Although the olive is a resistant plant, which is why it prefers arid environments and fears excessive humidity, there are periods of the year, especially in southern areas, where water shortages can cause stress to the plant with consequent scarcity of productivity and organoleptic quality of the fruits. The moments of greatest sensitivity for the olive tree, which make a greater water supply necessary, are those during the vegetative awakening, the moments of pre-flowering and flowering, during the setting (transition from flower to fruit) and, finally, in the growth and accumulation of substances in the fruit. Particularly recommended in all these phases is the practice of fertigation: mixing water and fertilizers to optimally support the development of the plant, providing the correct intake of nutrients.
The cultivation of the olive tree, according to the country tradition, responds to a simple rule, the one known as the "five Ss": silence, drought, solitude, sun and stones. In fact, it is a plant that loves the sun, it is "solitary" in the sense that trees that are too close do not benefit its development, the stones because they guarantee the flow of water and, finally, drought because the ground must not foresee the stagnation of water . Essentially, the ideal climate of the olive is mild, without temperature changes and with temperatures not below 5 degrees. The ideal soil is the clayey-calcareous soil, with Ph between 5 and 8.5 and, being a calcium plant, it is necessary that there is a good dose of calcium in the soil. If, on the other hand, the olive is the dwarf one from a pot, add to the soil, wood ash and animal fertilizer (60% earth and 40% compound)
When to fertilize
In order to obtain an abundant production it is good not to underestimate the importance of fertilization that can be administered directly in the water during watering. The fundamental elements in olive nutrition are: - Nitrogen (N), because a smaller quantity of this element can cause scarce production of flowers and fruits; - Potassium (K), regulates the water balance and protects the plant from adverse climatic changes; - Phosphorus (P), regulates growth - Calcium (CA), more absorbed by the olive The fertilization must be carried out, usually, in three different times of the year: once in autumn, with phosphorus and potassium, another time end of winter, with nitrogenous fertilizers to favor flowering and another time in late spring, for fruit set and vegetative activity.
Olive: Pruning and diseases
Olive pruning is performed annually. It is good to start from the top and continue downwards, not cutting the new parts because the olives will grow on them the following year. It is very important to monitor the status of the plant. The olive tree, in fact, is attacked by the cochineal, an African insect (it is defeated with an insecticide) and by the verticillium, a fungus that makes leaves and branches wither (the affected parts are cut directly). Another threat to his health is given by the olive fly that digs the fruit to feed on the pulp. There are three remedies to eliminate it: a natural remedy with food attractants, another that acts chemically on exceeding the infestation threshold of 10-15% and, finally, a third adulticidal remedy, put in place already over 1% of the threshold weed.