are two main questions to ask yourself:
Does the site have well drained soil?
OLIVE TREE'S WORST ENEMY IS TOO MUCH WATER.
your soils are heavy and/or tend to hold water during extended
rainy periods then you will have to change the contour or
even the site of your orchard to allow for extra drainage.
Do not plant olives in areas that collect water, seep water after
rain or hold soil moisture to the point of becoming boggy. Some
regions will have soils that won't drain sufficiently no matter
what you do. Your local agricultural department will be able to
asses the drainage of your soil for you. Soil must be well
drained for commercial olive production.
Does the property have an average daily temperature during July
of 12 degrees Celsius or less?
example of this would be a property where every day in July
went from 0 degrees overnight to 24 degrees at noon. The average
between the minimum (0 degrees) and the maximum (24 degrees) is
12 degrees. This property would be at the warmest end of
the suitable temperature scale. Another property may have average
July temperatures ranging from minus 3 degrees to 19 degrees
thereby giving a suitable July average of 8 degrees. If your property
has regular cold periods lower than minus 6 each year, then you
will need to get a copy of OLIFAX - 2 which outlines the
suitable cold tolerant varieties.
If you are
not sure about the figures for your property, ask the local farmers
who have land at similar altitudes in the area. Weather maps will
also give you a general idea for your total region but may
not be correct for your specific property. There are often
areas within weather map regions that differ significantly
from the map data thereby making your property either suitable
or unsuitable for commercial olive production.
will grow vigorously in areas with warm winters. However, in lay
terms, the problem occurs that due to the warmth the tree doesn't
realise that it is winter and continues to grow well. When
spring arrives, the tree has not rested and doesn't 'know'
that it is time to flower, nor does it have enough nutrients
available. No flowers equals no fruit and this makes it unviable
for commercial production.
are a number of other factors which you need to assess when
deciding your property's suitability, however your two answers
above must be 'Yes' before the other factors are looked at.