A soil survey is recommended to determine the suitability of the soil for olive production, and possible remedial action.
A soil survey, soil analysis and report from a professional consultant will cost approximately $2500. The survey/analysis should determine:
- Soil structure and drainage.
- Soil pH or acidity.
- Soil fertility.
- Readily Available Water (RAW).
- Presence of residual chemicals which may affect future organic registration.
- Presence of nematodes and fungal spores which affect olives.
Horticultural investments are long-term. Preparing the soil to give the trees an optimal start is critical for good early production and long-term profitability.
The soil survey report should provide an assessment of the suitability of the site soil for olive production and recommend possible remedial action which will improve marginal sites:
- Application of lime to make soil more alkaline, less acidic.
- Application of gypsum to break down clay and improve drainage.
- Ripping to at least 600mm to improve drainage and root penetration.
- Application of fertiliser or compost to improve fertility.
- Site preparation
Other aspects of site preparation which should be completed prior to planting are:
- Establishment of windbreaks.
- Building of water storage.