28 April 2023

Olive grove. Sprouting treatment

After the pruning tasks we explained in the previous post, we beggin the annual foliar treatments. In this case we do it with the sprouting or pre-flowering treatment with the unique aim of providing nutrition. 

During the year we carry out three or four foliar treatments in the olive grove whose objective is to nourish the tree and, although sometimes, the treatments also help to prevent or cure some disease, its main goal is nutritional. These tasks begin with the first one performed in the second half of April once the pruning task is finished. After the winter cold and pruning, the olive tree begins its activity again and therefore begins to sprout. It is essential to provide the ideal nutrition for optimal germination, which will be the first step towards a good harvest in December. 

Finally, regarding the machinery used in these tasks, we must be focussed on the mistblower. In our case it is a Hardi Zaturn 2000 which allows us to work with absolute comfort since it incorporates a sonar system able to detect the olive tree that therefore allows us to save product, making treatment much more efficient. The dose of water used is around 500 l/ha, although this varies according to the volume of the olive tree crown, planting frame,... it is not the same quantity required for an olive tree that has been planted for many years or for a newly planted olive tree. It is a very convenient task that we perform very quickly. We remember when we used our old 600 litre sprayer and we had to walk two people with the guns... now one person can do it more efficiently, quickly and comfortably.

Versión en español.

14 April 2023

Pruning Picual olive groves

A few days ago we attended a pruning course conducted by Rafael Navarro (a great expert in the world of olive growing) in our olive grove. It was a very interesting day that has allowed to us to develop a methodology to prune our Picual olive grove. One of the initial things to keep in mind is that the olive variety determines the pruning to be carried out: the Picual variety wants to remove the fat branches and not the thin ones. With other varieties like Manzanillo or even Arbequina, for example, where the olive tree asks for just the opposite. 

In our video you have more details of what you need to know when pruning a Picual olive tree. Here are the main steps to follow: 

  • Fix the cross between waist and chest.    
  • The cross consists of two opposite branches or three at the most. These branches (life branches) must have angles of 45° to 60°. Therefore, horizontal branches will be branches that will be removed, also called death branches. 
  • Note also the parallel branches (flats). If we see that there are parallel branches in the same orientation, some of them should be removed. 
  • The aim is to make room for the life branches to grow. If any branch is crossed, it is a candidate for a death branch. 
  • Pruning should not be too aggressive so that the olive tree does not show any major damage. Aggressive pruning can lead to massive generation of branches in the lower zone and branches that grow vertically. 
  • The lower thin branch with large leaves (female branches) should not be removed as this is where most of the olives are produced. Candidate branches to be removed during pruning are the high branches with small leaves (male branches) as these will not produce olives. 
  • North-facing branches are also candidates for death branches. In this way we force the olive tree to regenerate in that part of the tree where it has less light. 
  • The pruning of the Picual olive grove is normally done with a chainsaw and not with scissors, as the aim is to remove thick branches. 

Finally, we would like to list the tools used. Every job needs the right tool to be performed quickly and comfortably. On this occasion we have used the tools that Agriman has sent us, which are as follows: 

We have really enjoyed working with the F3020M electric shears as they offer total comfort when cutting branches. When you want to cut thicker branches, a small and light saw like the one we have used provides excellent manoeuvrability... pruning is very easy to do without getting tired and it is even a fun job.

Versión en español.