Greenhouse saffron
05/08/2023

Aeroponics and Hydroponics Saffron Cultivation Methods

Near 98 percent of Iranian saffron production takes place through non-greenhouse ways. The saffron soil cultivation method is a traditional way to produce a larger quantity of this spice. On the other hand, aeroponics and hydroponic cultivation are two main greenhouse saffron cultivation methods, which produce more organic and healthier products. 

Saffron soil cultivation has distinct requirements compared to greenhouse methods. To know more about traditional saffron cultivation methods, we invite you to read “Tips to Know Before Planting Saffron.”

On the other side of the story, there is the greenhouse saffron cultivation method. To get a gist of this topic, you may need to read “Greenhouse Saffron; All Questions Answered!” if you are not familiar with greenhouse saffron. 

What is a hydroponic cultivation method?

saffron Hydroponic cultivation

Using the hydroponic cultivation method, the plants can be easily replicated because, unlike aeroponics, it doesn’t require a commercial level of farming setup. With the help of hydroponics, you are sure that you can grow more crops in a smaller space.Instead of sunlight in traditional farming, hydroponics uses LEDs to provide the necessary fuel to grow plants faster and healthier.In this growing method, all variables, such as light, and plant-required feeds, are controlled frequently.  The farmer needs to adjust variables according to the standards to achieve the planned result.

Benefits of hydroponics saffron cultivation method

  • Quick growing: Crop germination is no longer than a few weeks and the growth cycle is only completed in 40 days.
  • Hydroponics uses 40% less water than the soil method.
  • Compared to other traditional cultivation methods, hydroponics uses only 1% of the resource while it yields the same result as the soil method at a quicker time.

What is an aeroponics cultivation method?

saffron Aeroponics cultivation method

As its name suggests, in this cultivation method the air is the main factor to grow the plants. The aeroponics saffron cultivation method is about suspending the crop in the air and storing them in a moist environment. From plantation to harvest, other factors such as light, water, and temperature are controlled.

Compared to the hydroponics method, very little water is consumed. The special water used in this method contains specific nutrients for the crop.To grow saffron aeroponically, different tools and conditions are required. tools we need to grow saffron aeroponically include:

  • Gardening tools
  • Agricultural lands
  • Glass rooftop, doors and panels
  • Air conditioner
  • Digital humidifier
  • Thermometer
  • Wooden shelves and trays

The steps that a farmer needs to take to grow saffron using aeroponic way include:

saffron corm
  • Purchasing saffron bulb:

Buying a good quantity of saffron bulb, based on your land acreage, is the first step.

  • Disinfecting saffron bulbs:

Saffron corms should be disinfected and summer is the best time to do so.

  • Preparing for greenhouse cultivation

The cultivation area should be cleaned and disinfected. Before cultivation, it is necessary to install an air conditioner, thermometer, digital humidifier, and wooden shelves and trays.

  • Transferring bulbs to greenhouse

Once the cultivation site is ready, it is best to transfer bulbs to the greenhouse site or area.

  • Harvest

When the flowers bloom in the fall, it shows that harvest time has arrived. If you don’t harvest immediately, the saffron stigma will wilt.

  • Transporting corms to the land

Now that you harvested your crop for this year, it is time to transfer bulbs to the ground in early winter. If this process is done quickly and in a swift manner, the bulbs stay safe and sound for next year’s production.

Benefits of aeroponics saffron cultivation method

  • Less water consumption up to 90-95% compared to soil cultivation method.
  • Using this farming method, the growth cycle is reduced by 33 percent.
  • Use of the least resources specially water
  • Improved Control of pest and diseases 
  • Increase of saffron production volume
  • Lower saffron production costs, comparing to soil method, in longer investment periods.
  • Saving the plant from exposing to severe weather, sudden rains and snowfalls.

 

How much saffron will we get from one plant by aeroponics?

aeroponics saffron

Growing saffron using aeroponics in a greenhouse requires special skill, knowledge and equipment. The general steps for saffron greenhouse cultivation, the required tools and conditions, etc. are fully described in “Greenhouse Saffron; All Questions Answered!” 

The aeroponics saffron cultivation method requires a specially-designed room, with a high cost of maintenance, for saffron cultivation. This room is equipped with mist sprays and nozzles, which provide the required nutrients. These nutrients are planned to release constantly or in regular intervals. In addition to the above, there are sensors to measure controlling temperature, PH, and humidity. 

If this process is taken care of very accurately, high-quality saffron will be resulted. Normally, with six tons of saffron corm in each 150 sq meter of greenhouse space, 4 kg of saffron in first harvest year is yielded.

Greenhouse saffron in Iran

Near 95% of total saffron production is supplied in Iran, however, most Iranian farmers still believe in traditional and soil cultivation methods. Only a small volume of saffron production occurs in greenhouse sites, using hydroponics and aeroponics methods. This happens due to a lack of support and requiring large capital to start greenhouse sites. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Aeroponics and Hydroponics Saffron Cultivation Methods

Can i grow saffron in aeroponics?

Saffron can rarely be cultivated in other places, but with the help of aerobics, it can be cultivated in medium-sized indoor and backyard environments. The important thing is that with the help of this cultivation method, instead of one crop, you can have four crops per year.

What is the difference between hydroponics and aeroponic farming?

In the hydroponic model, plants need full-time rather than flow-through

Feed water alternately or be suspended in water. On the other hand, in the aeroponic method, the planted plants are fed using the dust that is sprinkled on their roots, and they do not need to be placed in the flow of water metabolism.

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