We were so excited when we found out it was possible to grow olive trees here in the South. These massive, long-lived trees require two things to be happy: temperatures above 10 degrees F in the winter and 300 hours of chill to bear fruit. That allows any one in zones 8 or 9 to grow their own olive trees. The trees are gorgeous, willowy evergreens with a misty grey color. They are fast growers and will bear in 3 to 4 years. The fruit is picked green, cured and then pickled for green salad olives or allowed to ripen to black for crushing into olive oil, or making cured black olives. Home cured olives have so much better flavor than store bought canned olives. The varieties that fruit well in the south are known for their unique flavor and the high quality oil they produce. The trees are great choices for organic gardeners as they require little to no maintenance once established. Most olives do need cross pollination to fruit. Be sure to match your trees up with their correct partners to insure a good crop.
A beautiful evergreen that’s easy to grow and which can be adapted to many gardens. What’s not to love? Grow your olives to full-sized shade trees as a part of your landscape plan. Want an espalier? It’s easy with olives. Have a big container? They’ll look great, but be careful to re-pot or prune every year or so.
Home Cured Marinated Arbequina Olives
Here’s our simple recipe that you can use to cureyour Arbequina olives. It’s easily done with very little equipment, and the olives can be processed in small batches. Olives stored in oil will keep for several months in the refrigerator, and develop a rich and spicy flavor within a week or two. Looking for a good way to use your olives? Here’s our recipe for curing and marinating… Read More
«Not sure what to do with Olive Trees or how to grow them? Click here for Just the Facts on planting and care.
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