The Saffron Cultivation: A Basic Information Guide
Saffron cultivation takes a lot of intense labor and effort thus the high market price. While is it grown vastly in different parts of the world such as Iran, India, Afghanistan, Italy, France, New Zealand, Pennsylvania, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Morocco, Turkey and some parts of China, it is important to note that there are lot of conditions that have to be fulfilled to ensure the quality of the saffron produce.
In Afghanistan, saffron is cultivated at its best quality primarily because of the favorable climactic condition of the region and untapped rich soil.
Here are some important factors that affect saffron cultivation:
Growing saffron needs an explicit climatological summer and mild winter with heavy snowfall. Generally, saffron can be cultivated in dry, moderate and continental climate types but not in tropical climate types.
Because of this, the climate of some parts of Afghanistan, such as the Herat Province, is very much suitable for saffron production.
Saffron is a heat-tolerant bulbous plant and so the dry and hot summers is a good season to grow saffron. In addition, its vegetative growth coincides with cold weather and freezing condition. Broadly, saffron tolerates a maximum of +45ºC and minimum of -18ºC temperature.
Cultivating saffron requires about 300mm of annual rainfall. Saffron maximum water
requirement is in March and April of about 15 to 20 liters per irrigation period. During dry climatological circumstances, irrigation is essential in fulfilling the water requirement of the plant.
Saffron is cultivated in many different soil types but grows best in sandy loam, humus-ruth and well-drained soil with a pH between 6 and 8.
Saffron requires only a little soil nutrients and so fertile soils is not ideal as this may result to more vegetative growth than the actual flower production. It is also not advisable to grow saffron in wet or semi-wet soil types as this will cause crops to rot and get infected by fungus especially during periods of wet weather.
Typically, saffron cultivation depends vastly on climate, type of soil, depth of planting and harvesting techniques. While many countries produce saffron, there are locales that cultivate stand out saffrons.
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