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Olives are tasty, rich in vitamins and can be used in many different culinary dishes. In many people, therefore, the desire matures to cultivate olive trees in their own garden and to harvest the tasty fruits themselves. Many Mediterranean plants are easy to keep, including Olea europaea. Often referred to as the "true olive tree" or "tree of peace" plant makes little exotic demands on the hobby gardener. There are still some things to consider when planting your own olive grove.
The ideal location
Olive trees are extremely heat and light needy. Many gardeners play it safe and cultivate the Mediterranean plants exclusively in pots. Treat Olea europaea in a bucket attitude and also in the open air to a sunny spot. Even with a place in the light partial shade, the tree that grows up to 15 meters can not cope adequately. Especially in young plants here suffer the growth and resistance to diseases and pests. The crops feel most comfortable behind a high garden fence or near the house wall. Here he is sufficiently supplied with heat.
In order to keep the olive tree in the garden all year round, you should already consider a lot when choosing a location. Because while potted plants can be arbitrarily offset, this is usually associated with free-grown plants with considerable effort and costs. Keep a minimum distance of 6 to 7 meters to other trees. These can quickly become unpleasant competitors for light and nutrients. Power lines and underground water pipes can - as with almost all trees - quickly become a problem. Avoid these locations. Even through a continuous pruning you can control olive trees only to a limited extent.
How the roots develop depends on the place and the nature of the soil. In the planter, the space is extremely limited, here you should convert the plant approximately every 2 to 3 years a larger bucket. In the garden, on the other hand, the roots of the evergreen tree can grow up to 8 meters vertically into the ground in a loose soil. A rocky or heavily compacted subsoil, on the other hand, "forces" the tree to a more vertical spread. An important role for the later development of the olive tree also plays the right substrate. The soil should be humus rich and deep. The olive tree has no objection to a light clay and sand content in the soil. Since soil compaction can damage the roots, you should add fine pebbles. For olive trees in the planter a similar composition applies. Mix conventional potting soil with sand and clay. The pH of the soil should always be above 7.
To get your own olive trees is easy: You can propagate the plants themselves by cuttings or pull from seeds. Probably the simplest variant, however, is the purchase in a well-stocked garden center or directly in a larger nursery. Home-grown olea produce little or no fruit. Your attention should therefore be more in the decorative appearance of the Mediterranean plant, rather than in the fruit harvest. If you use olive trees from specialist retailers, you can take a close look at the item before you buy it:
- The plant should not have yellow leaves.
- The trunk must have a straight growth.
- Do not take dried plants with you.
- The shoots must not be crippled.
Important tips for planting
The best time to plant an olive tree is between May and the end of July. In these months, frost breaks and minus temperatures are extremely unlikely. In addition, there is enough time for the olive tree to acclimatise sufficiently at the new location and to be well prepared for the cold season. If the tree is cultivated permanently in the field, then choose the place carefully.
- The planting hole should be twice the width and depth than the circumference of the roots.
- Loosen the surrounding soil sufficiently.
- Put a layer of semi-mature compost about 10 centimeters into the planting hole.
- Mix the excavated soil with humus and pebbles.
- Add loam and sand as needed.
- Soak the planting hole properly with water.
- Insert the tree and fill the hole with substrate.
- Gently press the soil.
- Cast heavily.
Cultivation in the planter
Whether the true olive tree survives the winter unscathed in the garden, is often a game of chance. Mild, humid winters, however, can often lead to the death of the Mediterranean plant, as long-lasting low temperatures. If you do not live in a wintry-mild region or are afraid of the hassle of outdoor hibernation, the olive tree can easily be kept in the bucket. This can be easily prepared for the winter or move directly into a frost-proof room.
Immediately after purchasing the traditional crop, you can convert it into a new container. Orient the size of the bucket to the diameter of the root ball. The planter should be only a few centimeters larger so that the plant does not put all its power into the growth of the underground parts of the plant. Regardless of the age and the size of the olive tree you should always create a drainage on the bottom of the bucket. This consists of porous, not rotting material such as lava, pebbles or potsherds. This minimizes the risk of waterlogging caused by improper watering or heavy rainfall.
Tip: Encourage Olea europaea to bushy shoots by regularly separating the woody young shoots close to the trunk.
Planting an olive tree is relatively easy, provided that you find the right location and take into account the space requirements of crops. Whether you bring a real olive tree safely through the icy season, however, depends on many different factors. In winter-mildew regions, the chance is considerably greater that the Mediterranean plant will reach its approaching spring alive. But as an ornamental plant in a bucket Olea makes a decorative figure. However, as in the field, this type of cultivation should ensure that excess water can flow away quickly from the roots.