Long-term studies on ground management in rainfed olive orchards Conference Paper uri icon


  • Two decades of research on soil management in rainfed olive graves, encompassing four experimental ftelds, one of which took eighteen years of continuous assessment, allowed comparative evaluation of severa! treatments including conventional tillage, residual herbicides, post-emergence herbicides, covers of natural vegetation (fertilized and unfertilized), sown covers managed as green manures and incorporated into the soil, or shredded and kept in the ground as a mulch, and sown covers of self-reseeding pasture legumes. This series of studies allowed showing that a better contrai of the herbaceous vegetation improves olive growth and yield and a greater development of the herbaceous vegetation improves severa! indicators of the soil fertility, which creates a great ambiguity. However, a large set of advantages comes from the use of early-season self-reseeding annual legumes. These plants presenta very short growing cycle and develop asynchronously with the trees (in winter, during the resting period of olive), showing reduced competition for water, allowing high productivity even in rainfed conditions. Additionally, they protect the soil from erosion ali year round, with live vegetation during winter anda mulch of dead vegetation during the summer, improve soil fertility, including the increase of soil organic matter, and are able to ftx nitrogen improving the nitrogen nutritional state of the trees.

publication date

  • January 1, 2018