The olive tree has been with us for many years and all its properties have been known since time immemorial. Already in the Bible it was mentioned continuously and it is not for less. It is one of the most well-known and studied crops in the world, widespread in most countries, giving mention to those from the Mediterranean area (Spain, Italy, Greece) which are and we are one of the major oil producers in terms of quality. and quantity.
It is so old that its origin is unknown. Some theories claim that it comes from the areas of Syria, Lebanon and Israel, and it was probably the Phoenicians who introduced this species to the Mediterranean.
First in Greece, then Italy and so on. In Roman times there were already olive trees in Spain, although it was the Arabs who most promoted their cultivation and took advantage of their properties.
The olive tree is fully adapted to the Mediterranean climate. It is a rustic and resistant species. It bears well the frosts of this climate (below 10 ºC below zero it suffers damage).
IRRIGATION NEEDS AND SOIL TYPE
The olive tree is a tree used to periods of drought. This is shown by its leaves, small and with a powdery and downy underside that protects it from moisture loss.
On the contrary, if we want to obtain oil or olives from it and have a good production of fruits, we will have to water.
There are some critical periods in which it is highly recommended to establish irrigation , such as the development of flower buds, flowering, fruit formation, when the tree is young and in the growth stage, etc.
However, at no time can we go overboard, since the olive tree is a crop that is quite sensitive to over-irrigation or waterlogged land with insufficient drainage .
As we have mentioned before, the rusticity of this species allows it to grow in difficult places, such as limestone or saline soils (it has great resistance to salinity).
CONTROL AND REDUCTION OF THE EXCESS IN THE OLIVE GROVE
The vecería is a peculiarity that is very present in the cultivation of the olive tree, especially, and also in other fruit trees. It is so important that a long time ago we dedicated an article to it , in which we told some things about this phenomenon and ways to reduce and control it.
PROGRAM OF WORK AND TASKS IN OLIVE CULTIVATION
The olive tree is a crop that does not really need many tasks. This if we compare it with other fruit trees or vine. However, there are crucial phases that determine the future of the harvest. Whether it is harvesting for olives or for oil production, we leave you a list of tasks to be carried out in the cultivation of the olive tree .
This calendar is generated based on a common geographical area for the cultivation of the olive grove. However, there are areas where the cultivation is delayed and the harvest is not carried out in November, if not months later.
JANUARY AND FEBRUARY, MIDWINTER
We are in the middle of winter and the olive tree moves little. It is the perfect time to carry out some olive tree formation pruning work and configure the appropriate structure for the next olive production. The article we have on olive tree pruning is interesting here .
At this time we have fully closed winter buds, and they can even remain unaltered until well into February. Everything will depend on the weather.
FEBRUARY-MARCH, FLOWER BUDS BEGIN TO REAPPEAR
In this second phase of the formation of the future fruit, known as phase 2 or sprouting, the buds gradually thicken until the formation of the flower bud begins.
To solve this problem, you can find a large number of phytosanitary products that work quite well against prays.
+ Product authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture of Spain.
In addition, it is interesting to reinforce the fertilizer with nitrogen, a source of energy reserve and stimulus for the production of new leaves and fruit fattening.
MARCH, TIME OF CLUSTER FORMATION
The olive tree continues with its usual bunch formation . At this time it is interesting to add a complete fertilizer of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, with special attention to the former. We continue to control the olive fly or prays with authorized products and we pay attention to the possible appearance of diseases such as the repilo, which we will apply copper-based products. Especially considering that at this time of year it is very common for some spring rains to fall.
APRIL, SWOLLEN FLOWER BUD
At this time the flower bud swells and you can see the calyx of the future flower. A crucial stage begins in the development of the future olive. We still have time to apply products that fit with the formation and fruit set, such as vegetative stimulants, phosphorus-based solutions (monoammonium phosphate, for example) and insecticides to control common pests at this time.
MAY, FIRST FLOWERS APPEAR AND FULL BLOOM
The flower bud gives way to the appearance of the first flowers. In some you can already see the stamens. The 2nd generation of prays must be controlled with insecticide treatments. As for this pest, a foliar application is recommended when we find 20% of the flowers open.
Also, it may be advisable to make a possible foliar contribution with microelements that stimulate flowering.
JUNE AND JULY, WE HAVE OLIVE CURD
June is a very interesting month for the development of the future olive. Having had an interesting fruit set, it is time to balance the nutritional balance of the olive tree and provide all the energy necessary for the final development of the fruits.
We continue to fight against prays, always respecting the products authorized for this crop.
AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER, THE FRUIT BEGINS TO HARDEN
From this stage on, we practically have a fruit half its final size, with the bone hardened or in the process of hardening. We will be careful, like a plague, of the olive fly , which will feed by biting the fruits in the process of forming.
It is interesting at this stage to avoid the braces that form next to the olive tree trunk. This technique is known as “shaving.” These new plant formations reduce the force with which the sap reaches other parts of the plant. Therefore, they are not desirable.
OCTOBER, WE HAVE THE FRUIT FORMED
In October, as a general rule, the fruit acquires its final size, giving way to the process of maturation and color change (which can already be seen in some areas of the tree). Special attention must be paid to preventive treatments with copper to avoid the formation of the leaf spot . The rains at this time of year can help this disease to settle in the olive tree.
Regarding fertilization, we began to increase the potassium levels in the crop, in order to facilitate the maturation stage, the color change and the accumulation of fatty acids .
NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER, THE RIPENING OF THE OLIVE AND ITS HARVEST
In these months, we will have practically all the olives with the color change, from green to dark purple. We will apply NPK fertilizers rich in potassium.
This olive grove guide is essential for all those who want to get professionally involved in the study and management of the olive grove.