I have 5 vines and am planning the trellis as well. Not a typical setup, so I made a video. Any helpful advice greatly appreciated.
I’m not sure if yours is a hardy kiwi or fuzzy kiwi.
Michael McConkey from Edible Landscaping here in VA talks about the Hardy Kiwi and gives a pruning demonstration and shows just what kind of growth there is to look forward to!
Once established they grow fast and need heavy pruning. This is good reading:
These are all fuzzy kiwis, is pruning similar for the hardy kiwis?
Dan, I’ve read through that UO article, but my set up is not typical and some parts, i.e. spacing, don’t apply. The Video really shows the issues better than I can with a thousand words.
Real life often doesn’t follow the textbook, No matter how much we may wish.
Is it too late at this point to do severe pruning? Is it better to keep two or three trunks per vine, in case of typhoon damage to one of them?
I have a few days off now, so was going to buy and construct a sturdy 13‘ x 13‘ pergola trellis about 6 feet high in the air. This is the most expensive and troublesome option, and I’m not even sure if it’s the best one to maximize fruit production. I may be able to extend it in the future, perhaps towards my grape trellis.
I know I’ve seen other non-standard solutions which apparently work very well for some members. For example, hacking the male back immediately after flowering and keeping it in more of a shrub like condition, thereby freeing up proper trailer space for fruiting vines.
Well it took about four hours, but I got a new arbor put up and it looks really good. I was doing some chin-ups on the weak points, so it should be plenty strong. Cost a bit over $100. My wife talked me into it, she says I’m always too cautious, I just need to go spend more money.
All three of my mature vines are able to reach the trellis directly on at least one of their branches, so I zip tied those on. However, the majority of the plant is branching out like an octopus directly from the trunk base. If I cut all those off, the trunk will be quite distorted looking. I’m thinking to save three branches from each trunk, and train those directly up to the trellis above. Hopefully this won’t do anything wacky.
Just prune back to one octopus leg, don’t worry about what the trunk looks like. Or you can do a couple legs. Just make sure you get all the growth up high, eventually the lower stuff will all be too shaded by the upper stuff anyway.
OK, thanks Scott. I imagine I will lose most of the fruit production for the first couple years by doing that, but there’s no other way to get it up in the sky.
Does pruning off all the other branches cause it to shoot all the energy up into the single trained branch? Or would letting everything grow for a while strengthen the entire plant, allowing you to remove the branches you don’t want later?
The fewer the branches the more energy it will put into the ones left. One thing you need to be careful of though is kiwis love to “start all over”, sending a new shoot from the base. Sometimes those guys are a lot more vigorous in fact, so I would suggest saving one of them and then a few months in decide if that new shoot or the old plant is the most vigorous and pick the “winner” to survive.
Ok thanks that makes sense of some of the unexpected growth I’ve seen.
So picking the most vigorous vine is the way to go. Is that still the case once the vine gets established and trellised properly A couple of years in ?
Also, my gold kiwis barely made the flower overlap, with only part of the vine getting the chance to get pollenized. Would it be possible to save some of the male flowers in the freezer something for a year and hand pollinate, or does pollen not last like that? I have an unusual red Kiwi that’s taken this year as well, not sure how the flowering schedule will work out.
Once the vine is established your are just pruning it like a spur pruned grape — prune to stubs.
I don’ know about a year in the freezer. I would instead harvest some dormant flowering wood and force it when you need pollen. just put it inside in a warm window in some water to force.
anyone mind if I post a few pics tomorrow (maybe, we are expecting snow) and request suggestions on what I should do with my jungle, I have previously been hesitant to chop it heavily out of concern that I would lose that year’s fruit, but I’d rather hack it badly this year and have an easier time of it next and the following years.
This is a video that has helped me.
OK thanks Alan. That’s a nice video too, very simple to understand.
Is there any reason to keep the vines short like in that video? Is it possible to let the vine grow incredibly long and have it fruiting all the way along its length?