Soil Treatments

The soil

Even if the olive tree is often considered as a rustic plant and with a high degree of adaptation in different conditions compared to other fruit plants, obtaining a quality product requires a careful care of the soil throughout the year.

To favor a correct interaction between plant and soil it is necessary to ensure a soil rich in nutrients fundamental to the olive tree, with a balanced microbiological activity . The degree of compaction has to balanced to avoid making it asphyxiated.

Among the most important treatments are:

Soil tillage

Several mechanical equipment are used for soil tillage:

Each of these equipment is used according to the purpose of the treatment and at different times during the year.

 

  • Typically at the end of winter the shredder machine is used to shred the pruning residues such as branches and leaves. A considerable amount of organic matter and nutrients returns to the soil through the resulting pruning materials
  • Then a tillage with rotary tillers is carried out to bury pruning residues obtained by the shredding and the fertilizers spread to fertilize the soil. The soil is moved to gives a maximum depth of 20 cm and allows the removal of the weeds that have proliferated during the winter season.
  • During the spring and summer, another 3-4 treatments are carried out at a maximum depth of less than 10-15 cm with grubbers or ploughs to till the spontaneous weeds that compete with the olive trees and "steal" water and nutritive elements.

A further result of these treatments is to encourage greater infiltration of water (from rain and irrigation) into the soil and limit the loss of water by evaporation.

These processes, although beneficial, must in any case be limited due to potential negative effects such as:
  1. the formation of a sole, a layer difficult to explore by the olive tree roots
  2. the reduction of the organic matter content of the soil
  3. the deterioration of the soil structure, with a consequent reduction of its capacity to hold the water
  4. damage to the root systems, with the potential entry of pathogens through the wounds inflicted on the roots

Thanks to these mechanical treatments that allow us to control weeds, our farm renews daily its commitment to avoid the use of chemical agents (chemical herbicides) widely available on the market.

The manuring

  • Nitrogen, Phosphorus e Potassium are the three main nutrients that must be brought to the olive trees every year. Additionally, Sulfur, Calcium, Magnesium, and microelements such as Manganese, Iron, Boron are usually already present in the soil.
  • The Nitrogen enhances the vegetative and productive development of the olive tree, induces the formation of new sprouts, regulates the formation of flowers, promotes fruit growth.
  • Phosphorus and Calcium regulate growth of the olive tree for fruiting, budding and root development. They are absorbed in small quantities by the soil, so the olive tree needs it in a smaller quantity than Nitrogen.
  • Potassium helps the olive tree to be more resistant to some fungal diseases and sudden changes in temperature

A lack of each of these elements in the soil and therefore their unavailability for the olive tree causes negative effects to be avoided through proper fertilization.

On the basis of a chemical analysis of the soil, it is possible to identify any shortcomings to be overcome.

However, even if the values ​​of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium are optimal, it is still necessary to intervene for the so-called maintenance which serves to compensate for what the olive tree takes from the soil for its sustenance.

Our farm does not use synthetic mineral fertilizers but only natural organic products such as manure from different animals, manure in pellets, compost…

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