How To Grow Olive Trees

If you live in an area that is very dry and arid, you might want to green-up your outside space by growing olive trees. Olives are quite easy to look after, producing blossom in the spring and bitter fruit during the autumn. Your local plant wholesaler may have a good selection of olive varieties for you to choose from.

Planting Olive Trees

You can choose from large trees that will mature into a focal point in your garden or opt for a smaller variety that won't take up too much space. Olives can also be grown in containers, making an attractive addition to your patio or decking area.

You should plant your olive trees in the spring in a well-drained site, ideally against a sunny wall or in a sheltered site. Use tree stakes to support the trees until the root systems become established.

Olives in pots should be placed in containers large enough to allow their roots to spread out. Pots of 30 to 35cm diameter are ideal. Use good-quality loam-based compost mixed with with some grit and gradual release fertiliser pellets.

Care of Olive Trees

During the spring, you'll need to prune your olive trees to keep them in shape and to get rid of dead, dying or diseased branches.

Fertilise the olives with a liquid fertiliser monthly throughout the spring and summer growing seasons and keep the ground around the trees nice and moist. Potted olive trees should be well-watered but placed on pot feet so that excess water can drain away.

If you are expecting frost, cover outdoor olive trees with horticultural fleece or bubble wrap and move potted trees inside.

Harvesting the Olives

If you look after them properly, your olive trees will reward you with a good crop of fruit in the autumn.

The fruit is ready to be harvested when it has turned black and firm on the tree. You can pick the olives while they are still green if you enjoy eating them like this, although they will be more bitter in flavour than the black ones.

To remove some of the bitterness and make the green fruit more palatable, you can soak the olives in salted water for a few days. Black olives should be dry-cured in sea salt for a few weeks until they have fully dehydrated. You can then store them in brine or olive oil.

In conclusion

Olive trees are perfectly suited for gardens in arid, drought-prone areas. Why not have a look around your local plant wholesaler's yard to see what varieties of olive trees are available?  

For more information, talk to a professional like Din San Nursery.