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.

Soil Preparation

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.