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A complete fertilization program for olive trees

Follow our thorough recommendation, including a program for foliar spraying and a fertilization recommendation for olive trees in spain

Plant population: 500 Trees/Ha.
Soil type: light to medium.
Expected yield: 30-50 Kg/tree (15 – 25 MT/ha).

 

Recommendation for a young, non-bearing orchard

Follow every irrigation with proportional application of fertilizers better N:K balanced 1:1 starting only after the trees have shown some signs that they have established (apply plain water for the first 1-2 weeks), starting with 1 gr of nitrogen for every tree for every day for every year age, while P can be and applied as base-dressing around 1000 kg SSP/ha or 500 kg TSP/ha.
 
For the above example:
If tree density is 1250 trees/ha, first year, every tree will get 1 g/day of N, the whole field 1250 g of N a day, for a week it will be 8750 g N for Ha. For example using 20-20-20 it will be 43750 g or 45 kg approximately that will be divided over the water quantitative application or better proportionally.

Do not forget any foliar application of high N and Mg will help for better vegetative development, say 1%.

Orchard age (years)

N

K2O

 

(Kg/ha)

1

50-80

50-70

2

80-120

70-120

3

120-150

120-145

Phosphate should be supplied according to leaf analysis.

Recommendation for a bearing orchard

N

P2O5

K2O

(Kg/ha)

200-300

200-240

395-480

Phosphate should be applied according to leaf analysis.

Recommendation for a non-irrigated orchard

  1. One application per Year -
     After harvesting it is recommended to supply 2.5-3.5 Kg/tree of  25-8-14 or 25-4-10.
  2. Two applications per year - 
    During winter - half of the recommended amount of nitrogen and the total amount of  potassium and phosphate.
    After the harvest or in spring - 1 Kg N/tree as urea or ammonium sulphate.

 

For irrigated trees it is suggested to double the recommended amount of  nutrients for high yielding olives. 

  1. In case a fertigation setup is not available, the total amount of  nutrients should be split to 4-6 application from March till end of June.
  2. If a fertigation setup is available, the following scheme is recommended, with the following guidelines:
  • End fertigation 50 days prior to harvest.
  • Divide fertigation into weekly amounts and apply with at least three hours of irrigation.
  • Adjust fertilizer program as indicated by leaf analysis.
 

N

P2O5

K2O

Multi-K

MAP

Amm. Nit

 

(kg/ha)

(kg/ha)

Spring - early Summer

125-185

200-240

246-300

540-650

320-390

190-200

Post Harvest

75-115

-

150-180

330-400

-

50-130

Total

200-300

200-240

395-480

870-1,050

320-390

240-330

Multi-K – Potassium nitrate (13-0-46).
MAP – Mono ammonium phosphate (12-61-0).
Amm. Nit – Ammonium Nitrate (34-0-0).

Olives - Recommendation for Spain

Intended use: oil extraction.
Plant Population: 500 Trees/Ha.
Soil type: light to medium.
Expected Yield: 30 MT/ha.
Application method: Fertigation.

 

 

Application by Month

Multi-K

MAP

Amm. Nit

 

(Kg/ha)

February

0

150

21

March

0

100

78

April

0

94

111

May

26

94

183

June

75

47

219

July

125

0

205

August

195

0

60

September

200

0

0

October

200

0

0

Multi-K – Potassium nitrate (13-0-46).
MAP – Mono ammonium phosphate (12-61-0).
Amm. Nit – Ammonium Nitrate (34-0-0).

Foliar spraying

In addition to soil-applied fertilizers, foliar fertilizer applications are important in supplementing nutrient requirements at peak demand periods. Olive nutrition is critical in the spring and at the end of the summer season before harvesting.

Inflorescence and vegetative growth occur during spring. Foliar applications help accelerate vegetative growth and reproductive development – encouraging shoot growth, improving fruit set and reducing alternate bearing.

 

The end of summer is the main fruit growth period. The olive fruit is very efficient at removing nutrients from the leaves. Foliar sprays help enrich the leaves at these high nutrient demand periods. Foliar sprays at this period will help increase yield and improve the chemical quality of the oil.


Multi-K: 2-4 applications of Multi-K from February to October 3 Kg/100 Litre of water, at a rate of 8-10 litre/tree.

Poly Olive is a special soluble foliar NPK fertilizer for olive trees with microelements.

Poly Olive (15-3-25+1.2Mg) recommendation

Growth stage

Formula

Spray volume

Concentration

Inflorescence*

Poly Olive

500-700L/ha

1%

Fruit Development*

Poly Olive

50-700L/ha

0.5-1.5%

* 2 applications, 2-3 week interval between applications.

Source: P. Aguilar, Ferquisa.


It is a common practice to apply it in autumn and lately in spring also. Experience has proved that when you have a good harvest it is recommended to spray twice, in spring and in autumn. If you want to split the products, blends with Mg and boron are preferable for the spring treatment and plain Multi-K for the second spray.

Usual rates are 2%-3% with 7-9 liters of the solution/tree (according to tree volume).
Usually no compatibility problems with copper fungicides and with insecticides, but hydrolysis may occur with dimethoate (the most widely used) as it collapses at pH 8 in one hour or less. Growers don’t pay attention to this concept but it is important in a written recommendation.

Macro elements removed by 1 ton marketable product

N

P

K

Ca

Mg

S

-------------------------------------- Kg/ton ------------------------------------------

9.8

11.3

10.3

     

Source: Kinoch: VOLHOUBARE LANDBOU, RSA. Processed by Frans Lourens, Haifa, RSA May, 1999.

Plant analysis guide

Nutrient sufficiency ranges (source: A & L, Agronomy Handbook, Ankerman & Large Eds.)

Olive

N

P

K

Mg

Ca

S

Na

B

Zn

Mn

Fe

Cu

Al

------------------ % -------------------

---------- p.p.m -----------

From

1.50

0.10

0.75

0.25

2.00

0.20

0.01

20

15

50

45

5

 
To

2.20

0.20

1.50

0.50

2.50

0.35

0.10

35

20

100

100

20

 

Plant tissue sampling procedures:

Growth stage

Plant part

Five to eight weeks after full bloom

4 to 8 leaves from spurs or near base of current season’s growth

 

Need more information about growing olives? You can always return to the olive fertilizer & olive crop guide table of contents