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Fall crocus for saffron harvest

This will be my 3rd year growing fall crocus for saffron and they keep multiplying and seem to grow well. But I don't get many blooms and so very little saffron to cook with.

The location seems right and I give them bone meal each year and the soil is fairly rich compost and loam so what gives? My Aunt in PA had a huge bed which got very little care.

Anyone out there have experience to share. I must have my saffron if I am to cook authentic Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Pot Pie.

Peace
 
Hi Calmpeace,
It sounds like you are doing everything right so lets look at the other variables.
is this the type you have: C.sativus. SAFFRON CROCUS. Lilac(color).
To get continued good yeild of saffron, divide corms as soon as leaves turn brown; replant in fresh or improved soil. The original corm dies back each year and is replaced by the "new" baby corms so digging/dividing them up can reduce crowding. Iris/Crocus can tolerate crowding up to a point...(you may have witnessed it last fall). Crowding can cause low bloom production. Gardeners love the tight, mass of color effect but since you are going for the crop...its not ideal. Experiment with spacing, maybe.
Most CROCUS species are best adapted to colder climates
and only need to be divided every 3-4 years.
Sun or light shade.
Set corms 2-3 in.deep in light, porous soil.
hmmmmm...what else?
what do you think, calmpeace?
Smiler
purplebean
its times like these I wish I could just come over and take a peeky...or help dig...GOOD LUCK!...Big Grin
 
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Yuppers purplebean, they are sativus from my aunt and some store bought and not over crowded but.... I do let mint grow over them in spring then pull it in summer. I am guessing I am not wattering them right when they are growing. Are they thirsty plants?

There is full deep green growth but poor if any flowering and most of the flowers don't look very healthy as in small or ill developed.

I think I will dig up the corms and keep the mint out this year,,and try two different locations. Here the summers are so hot, humid, and dry plants needing full sun elsewhere need more shade so that could be it.

Thanks much for your help I have certainly learned to respect your knowledge and plan on tapping it often.

Peace
 
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Hi again...its me!
OK. I thought about what you said and your new plans and I think you are right about the water amount and need of some (maybe late afternoon) shade but a ground cover should be fine.
Mint enjoys the same type of soil conditions and can tolerate some shade also. My only concern with the mint is that its incredibly invasive and will choke most everything around it out eventually. That means more work for you controlling it...what other choices do you have for ground covers?
In regards to the amount of water needed...Moist, well drained,light,porous soil(is that possible?):O...what did you do for water with the crocus last fall?

Thanks for the vote of confidence but I was thinking the same about you...now what?Big Grin
purplebean
 
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Guess who, It's me again, hehehe.

I think I got it now. Last late summer and fall when I cleaned up the bed I feared rotting the corms and focused on the top growth looking good. Thinking they liked dry I watered little as long as the top growth looked good. This year I will get two beds going and water more.

As for the mint it is no problem. When it grows it helps to keep mosquitos away and when I harvest it for drying I can just yank it out roots and all. As long as I reguarly yank roots they won"t go deep enough to entail the corms.

More water, more shade. Thanks purplebean, I will honor your name this fall when I enjoy that Chicken Pot Pie.

Peace
 
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HI.
I have one more thought...unless of course its a family secret...
Would you be willing to share your "Chicken Pot Pie" recipe in the recipe exchange forum...or any of your recipes for that matter? Big Grin please...

Just a thought, I thought.
Smiler
purplebean
 
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Oh gosh purplebean, even my Mother won't tell me how she made such good Pot Pie as I grew up but I will tell all how I make it tomorrow if I can remember that long. I will say as a teaser that it is such a yummie good delight but worth no effort if you don't have saffron growing out back.

Peace
 
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bump. :x

Still in search of the Chicken Pot Pie recipe to die for! Big Grin
 
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So 5 years later and here is your perfect pot pie recipe. Sorry but the dough is up to you I recommend a butter and flour cut pastry dough for the pie. OK now the important part... the filling! This is so easy you are going to hate me, buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery. Use only the white meat and cut into chunks! then cube some fresh Brie cheese (this will be your sauce or filler.. yummmmm.). Add fresh cracked black pepper, thin sliced carrot, and whatever your tastes. cook til golden brown in a mini foil pie cup. The Brie is glorious as a filler. I won a regional Pie competition woth this recipe so please be creative and enjoy!! Oh guess I should mention that I got the idea from a wonderful elderly lady in the outback of Australia. Ahe had been feeding her kids this for years.
 
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calm peace, is that you? Smiler

That sounds delicious! Thankee. Wink

I'm thinking I might try using mesquite/BBQ boneless chicken breast, when the weather permits, but in the mean time rotissery chicken it is & brie...super yum!
 
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Ooh - that does sound good, but as any good Dutchie like me knows, PA Dutch chicken pot pie is not a pie at all – it's more like chicken n' dumplings but instead of dumplings it's made with home-made egg noodles, rolled out thin and cut into squares and boiled along with the chicken, broth and veggies.

I'm not EVEN going to comment on the Brie... but really, it does sound yummy!
 
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