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Have received my order of 10 Coral Pearls Hedging today & planted as per insructions. Just wanted to thank you for your fast, friendly & efficient service
Helen Jones, Glastonbury, Somerset

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Have received my order of 10 Coral Pearls Hedging today & planted as per insructions. Just wanted to thank you for your fast, friendly & efficient service
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Image of  Saffron Crocus

    How To Grow Saffron

    Saffron is famous for being the world's most expensive spice, and for being almost literally worth its weight in gold. The reasons why are not hard to understand once you realise that saffron is the dried stigmas taken from the flowers of the saffron crocus, with each flower yielding 30 mg of fresh saffron (7 mg once the stamens are dried). Saffron has been grown in the UK for hundreds of years (Saffron Walden, in Essex, takes its name from the saffron that used to be grown in the area). With a little care you can have home-grown saffron for those special dishes.

    Cultivation

    Depending on the time of year, we supply corms that are dormant or else 'in the green'; that is, they are actively growing when we despatch them. Corms in the green establish more quickly and flower faster. However, they need to be planted as soon as possible after receipt so it is advisable to have the ground prepared in advance. Dormant saffron corms need to be planted in dry, well-drained soil. Saffron hates to be waterlogged and the corms will rot if they are left to sit in wet ground; incorporate grit into the soil to ensure good drainage. If your intended planting site is likely to be regularly wet during the summer, when corms are dormant, it may be advisable to grow saffron in containers instead.

    Saffron needs a site in full sun or light shade with well-drained soil, moderately rich in organic matter. Avoid heavy clay soil. Saffron corms do not like acid soil so either treat the soil with lime or consider growing the corms in containers if your soil is acidic. Corms should be planted 3-4" (10-15 cm) apart and 4" (10 cm) deep, with the points of the corms upwards. The corms will remain dormant in summer, then produce flowers in October-November for 1-2 weeks. Plants will continue growing through the winter, eventually producing grass-like leaves that die back in late spring. Leaves may reach 1 foot or more in height; flower stalks will be slightly shorter.

    Saffron will survive cold winters, and will tolerate frosts and short periods of snow cover.

    Corms should be lifted every few years, divided, and replanted on freshly prepared ground.

    Container Growing

    If growing in containers use a good-quality free-draining compost. Corms should be planted 3-4" (10-15 cm) apart and 4" (20 cm) deep, with the points of the corms upwards. Position the pots in full sun where possible, and do not allow to become waterlogged. Overwinter the pots in an unheated garage or greenhouse

    Pests

    Saffron does not suffer much from pests. Use wire netting to protect beds and containers from rabbits, mice, voles, squirrels and cats.

    Harvesting

    Each corm may produce up to four flowers. One flower will yield 30 mg fresh saffron, 7 mg when dried. Saffron blossoms at dawn, and the attractive purple flowers will wilt as the day progresses. Flowers should be gathered daily, before they fully open, to get the best quality saffron. What you're after is the orange-red filaments of the three-part stigma. Remove these with your fingers or a pair of tweezers. They can be dried on a plate in an airing cupboard, or in a very cool oven, or a dehydrator. The stigmas will crackle when dry. Store dried stigmas in an airtight jar in the dark.


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    Saffron Crocus Corms

    Image of  Saffron Crocus

    Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world (sold by weight) - what better reason for growing your own? The flowers also look beautiful!
    Available Now
    Supplied as corms.

    More information about Saffron Crocus Corms

    From £0.75 to £0.95
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    Image of  Saffron Crocus

    Saffron Crocus Corms