July is the ideal month to dig up saffron bulbs. The digging up of saffron bulbs is a crucial operation to ensure good multiplication of plants and a successful future cultivation.
The Right Time to Pluck the Bulbs
The operation of planting the saffron bulbs takes place during the months of June and July. In this period, the bulbs enter a phase of rest and multiplication, making the extraction of the corms essential for the next cycle. When the leaves have dried completely and the bulbs are dormant, it is the ideal time to proceed with the planting.
How to Dig Up Saffrob Bulbs
There are several techniques for digging up saffron bulbs, including annual and multiannual. In Italy, the plucking is traditionally done in July, while in Spain, it takes place between May and June. In the past, the plowing was done by hand, but today tools such as rotary cultivators or diggers are used. For the first 2 years of saffron cultivation, I adopted the annual cultivation technique: every year in July I uprooted the bulbs, and then transplanted them at the end of August. Since 2020 however, given that the number of bulbs had increased significantly, I decided to switch to multi-year cultivation. In fact, in July 2020 I uprooted the bulbs, to then transplant them at the end of August into the ground where they are still located now. For the planting, since there were so many bulbs, we used a potato digger. During the digging up operation, the bulbs are delicately extracted from the earth, being careful not to damage them. Subsequently, they are cleaned and sorted according to their condition. Damaged bulbs, affected by cuts, signs of rot or parasites are discarded to ensure future quality cultivation.
How to Conserve Saffron Bulbs
After digging up, saffron bulbs must be stored properly to prevent germination and the spread of disease. After cleaning them, I suggest you give them a quick wash in Bordeaux mixture, in order to disinfect them. The bulbs must then be stored in dry and dark places, inside wooden boxes or perforated plastic containers, to guarantee the right conservation environment. During the storage period, it is essential to carry out regular checks to detect any signs of disease or alterations. The health of saffron bulbs is vital for good plant multiplication and successful cultivation. They are the protagonists of the plant’s reproduction process, and therefore, must be kept in optimal conditions. The choice of healthy and good sized bulbs is essential to obtain a luxuriant and productive saffron cultivation.
The digging up of saffron bulbs is a crucial activity for the multiplication of plants and the success of future cultivation. By using the right techniques and carefully storing the bulbs, you can ensure good plant health and obtain a valuable saffron crop. The care and attention dedicated to this phase will surely lead to satisfactory results and a production of high quality spices. And if you don’t have the space to plant a small domestic saffron crop, you can always buy my Zafferano Emiliano ready for use!
Born in Romagna, now living in Piacenza. I am the owner and co-founder with my husband of Zafferano Emiliano. Follow our site to get the latest news about our Saffron cultivation – and some recipes as well!