Olive is a plant that has been cultivated for thousands of years and is a very important plant in terms of human health and nutrition. Our country has an important place in the world in terms of olive population and olive and olive oil production. It plays a particularly important role in the evaluation of inefficient land. Most of the olive groves in our country are spread out in these areas. Moreover, the products in these olive groves have different standards and yield is low.
Although olive is the motherland of Anatolia and we have a great potential, we cannot say that we have evaluated this potential very well. We need to evaluate the available possibilities in the best way to increase yield and quality with standard varieties and to ensure that regular products are obtained. Our consumption of olive oil per person is around 2 lt and this amount is very low. Increasing production, consumption and exports with social, technical and economic measures should be encouraged.
Climate and soil requirements of olive
The best climate for olives is the Mediterranean temperate climate. The winters are warm and rainy, the summers dry and hot, the annual 400-800 mm rainfall is suitable for olive growing places. He is not very selective about soil, but he likes more limestone-sandy, deep and nutrient rich soils. The olive can last for a short time - 9⁰C.
The new olive groves should, if possible, be intensive facilities in suitable areas. Good soil preparation should be done, soil and water conservation should be provided by making various terraces according to the degree of slope in sloping land. Soils must be fertilized with organic fertilizers before gardening.
According to the purpose of evaluating the product (oil-table), olive cultivation should be established from the standard varieties that have been adapted to the region, efficient, few alternatives and appropriate fertilizers taking into consideration the climate and soil characteristics.
The saplings can be planted in different shapes and crown sizes depending on the land conditions and 4 m x 6 m-7 m x 7 m depending on the variety. Care and feeding operations should be done with care in accordance with the growing techniques during and after the planting.
Feeding of the olive
An appropriate feeding program should be prepared at the fertilization of the olive trees according to the age of the olive, development, irrigation condition, clotting, amount of crop to be removed and nutrients determined in plant and soil as a result of leaf-soil analysis. Since the olive tree does not have a deep root system and the most important nutrient roots are close to the body, fertilizers to be given should be placed under the crown immediately.
Nitrogenous fertilizers should be given in February-March (in the form of ammonium sulphate), which is most needed by the olive. One third of the nitrogen can be given in the fall. The fertilizers to be used in summer should be given before watering or in the form of leaf fertilizer. Nitrogen given is between 50-660 g / tree on the average according to the requirements of desire.
Phosphorous (Triple Super Phosphate) and potassium (Potassium Sulphate) fertilizers should be applied to the crown projection and the depth of 15-20 cm. These fertilizers can be given from autumn to spring. The amount of K2O to be given per tree varies between 250-1000gr / tree and the amount of P2O5 varies between 0-500g / tree.
Organic fertilizers that bring vitality and efficiency to the soil should be taken into the fertilization programs and these fertilizers in natural and artificial form should be given to the soil in the autumn. In addition, trace elements whose deficiencies are detected must be given absolutely.
The olive tree is usually not irrigated but should be irrigated in order to increase the yield and obtain quality crops if irrigation is available. The amount of water to be dispensed and the time must be determined according to the water reserve on the ground. The olive is sensitive to the quantity and quality of products to be irrigated in order to increase the oil yield; before and after flowering (April), beginning of fruit formation (end of June - beginning of July) and color change of the fruit.
It is important to keep the leaves / roots and leaf / wood balances at the optimum level in every age.
Prune very minimally the first four years, limiting pruning to tasks like removing suckers. Once a basic tree shape is developed either as a multi trunk with 3-5 main leaders originating close to the ground or as a vase with the central trunk branching into two or three main leaders at a height of 3- 4’that support the scaffolding of the tree, the only pruning required is that of removing cross branches and opening the center of the tree to allow light to penetrate.
Harvesting is facilitated by limiting the height of the tree to 12’, but do not top the trees. Olives can withstand heavy pruning for ornamental use. Harvest green or black, depending on use. Most fruit ripens in the fall. All olives must be cured before you can eat them. Olives can stain concrete pavement.
Olive Disease and Pets
There are many illnesses and pests that prevent the production of healthy and quality products that damage olive crops and have economical precaution. Some of those;
Olive Fruit Fly (OLFF) Bactrocera olea is a Mediterranean fruit fly unintentionally imported to California in 1998. The fly does not affect the health of the olive tree but can ruin a crop. The female fly has an ovipositor that she uses to deposit her eggs into the olive fruit. The young larvae then eat their way out of the fruit, leaving a tunneled mess of desiccated fruit behind.
Peacock Spot (Spilocaea oleaginea) Spilocaea oleaginea is aleaf fungus that appears as small brown or silver spots on the upper side of olive leaves, often coupled with a yellowish halo around the dark blemish. Peacock spot, left unchecked, can defoliate a tree; areas with high rainfall in particular are susceptible to infection and must be treated annually. A fixed copper, full canopy spray immediately post-harvest is advised. A second, mid-winter application can also help in overly wet areas. Cercospora Leaf Spot is often found in tandem with Peacock spot and manifests as a grey, ashy fungus on the bottom of the leaf.
Verticillium Wilt Over-watered trees or those with poor drainage are more susceptible to infection of the fungus verticillium dahliae. Branch dieback is a typical symptom when the roots become infected; it is also possible for the entire tree to succumb to the disease. The leaves will turn brown but will remain hanging on the branches.
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