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Extend an olive branch to your garden by growing your own! Olive trees are wonderfully ornamental and they produce delicious fruit, too. What a bonus! You do have to pickle them before you can eat, but we think it’s all part of the fun. Olive trees can take up to 4-5 years before they produce fruit, but they will live for many years to come.

How to grow olives in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is acidic, sweeten with Yates Hydrangea Pinking Liquid.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Form a raised ring around the plant, creating a well so that water will go where it’s needed most. Water in well. 
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips. sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. Feed your tree in early spring and late summer with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. When flowering and fruiting, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus & Fruit Liquid Plant Food to help promote fruit production. 
  7. Harvest olives when they turn from dark green to light green or wait for them to turn black. Process and cure as desired, but do this as soon as possible.  
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How to grow olives in a pot

If you don’t have a garden or you’re short on space, you can still grow olives. They will happily grow in large pots – just make sure they have plenty of sunshine!

  1. Choose a pot at least 600mm wide. Position in full sun and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter
  2. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Water in well.
  4. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  5. Feed your tree in early spring and late summer with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. When flowering and fruiting, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus & Fruit Liquid Plant Food to help promote fruit production. 
  6. Harvest olives when they turn from dark green to light green or wait for them to turn black. Process and cure as desired, but do this as soon as possible.  

     
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Growing tips

  • Cool winters are needed for flower bud initiation. ‘Perfect’ flowers having both male and female parts, making them self-fertile. However, some flowers will only form with male parts, so they won’t produce any fruit. 

  • Feed well during flowering to encourage formation of ‘perfect’ flowers. You can also improve pollination by planting another olive tree nearby. 
  • Popular varities include: ‘Kalamata’, ‘Mazanillo’, ‘Picual’, and ‘Arbequina’.

  • In the first couple of years, prune to encourage an open vase-shape; this will assist with air and light flow. 

  • In winter, lightly prune to remove dead or low hanging branches. 

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