shelves and trays (It is better to be wooden)
- Buy big-size saffron bulbs (5 -6 tons per 1000 square meters)
- Adjust the temperature and humidity to start flowering
- Harvest your saffron
- Move your bulbs to the soil environment
Profits of Growing Saffron in California
We can examine the income of saffron planting from two main dimensions:
- Production of saffron threads
- Production of saffron bulbs
To have the correct scale of income and the amount of saffron harvest, we will give an example. Imagine you planted 1000 kg saffron bulbs, each kg of these bulbs can produce 1-3g saffron, and each gr of saffron is selling for 10 $ on average.
As a result, you will have between 1 and 3 kg of saffron every year for seven years, which will sell for an average of $ 10 per gram.
Also, you will have another income source: the multiplication of saffron bulbs. After seven years of planting saffron bulbs, you will have 7000 kg of saffron bulbs, which means 100 % growth per year for your saffron business.