Growing to up around 6 – 8 metres in height it is best practice to prune your olive trees in late winter, early spring and keep them at a manageable height and size. You can sculpt olive trees into wonderful shapes, encourage spreading branches, olives are brilliant espaliered also.
A bright sunny position in the garden, although tolerant of dry conditions or lengthy periods without water once established it is best practice to ensure good water supply to your olives particularly when they are establishing.
Feed in Spring with an good all purpose organic fertiliser and again in late autumn with a nitrogen rich organic pelletised fertiliser.
Olives are self pollinating and you’ll find your tree popping with fruit in about its third year of growth. There are many different types of olives in the market place, we sell what we consider the best two.
Kalamata and Manzanillo.
Kalamata is a delicious eating olive, a large, almond shaped fruit with plenty of flesh around the pip. A good cropper it’s the most popular of all the olives.
Manzanillo is a rounder olive with a wonderful flavour it’s very high in oil content and is the olive of choice for pressing, however it is also a terrific eating olive.
Did you know that a black olive is a ripe green olive?
Fruiting in autumn, olives are blissfully simple to preserve, you can salt the very ripe black olives and let them dry in the soft autumn sun, in a plastic colander or draining tray. Turn and toss them every day or so and after a week ( taste the olive to ensure it’s lost it’s strong bitter taste) or so you can wash of the salt dry well and either freeze them or put them into a sterilised jar and cover with oil.
If you store the olives in the freezer, to serve them, grab however many you wish to use warm up some olive oil in a fry pan add in some garlic slivers and lemon rind and toss in your frozen olives. They’ll thaw and warm and then serve them….delicious!