Theodoros Orchard (1)

Soil coverage


Theodoros Orchard (1)

Case Study Contents

About Farm

Farm Name

Theodoros Orchard

Year of foundation



Maroni, Larnaca

Farm area/size of the organisation:

3.5 ha

Number of workers:

4 workers

Farm main activity:

Olives, Horticulture, Medicinal & Aromatic Plants

Climate and soil characteristics

White soil that easily drains and quickly needs irrigation. Mild winters and hot summers, with low precipitation and high humidity.

Measure Information

Description of the measure

Soil coverage refers to vegetation, including crops and crop residues on the surface of the soil. Maintaining the cover of the soil as long as possible during the year, soil erosion is reduced, and soil moisture and soil organic matter are increased. In addition, agricultural land with plant cover on the top prevent nutrient leakage.

Objective of the measure

To reduce soil degradation and improve production.

Justification of the choice

Crops residues are used for fertilization replacing chemical fertilizers; thus, money is saved. Also, it increases soil organic matter over time, leading to increased soil moisture and nutrient holding capacity for plant growth.

Finally, it Is a fast and effective method for weed management, by using a stem cutting machine.

Where did You get information of the measure from?

Conferences, seminars, social media, from other farmers that tried this practice before.

Description of the situation before the measure implementation

Trees suffered from prolonged drought and production was lower with smaller olives.

Implementation phase

Materials used

Stem cutting machine

Costs for the implementation

Purchase of machinery

Required maintenance operations

Machinery maintenance

Recommended knowledge / skills / training / courses / education desired before starting the measure implementation

Conferences – Seminars


Money savings for irrigation, fertilization pesticide and weed control purchases
  • Water savings
  • Healthier crops
  • A good way through which farmers can improve water quality and protect human health.
  • Prototype for other farmers who are starting to practice organic farming
High risk for fires, especially during summer


Innovation elements

Recycling of stems

Key element for success

Recognition of the proper timing for cutting the leaves, branches, and greens.


Physical constraints

Along with the increase of beneficial organisms in the soil, pests, such as harmful insects due to the non-cultivation of grasses, also increase.

When it is raining there is the possibility of spreading diseases from crunched branches to the trees.


Lesson learned

Farmers’ experiences

Remarkable results concerning production in quantity and quality.

Measure sustainability

Environmental sustainability

  • Soil coverage is one practice that actively reduces carbon footprint due to the decreased use of fuels.
  • Water conservation mitigates pressures on natural water resources.
  • Reduced evaporation from the soil.
  • Soil remains alive.
  • Soil temperature reduction by 10%.

Economical sustainability

  • Reduced costs of 10% for fuels and 15% for irrigation.
  • Sustainable profitability growth due to production increase (10% to 20%) and double sizing of olives.

Transfer of the measure

Replicability conditions required

Stem cutting machine

Conclusion remarks

Cover crops are important components of organic agriculture. The farmer achieves a good weed control management along with the water-holding capacity of the soil.

Environmental and economic benefits are not only in the short-term, but in the long-term as well, ensuring the sustainability of organic agriculture.

Future plans

  • Tree mapping using barcodes, in order to know the history of each tree as well as their needs.
  • Electronic control of irrigation system, including weather forecast.

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