It may seem strange to talk about olive trees in Galicia, but we can see that in the provinces of Pontevedra, Orense and the southern area of Lugo there are more and more olive groves with native varieties.
Olive trees in Galicia
We are in Pontevedra, where a farmer decides to plant olive trees on two farms, one located about 20 meters above the ground and the other, which is close but flatter.
The area is relatively warm compared to the rest of Galicia. The mild climate and with runoff in times of rain. The native olive trees so that their adaptation is perfect.
The land after being analyzed presents the ideal conditions for cultivation with the following data:
- Nitrogen with normal limits: it contributes to the development of the tree. Its deficiency produces small trees and deformed leaves.
- Phosphorus with normal limits: to promote flowering and fruit setting.
- Potassium with normal limits: influences the transport of sugars. Benefits the formation of the fruit.
- Calcium with normal limits: promotes root development and improves nutrient absorption.
- Loam soil–sandy with equal proportions of sand, silt and clay.
Olive grove maintenance
The factors that the farmer takes into account to control the olive trees in Pontevedra, Galicia, are:
- Separate trees that allow air to circulate freely between them and the sun reaches them better.
- Controlled pruning from the first years.
- Have in the soil free of weeds and with the pruning remains used for coverage, better crushed, which serves as vegetable compost and at the same time preserves soil moisture.
- Controlled irrigation con sensores de humedad y temperatura para que no sufra estrés hídrico.
- Control of the possible appearance of fungi. The best way to avoid them is with soil moisture control . If necessary, make ditches to avoid waterlogging or apply fungicides.
- Conductivity sensors to avoid accumulation of salts. The root system absorbs minerals better if the soil does not have excess salts.
- The plantation has drip irrigation controlled by Plantae probes, that offer the water that the olive tree needs at all times with real-time control.
Native varieties in Galicia
Recent studies prove that in Galicia there are two autochthonous varieties «brava» and «mansa«. The main characteristic of these varieties is that they adapt better to the climate and the number of hours of sunlight, essential for the quality of the olive.
These varieties open up the possibility of offering the market new oils with specific quality and texture and that allow expanding the offers to the EVOO market.
These varieties were planted on both farms in Pontevedra with the aim of achieving a good adaptation to the climate of the area.
The olives of the “mansa” variety are small and late-ripening.
The "brava" variety has a large olive and ripens earlier than the "meek".
Both varieties are characteristic of the "Montefurado" area near Quiroga in the province of Lugo. An area on the banks of the Sil River, a tributary of the Miño, located between high mountains, and which gives the area a mild and very special microclimate for growing olive trees.