Sandy Oaks' main orchard covers a 40 acre tract, with 11,000 trees planted among the massive live oaks dotting the property. Here at Sandy Oaks, the emphasis is on holistic management of the ranch's trees and pastures, with a preference for natural pest controls and organic fertilizers.
Approximately 7,000 trees in the orchard are of the Arbequina variety, which Sandy brought from Spain in 1999. This variety is our top producer and is very well-suited to Texas. Some of the current varieties within the main orchard are listed here:
Sandy Oaks regularly experiments with different plantings to determine the most suitable olive trees for Texas from among the hundreds of different varieties grown around the world. There are several small experimental orchards throughout the property where we have Tunisian, Spanish, French, Baltic and Italian varieties.
See a full list of the current varieties we are experimenting with here.
We also experiment with planting densities, from 5' x15' "hedgerows," common in Spain's intensively managed groves, to the more traditional 16' x 20' spacing found in mature Greek and Italian orchards.
Know Your Olives
Tips to Help Your Olive Trees Thrive in the Summer Months
Olive trees handle heat extremely well. However, you may need to increase the amount of water you give the trees in the summer due to the intensity of the sun. Let the olives on the trees guide you. If they wrinkle, that means the tree needs more water. Once you give the tree sufficient water, the olives will plump back up.
A pesky worm attacked the new growth on our trees this year. We solved this problem by spraying with BT Worm Killer, a Green Light Product. You need to spray three consecutive times, with five days between sprayings, to get this pest under control.
Some people ask if we know how to control grasshoppers. Howard Garrett addressed this issue in his newsletter, Dirt Doctor. He recommends using Surround WP, an organic product that works very well. When you spray the leaves of the plant with this product, it forms a slight film that apparently renders it undesirable to the grasshopper.
Also check out this website on planting texasplantandsoillab.com
Sandy Oaks is also a certified nursery and offers wide selection of varieties from Greece, Italy, Spain and the United States. Visit Our Nursery to learn more.