Olives in Toronto
After a successful summer of gardening and harvesting tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables I want to try something more ambitious. Has anyone ever had any success in planting Olive trees?
I am very curious to hear the feedback from people on this too. I have been doing some reading on this - the trees need to be pruned, need to be planted in a spot with lots of drainage, etc. Also, it will be a few years before your tree starts to produce olives unless you plant one that is already 2-3 years old or more.
I'd also be curious to see if any plant outlets like Lowes, Home Depot or Pikes Nurseries sell olive trees. I have been toying with this idea for a long time myself but haven't tried it yet. I hope this thread gets lots of responses from successful owners of hardy olive trees,
Oddly enough I bought a tiny baby olive tree at my local Foodland just a month or so ago. I definitely don't expect it to ever bear olives, but it's cute. For sure it'll be coming inside this winter - along with my fig tree, my caper bush and my bay leaf tree. Ha. I live an hour northeast of Toronto.
I live in Georgia in the US where they say you can grow olives. Check this website: http://www.tytyga.com/product/Manzani... They sell many different olive varieties and sizes. Plus it is in Georgia not too far from where I live. The $189 version (6-7 feet tall) of it starts bearing fruit the year you plant it if it gets planted in spring. This looks very tempting - the Manzanillo tree looks like the one I want. I would like to pick some green (for martinis and such - even though pickling them can be a nightmare - you need lime (not the fruit but the alkaline solution) to get the bitter flavor out). And the black (ripe) olives are perfect for salt (also called oil cured) curing.
I'm afraid anything other than an olive tree in a container (or heated greenhouse) is out of the question in Toronto. Most olive trees are only hardy to roughly -8 C, and not for sustained periods.
Toronto cookbook author Jennifer McLagan writes about her "Mediterranean Trinity" in her blog:
I have a fig in a container that's living on my south facing porch right now. I'd love to add an olive tree as well. I've found a very interesting company in Quebec, Flora Exotica, that sells an amazing array of exotic (by Canadian standards) plants, including olives:)
www.floraexotica.ca/Fruit.htm (second item in list
I haven't ordered from Flora Exotica yet, so I can't comment on the company.
Olives can grow really well in pots. Just be prepared for a very, very slow growing tree...To fruit, olives need a certain number of days below 8 degrees C (this may vary depending on the cultivar), You will probably need 2 unrelated trees as well to get fruit as they are cross-pollinating.