Adopt Olive trees, then we plant them!
There are always jobs to do around the farm
With so many jobs you think we would be working non stop, well its not far off that but we always make time for the work that really needs doing such clearing areas of weeds and brush whilst leaving enough for the wildlife of course or making soil that the kitchens vegetable garden is ready to take the fast growing seedlings, clearing any dead wood and cutting/storing for next winters fire, monitoring the vines and the olive trees and working on house projects and maintenance.
One of our favorite jobs is planting trees
There is nothing better than planting a tree that you will see grow, and with many of the trees we plant they all start to give us fruit after a short time, and will continue to do so for many years if cared for correctly. One of our recent trips was to plant some adopted certified virus free 2 year old olive trees of the Leccino variety.
Get set, and plant!
So what does it take to plant olive trees, here our 10 step process to get new olive trees off to a good start;
- Tree should be in good health with a strong stem, at two years old the trunk is about the thickness of your small finger.
- The area you chose to plant should be suitable for olive trees, no standing water and well drained, choose your distance based on the space available, we plant 6×6, so 6metres between trees, try to get your tree lines suitably arranged so you can easily work with your equipment (example, not ending up working/driving diagonally down a steep slope)
- Prepare the hole oversized, around double the size of the pot the olive tree is currently in, dig deeper, but don’t remove all the soil from the base, just turn it over so it is loose allowing for drainage.
- Make sure that the sides of any holes and not straight cut (as happens when cutting a hole with a spade), To deal with the hard sides rough the edge up with your shovel to give a chance for the olives roots to get going outwards easily
- Place the olive tree in the hole, get the old level of the olive in the pot level with the top edge of the hole, not under, not over.
- Push soil back in around the olive tree making sure to not leave any large air gaps
- Insert your support pole just on the outside edge of where your plant is, it does not need to be right next to the tree. It may need to be hammered in. We use 8cm diameter poles, 1.6m long, we bury 30/40cm of the pole
- We secure the tree to the pole using organic ties (wood based fibre) secure at the top of the pole, not tight, I like to leave the tree some freedom of movement, at two years the tree is already self supporting but strong winds could blow the tree over and damage it.
- Water in well, then monitor for watering weekly. A new plant may need a deep watering every week or two weeks in summer, check the moisture of your ground. Fertilize with 2kg of organic fertiliser in March/April scattered around the base.
- Stand back, take a good look at the tree and wish it well in its long life!
Want to help the environment around us receive organically farmed extra virgin olive oil and and even more benefits, adopt an olive tree today at Tenuta Le Mandorlaie Click here to visit our secure online store