Kiwi Tree

Do you enjoy growing fruit? Perhaps you’ve got a couple of blueberry bushes, a couple of strawberry plants, or some apple trees and you’re looking to expand your garden’s offerings? Consider growing kiwi .

While you’ll be picturing the brown fuzzy kiwis you discover at the grocery , those aren’t the kiwi fruits I’m talking about. grocery kiwis (Actinidia chinensis) are native to southern Asia and that they don’t survive temperatures less than 10 degrees F. But, hardy kiwis (Actinidia arguta) are native to northern China and Russia and may survive temperatures as low as -25 degrees F. And, better of all, hardy kiwi fruits don’t need to be peeled! Their skin is gorgeous and smooth, in order that they can go straight from the plant into your mouth. They taste very similar to their fuzzy-fruited cousins, but I find hardy kiwi to be sweeter and much more enjoyable to eat.

You may think that growing kiwi is challenging, but I’m here to inform you it’s one among the simplest fruits to grow, if you retain these few things in mind.

Related post: Growing organic apples with fruit bagging

Tips for Growing kiwi

  • Variety selection is everything. Most hardy kiwi varieties are hardy from USDA zones 5-9, but if you reside where it gets very cold within the winter, your best bet is to plant Russian selections like ‘Natasha’, ‘Tatyana’, and ‘Ananasnaja’ (a favorite for its aromatic fruit and very productive nature). These Russian varieties are said to be hardy all the way right down to -35 degrees F! Other good varieties for growing kiwi almost anywhere include ‘Michigan State’, a bigger fruited, hardy variety that i really like , and ‘Ken’s Red’ which bears sweet-flavored fruits with reddish-plum colored skin.
  • The fruits are smaller than the fuzzy kiwis at the grocery . The green fruits of hardy kiwis are only slightly larger than a grape, but they’re produced prolifically. Expect dozens of 1 to 2 inch long fruits to be produced within three or four years of planting. the simplest production occurs when the vines are about eight years old, and you’ll expect them to supply for forty years or more.
  • Only female vines produce fruits. Hardy kiwis are dioecious, meaning male and feminine flowers are borne on separate plants. So, for growing kiwi , you’ll got to plant one male vine for each eight or nine female vines. Since vines are vegetatively propagated, the vines are going to be “sexed” once you purchase them.
  • Hardy kiwis are fast growing (like, seriously fast!). You’ll need a sturdy pergola or trellis to support the growing vines. all can get older to 40 feet tall!
  • Growing kiwi means you’ll even be growing fragrant flowers. The flowers, which appear in early summer, are small and white. Their fragrance is analogous to lily of the valley. The fruits still mature all summer long and are able to harvest in late fall.Kiwi vine flowers when growing kiwi fruitKiwi vines even have beautiful, fragrant flowers.
  • When growing kiwi , site the vines fully sun. attempt to find a location that’s shielded from late spring frosts which may damage newly emerged spring growth. Space vines about ten to 12 feet apart, on center. confirm they’re regularly watered until established.
  • Pruning may be a must. for several people growing kiwi , pruning is that the most challenging task. The vines must be pruned with a pointy pair of high-quality pruners when they’re dormant within the winter, and again two or 3 times throughout the summer. In winter, prune out any branches that produced fruit the previous season, also as any dead or crossed branches. The one-year-old branches produce the foremost fruit, so don’t prune them out, instead trim them back to the eighth node up from the bottom of the plant (the nodes appear as if little nubs along the branch). These nodes will obtrude new fruiting spurs within the spring. Summer pruning involves removing any long, arching vines that reach beyond the developing fruits. Any non-flowering vines that reach off the trellis are often removed within the summer also .
  • Keep the vines well mulched. i prefer to use three inches of compost or shredded leaves. But, don’t pile the mulch against the bottom of the plant; keep it three inches faraway from the vine’s base.
  • If your hardy kiwi aren’t ripe when frost threatens within the fall, harvest them and permit them to ripen on the kitchen counter. confirm all the fruits are harvested before frost strikes.
  • Hardy kiwis are among the foremost pest-free fruits you’ll grow. The plants aren’t fussy, nor do they require any spraying. Oh, and they’re pretty, too!
  • Related post: Gooseberries

In some ways , growing kiwi is far like growing grapes. they’re vigorous growers and wish to be properly pruned, trained, and trellised. But, when they’re treated right, you’ll have more fruit than you’ll handle. Growing kiwi should get on every gardeners to-do list!

potted kiwi vines

For more on growing fruit successfully, inspect the subsequent articles:

  • How to prune blueberries for more fruit
  • Growing dwarf berries in containers
  • 5 mini-melons for little gardens

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