Growing Saffron part ll

I built my bed Sunday, whew all 25 feet of it. I put down the hardware cloth wire first then I put cinder blocks on top of it leaving about 1/2" sticking past the cinder block. We have to do this because we have moles here really bad. The daffodils I have been planting here are certainly helping with our mole problem but where I put this bed I knew the moles would come as I have few daffodils in the area.

The saffron bulbs arrived Monday

Ok so here is my bed, no its not perfect I didn't feel good enough to dig and perfectly level the ground. I started getting sick Saturday, thankfully I hardly ever get sick. Today I am off work, my boss told me yesterday to just take off till Monday. The shop is closed Thurs and Friday anyway for the holidays. I said ok if your sure. I slept twelve hours last night and the night before and am on herbs. Don't feel 100% for sure but I am not on my death bed either. I am the worst sick person, if I just sit and do nothing then it just makes me feel worse sitting thinking about how bad I feel. So unless I am meggggggggggga sick I just keep going, but at a slower pace.

Anyway so I got the bed built. I used a mixture of a lot of organic compost, a bit of our sandy soil and a couple bags of perlite all mixed together. I don't want this bed holding water. Being its a raised bed that should cover me but I figured this mixture would also help. From my reading so far I have read over and over the bulbs will rot rather easy if they stay to wet. I put this bed right in our back yard area where I plan to add an additional 5-6 beds for vegetables. Yes a third vegetable garden :O) but that's a whole other post. 


The bulbs came with instructions to plant them 3-4 inches apart and 4" deep. So that is what I did.  Yes the bulbs are sprouted as you can see but every last bulb was nice and firm and in good shape. I knew I was ordering late in the season for buying these bulbs, this is why it will be a whole year before I see flowers.

Some men bring their wife fancy stuff... mine brings me anything gardening related knowing he is sure to score megga browny points. He finds the best clearance deals and I always seem to be able to find what I need in that stuff when I am working.  He brought me home these bamboo stakes and the netting. 
The netting looks like this 
So once I got my bulbs planted I covered the entire row with the black netting. You can just make out that netting on the dirt if you look close. Even though part of the row isn't planted yet I covered it too. I placed a second order to get enough bulbs to finish filling this bed, they will most likely be here by Saturday. My thinking is I can't use this row really for anything else as I have to control the moisture completely and the moisture requirements for these is totally backwards of anything else I grow LOL. So the whole bed will be saffron. Go big or go home as they say. I may even have to cover this bed at times to keep rain from getting in it, so yep whole bed will be saffron no point wasting that garden real estate. :O)
The netting is to keep the squirrels and rabbits from digging up my bulbs. I hope. From my reading they both love to eat these bulbs and will dig them up! The moles and voles love them as well so like I say I put the hardware cloth on the bottom ...I used the stakes to hold down the netting and the wire I put on top.
Then I added this piece of left over wire on top of the neeting where the bulbs are. I had a piece just big enough to cover that section of the bed. Its for insurance against the rabbits and squirrels and just in case a certain big white dog we all know and love decided to walk in the bed. He is pretty good most of the time but sometimes in his mind he feels its a good decision to walk in my raised beds and I can tell you with certainty that when you hear GP's will make up their own mind about what they do. Its true.. Stubborn!!! But they make up for that stubbornness by how incredibly loving and just super wonderful they are.  The wire below on top of the netting

So until the second box of bulbs arrive, I am done. Can you see why saffron is so expensive. I can. Between the labor intensive totally hand harvest and then controlling the moisture to keep your bulbs from rotting, apparently this a a real issue. Then if you have moles, voles, squirrels, rabbits. You have to protect the bulbs from them. I am used to gardening in raised beds due to the moles so for me that wasn't anything new. The protection for the top was.  The issues I am seeing with my top protection is once the bulbs start to come up. Which I am sure these are gong to shoot up their grassy foliage fairly quick, though I won't get any flowers this year. The green foliage will be there all winter. So my top protection temporary till I can get some type of fencing around this bed. But for today this worked.


Kev Alviti said...

I'll be watching this project with interest. I did some research into growing them but decided that it's far too eet on my north facing, clay, waterlogged soil. I'll leave it to the people in hotter climates. Have you decided what you're going to do with it all when you harvest it?
I completely agree with the go big or go home fframe of mind, no point otherwise. My 70 something varieties of apple trees are testomony to that!

Henny Penny said...

Everything you do looks so perfect! I can't wait to see that bed full of blooms. I wonder how much saffron you will get. You really get a lot done. Oh, thank you for visiting my blog. If you have time to check back, I replied with a message about hair-do's. :) Thank you!