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Project: Kiwi

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Project by MsDebbieP posted 06-21-2012 01:29 PM 1229 views 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Project: Kiwi
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(June 21/12)

In 2008 I planted my first Hardy Kiwi plant.
I attached an old railing to two birdhouse posts (old telephone poles), creating a trellis for the vines to climb on.

The plant came with a cluster of fruit on it and in the fall I “harvested” a handful and was excited to taste the delicious fruit. Yummy. I couldn’t wait for next year.

In 2009 I added three more plants, but alas no fruit. Also, it’s important to note that I had removed the burlap wrapping in early May but the cold snap we received after hit the plants hard.

In 2010 it didn’t look like the vines were going to grow at all but apparently they hung on. They were perhaps still recovering from the damaging frost the year before.

My records for 2011 show that I had seen some kiwis on the vines but they disappeared during the summer, having been eaten or dropped off “naturally”.

2012 Update
This spring, after a mild winter, the vines are flourishing. I have two really healthy vines and one that is hanging in there.

Earlier this week I mulched the one side of the vine area with straw, trying to control the bindweed infestation. The other side of the trellis is full of violets and since I didn’t have enough straw to cover the area, I just left them uncovered.
The straw should help with keeping the moisture in the ground during the upcoming summer months, as well as help control the bindweed (and morning glories) that tend to climb other plants.

Yesterday I was checking for bindweed and I was surprised to find a cluster of healthy looking fruit on the one vine. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get another handful of kiwi fruit this year.

Picture 1
  • kiwi fruit, June 2012

Update
June 26/12: all the little kiwis have fallen off :(
Maybe next year…

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)



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MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

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hardy kiwi zone 5 ontario canada

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19 comments so far

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2438 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 06-21-2012 02:31 PM

Looks like your off to a good start.Good luck with them.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View Kindlingmaker's profile

Kindlingmaker

39 posts in 2164 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 06-21-2012 02:57 PM

I am amazed that Kiwi grows in Canada! You are magical!

-- I plant trees not to admire but for those that come after me... Zone 11

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-21-2012 03:22 PM

haha I have to give Mother Nature all the credit.
Hardy Kiwi are like grapes. Taste like kiwis though.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3808 posts in 2288 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 06-21-2012 04:07 PM

Looks promising, MsDeb. When is the harvesting time? Sept? :D

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-21-2012 04:13 PM

hahah you wish :D
I think the first ones I had were ripe in October .. so if we are two weeks early this year that would make it just after the big event.
Oh I can see the nibblers now!! Taste testing :D

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View justjoel's profile

justjoel

1063 posts in 2038 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 06-22-2012 07:54 PM

Wow, Kiwi? What next, bananas, pineapples and coconuts? :-)

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-23-2012 08:51 AM

haha that would be fun, wouldn’t it!!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4305 posts in 1921 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-25-2012 12:25 AM

I am tempted to try growing the hardy kiwis but after my disappointing Maypop experience, I have been hesitant to do so. My wonderful husband is dreaming up a trellis plan so we can grow grapes; maybe there will be room for a few hardy kiwis as well.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-25-2012 01:42 AM

as with all of gardening all you can do is give it a try and “live and learn”. I hope it will be a success for you!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View sharad's profile

sharad

1639 posts in 1875 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 06-25-2012 05:58 AM

I have tasted Kiwi (not the hardy one) a couple of times and found it very tasty. In spite of other failures this season you are lucky to get these hardy Kiwis. I am sure they will mature for you at the right time. Have you a picture of a flower of your Kiwi?

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-25-2012 09:24 AM

that’s the only picture I have. I’ve never noticed the flower stage.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-26-2012 11:25 PM

June 26/12
I just checked on the little babies and they have all fallen off.
Maybe next year …

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View rdlaurance's profile

rdlaurance

8 posts in 1387 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 06-28-2012 09:03 PM

Debbie, do you recall what the variety of those mini-kiwis are?

I’ve been contemplating planting some vines here in Sweden and have been considering Actinidia arguta ‘Issai’, which is self-fertile though I’ve also read that additionally having a male (like the Actinidia kolomikta-’Oscar’- the’Arctic Beauty Kiwi’) can increase the yield, besides being a beautiful variegated tricolor plant for the added garden color.

An interesting note on fruiting habits that I just stumbled across was this following quote…. from ’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actinidiaarguta .

…... Attempts to commercialize the fruit have been historically unsuccessful due to its short shelf-life and sporadic tendencies to ripen. However, attempts are being made to bring the fruit to greater bear, and commercial production initiatives are underway on a small scale in South America, New Zealand, Europe, Canada, and the USA (in Oregon, Washington, and northern New England)._

So apparently they are not a prolific annual fruiting kiwi as one would truly wish and salivate for…

Either way it won’t deter me from planting some mini-kiwis. Also, I’ve read they really love a good heaping of compost early in the Spring.

-- .....Rick, south Sweden

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-29-2012 09:38 AM

the first one I planted was the Issai variety. The next two, ... I had to check my past GardenTenders posts ... and they, too, are Issai as that was all that I was able to find in my area.
I had forgotten that. Now I’ll start looking again for a different variety. Not sure where I’ll put it, but oh there must be some room somewhere!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2438 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 07-04-2012 12:14 PM

Sorry to hear you lost them all Debbie.I was looking forward to seeing a post of you slicing them for eating. :-(

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 07-04-2012 12:20 PM

me too
I was checking on them today, hoping that I had just missed them.. but, sadly, they are all gone.
Everything in my garden is a “maybe next year”.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View rdlaurance's profile

rdlaurance

8 posts in 1387 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 07-07-2012 07:59 PM

Debbie, I just came across another tidbit of info on the ‘Issai’ variety. Seems our garden centers don’t tell us all these “important” things, if they are in fact … true.

This is from the University of Minnesota Ag Sciences website, http://fruit.cfans.umn.edu/kiwi.htm

At the bottom of this linked page it finishes with….

... The one most commonly found at Minnesota garden centers is ‘Issai,’ valued as a self-fertile female that produces small seedless fruits. However, this cultivar lacks sufficient cold hardiness to be grown for fruit in Minnesota. If you try growing A. arguta for fruit, plant a male of the same species, since flowering times and chromosome numbers differ between Actinida species; don’t rely on a male A. kolomikta as a pollenizer.

And from the Ohio State University Ag Sciences, http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1426.html

comes this nugget of info, for those of us that want to eat what we grow….

… One of the primary problems in growing any of the Actinidia species is that the plants begin growing early in the spring and the young shoots and developing flower buds are extremely susceptible to injury from spring frosts. They can be damaged by even brief exposures to 30 degrees F or lower. Thus, the flower buds are normally killed by spring freezes and the plants rarely produce fruit. Successful cropping of kiwifruit may require a long frost-free growing season of about 220 days.

Guess I’m going to have to learn how to knit earmuffs or rather flower muffs to get the kind of cropping my salivary glands require of me…. LOL

Sorry for your loss and good luck next year! The Ohio State link above has other great growing tips as well. I’m now thinking of planting my kiwis next to a south facing stone wall and possibly utilizing a frost hindering sheet of plastic to extend that season.

Ooops … a little edit repost here…. the latter italicized description (and linked) above is referring to the Actinidia species which I believe must be referencing the (A. deliciosa) -’Hayward’ variety, or the predominately larger commercial kiwi with the fuzzy skin on both fruit and leaves, not the (hardier) A. Arguta (‘Issai’) or A. Kolomikta varieties. Hmmm… either way, maybe the stone wall and plastic sheet may still be a step in the right direction. Of course if it is that cold when the flowers are blooming, you’ll see me out there in woolies with a small paint brush playing the role of the master bumblebee, as they’re generally more concerned with warmth than nectar.

-- .....Rick, south Sweden

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 07-07-2012 08:08 PM

I learned the first year to not unrwrap the burlap that I put around the plants until late May – protecting it from any frost.

I haven’t found a non-Issai variety yet but I’ll keep looking.

In the meantime maybe I should plan on making a little greenhouse for them for early spring.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 08-15-2013 03:18 PM

2013 … no kiwis yet, except that first year
we had frosts galore last year
and this year I saw several bundles of berries but they have disappeared. Fallen off? eaten?

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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