Property Suitability



Is Your Property Suitable for a  Commercial Olive Grove?

Olive Agencies Information Services


There are two main questions to ask yourself:

1. Does the site have well drained soil?


If your soils are heavy and/or tend to hold water during extended rainy  periods then you will have to change the contour or even the site of your  orchard to allow for extra drainage. Do not plant olives in areas that collect water, seep water after rain or hold soil moisture to the point of becoming boggy. Some regions will have soils that won't drain sufficiently no matter what you do. Your local agricultural department will be able to asses the drainage of your soil for you. Soil must be well drained for commercial olive  production.

2. Does the property have an average daily temperature during July of 12 degrees Celsius or less?

A theoretical example of this would be a property where every day in July  went from 0 degrees overnight to 24 degrees at noon. The average between the minimum (0 degrees) and the maximum (24 degrees) is 12 degrees. This property  would be at the warmest end of the suitable temperature scale. Another property may have average July temperatures ranging from minus 3 degrees to 19 degrees  thereby giving a suitable July average of 8 degrees. If your property has regular cold periods lower than minus 6 each year, then you will need to get a copy of OLIFAX - 2 which outlines the  suitable cold tolerant varieties.

If you are not sure about the figures for your property, ask the local farmers who have land at similar altitudes in the area. Weather maps will also  give you a general idea for your total region but may not be correct for your  specific property. There are often areas within weather map regions that differ  significantly from the map data thereby making your property either suitable or unsuitable for commercial olive production.

Olive trees will grow vigorously in areas with warm winters. However, in lay terms, the problem occurs that due to the warmth the tree doesn't realise that  it is winter and continues to grow well. When spring arrives, the tree has not  rested and doesn't 'know' that it is time to flower, nor does it have enough  nutrients available. No flowers equals no fruit and this makes it unviable for  commercial production.

There are a number of other factors which you need to assess when  deciding your property's suitability, however your two answers above must be 'Yes' before the other factors are looked at.