Q&As/Fruit Trees & Berries/Growing olives

Question

My garden has a hedge of olive trees. Last year I harvested some of the olive fruits and processed them. They were tasty but very small. What can I do to make the olive fruit fleshier?

Answer

In a perfect olive season (e.g early rainfall followed by a hot, dry, late summer then an early autumn), it is possible your olives may be marginally larger. But the answer to the size of olives lies in the selection of a particular variety. If your olives fruit heavily and regularly, then do retain the existing trees regardless of the size of the fruit. Not all olive varieties crop well in differing parts of New Zealand. Therefore, there is no guarantee that  known larger fruiting olive varieties will produce heavy crops in your area anyway. Talk to other olive growers in your local area and/or experiment with a few additional trees of other varieties. Remember, fertilising your trees will not produce larger fruit, rather an enormous amount of vegetative growth.

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