Olive fertilizer

The tradition of plants

The natural world is already in itself an extraordinary phenomenon, given that nature (protagonist and creator of this world) has managed by itself to create everything we see; plants, which are a fundamental part of this extraordinary world, then represent one of the best brochures on the abilities and power of nature. They have a very important role for us human beings, because they often delight our eyes with their beauty, the sense of smell with the scents of natural freshness, the taste with their splendid fruits and also the heart, with the satisfaction of seeing them always grow. more. This link between man and plants has been going on for millennia, and that is why there are some plants that have a tradition, that is, they offer themselves in a very important role also as a historical reminder of eras, uses and customs. It is also true that each culture has its own traditions, therefore each area of ​​the world will have its own historical plant or similar; examples are Japanese bonsai, American redwoods and many others. Limiting this discourse to Italy we can see that it has two “traditional” plants, namely the vine and the olive tree, because both in various areas of the country represent a main resource for a fervent trade.

The olive tree

Even knowing the enormous properties of the vine and its importance also at an economic level (in Italy, between exports and the national market, wine moves many billions of euros a year) for our country, today we want to talk about the olive tree: this plant it has very ancient origins, also due to its characteristic longevity which has not made it rare specimens for almost or more than a hundred years of life; from the geographical point of view it seems to derive from the evolution of plants of the north coast of the Mediterranean, but other studies place the origin in Persia and that in America. The fact is that for its beauty, the sweet fruit it produces (the olive) and the nectar obtained from it (the olive oil), for our country the olive tree – synonymous with olive tree – is a real institution. In fact, we Italians have then become masters in the art of cultivating the olive tree and producing oil, so much so that in the world the extra virgin olive oil of Italian origin and marked DOP is a real quality brand that carry our tricolor flag high. But, even before the production of oil, it is the cultivation of the olive tree that represents an art, handed down over the centuries with those tricks, those tricks that express love for the plant and for its health.

Olive fertilizer

One of the biggest secrets of olive growers and oil producers is the fertilization of their plants; everything is jealously kept hidden from the competition and the rest of the population, because they are real discoveries and personal achievements that it is difficult to make public, especially if personal success derives from them. In Italy we can boast some of the best oil in the world, very pure, healthy and light like few other things on this planet; it goes without saying that most olive producers consider it blasphemy to use chemical products to produce their material, which can boast of prizes and decorations precisely because it is the fruit only of the earth and not of laboratories. And so the most used fertilizer for the olive tree is the dear old … manure. Yes, right, just the excrements of farm animals are among the best substances to allow the soil to recover all the nutrients necessary to feed the perfect growth of the olive tree. Just dig a hole around the plant and put the manure in it in quantities of a few kilos at most, then cover it with earth and let nature do everything.

Problems, solutions, techniques

This story of manure fertilization would seem to solve all the problems, also because manure has a very limited cost and in some cases zero; only that for those who cultivate large olive trees, the amount of manure needed will be large, so a large amount of cows, horses, oxen will be needed to “produce” it. And today’s problem is exactly this, namely that of having animal farms, grown and fed in a natural way (and not with hormones or other substances that would end up polluting even their excrements) in order to have the necessary quantity of manure. Therefore, in the absence of these prerequisites, we resort to industrially produced supplements, but trying to avoid the abuse of chemistry and trying to ensure that they are completely absorbed and no chemical waste remains in the soil; as far as olive trees are concerned, the best fertilizer after manure is the classic NPK (ie: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), with a slight preference for nitrogen and then for potassium, while phosphorus must always be in the minority. The periods for fertilizing are those of spring (therefore between March and June) and in September, or before the harvest of the olives destined for the production of extra virgin olive oil by crushing in oil mills with filters.

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