Site Selection and Soil Preparation


Note to Florida Growers:  Olives need well-drained soils and full sun.  Before you select your grove site ensure you will have sufficient direct sunlight (away from buildings and adjoining high tree lines) and drained soils.  To determine if your soils drain well (it is best to conduct this test after a good rain or several days of rain) –   Dig down at least 24-36″ (deeper the better) with a post hole digger at several locations around your grove site.  If the soil at the bottom of the hole is very wet or water collects at the bottom of the hole overnight, the land might not be suitable for olives.  Also look for a clay-layer (usually yellowish earth) – this could also cause a drainage problem.

Soil Sample

Size of Soil Sample Unit

The first step in a sound sampling procedure is to subdivide the area into uniform units. Do not assume that fields enclosed by fences are uniform units. In subdividing a field, use past history and visual differences reflected by changes in soil type for first approximations. Avoid areas where fertilizer or liming materials may have been spilled, gate areas where livestock have congregated, poorly drained areas, or fertilizer band areas of last years crop. It is also advisable to stay at least 50 feet from barns, roads, lanes or fence rows. Within fields that appear uniform, 20 to 25 acres is the acceptable unit size, with the size increasing as the area of uniformity increases.  Of course, the more borings (sub samples) taken within a sample unit, the greater the accuracy of the sample. However , one sub sample per 2-2 1⁄2 acres should be ade- quate. When sampling, use a zig-zag pattern or random approach and pull cores at least 150 feet apart.

How To Sample Soil

With a spade, trowel, auger, or soil sampling tube, take a thin vertical slice or core of soil from at least 10-20 different places in the area to be tested. Combine in a clean plastic bucket, mix thoroughly, and fill the soil sample bag half full. Fold down and fasten metal flaps securely. The bag should be clearly marked with your name, address, and sample identification. Fill out the soil information sheet as completely as possible. Be sure the sample numbers on the information sheet correspond with the numbers on the sampling bag. Your soil tests results accuracy will be dependent on properly taken, mixed and submitted samples so please follow these procedures closely.

Leaf Tissue Sample

Size of Tissue Sample Unit. this sis

Olive Oil Content

Size of Olive Sample.  This is stuff about olive sample


The Florida Olive Council, LAA recommends Waters Agricultural Laboratories.  Click here for information on testing, prices and schedule.

Contact:  (229) 336-7216  fax (229) 336-0977