I planted an Ana hardy/arguta kiwi in 2013, and I can’t remember how long it’s been producing, but it didn’t seem slow to produce at all, and I feel like I’ve been getting very good crops from it lately, except for when late frosts have really thinned it out, but it had lots of fruit this year anyway.
I sometimes get a bit lower than that (2 years in the last ~8 which got down to -8 or -9F), so it sounds like they might work here as well. I had always figured they would be too tender.
The next question is- are they graft and pollen compatible with Hardy kiwi?
I have 2 Jumbo/Chico (two names for the same cultivar…) vines taking up a lot of space on the trellis. I was planning to graft one to Cordifolia (Rossana is already on the trellis), but the other could become a yellow kiwi.
Unfortunately not graft compatible long term. Grafts will fail within a couple of years or less. A. kolomikta is fully graft compatible with both hardy and yellow/fuzzy, so could possibly be used as an interstem, but the size differences would probably cause problems.
Female argutas can be pollinized by yellow/fuzzies but bloom period overlap is not good. The diploids are a bit too early and may not work well as the hardy kiwi are tetraploid. Fuzzy kiwi will pollinize hardy kiwi, but are usually too late. A very early blooming male fuzzy may work. An early-ish tet male yellow will definitely work, but good luck finding one.
The reciprocal pollination does not work well. Hardy kiwi pollen tubes will often fail to reach the ovaries on large fruited varieties, so fruits don’t set or are very small and few. I used hardy pollen on a large fruited tet yellow and got fruit and viable seeds, but the fruits were only 1/4 the normal size.
Scott, did Kandis say anything about the rootstock? I have not heard back from her. She was going to check and see if Gulf Coast Gold was used as the rootstock.
No, but I didn’t ask anything about it…
Just west of you in Franklin. My old kiwi orchard is north of Nashville.
@scottfsmith ----- Think you may be right about the yellow. $50 a pop is to steep as an experiment. Though their early ripening feature is attractive. I was looking at Rolling River because of their cheap prices and the fact they are potted. Based on your experience could you recommend some varieties that you have good success with? Let me also try to understand the process. You are picking mid nov. or before freezing, refrigerating for a month or two, then pulling to counter soften?
@scottfsmith Just as a side note. I put these post on at like 2 in the morning. It is amazing how many times I have read this forum at 3am and found others posting at the same time. Is growing fruit really that addictive?
@kiwinut I am going to try the seed idea. Although my seed experience is poor. How long did it take yours to fruit from seed? Did you try planting in straight dirt outside at all? Also, just so I know. Hardy males will not pollinate fuzzy? I’m afraid Scott busted up the yellow dream when he stated they wanted $50 per plant, so I guess back to fuzzy.
Robert, yes, hardy males are no good for fuzzies.
My seedlings from Hort16A several years ago only took 1.5 years to bloom for a male, and a couple of females bloomed at 2.5 years, and another at 3.5. I started them indoors over winter, then transplanted outdoors the following spring. The male bloomed one year after planting outside.
My favorie green fuzzy is Saanichton. It ripens late but the fruits were tasty in Feb after cold storage. I grew some others which were smaller and did not ripen any earlier.
Oh if you want cheaper fuzzy kiwis, fruitwood nursery sells rooted cuttings for 5 bucks each… cant beat that price!
I’m guessing the late freezes in my area won’t allow me to grow any Kiwi?
That depends on how severe they are. Site selection makes a huge difference. Hardy kiwi are also quite adaptive, and once large enough, will produce even in a bad frost pocket, at least they do in TN. However, it may take 10 years to get there. Issai can be grown in a container that can be moved around or kept small enough to cover, so that is another option. The male Flowercloud has similar precocity and compactness, so makes a good companion.
I really don’t know how compact the yellow kiwi can be kept, while still producing fruit. They are extremely vigorous, so it would take a lot of maintenance.
I have 17 acres so I can dedicate a large area to Kiwi. I’m thinking the Hardy types would be best for me.
@PermaAZ I would recommend them, and I personally do not think you can kill them even if you tried. Like kiwinut said they have that problem of taking up to 10 years to fruit though. I only have issai and anna. Issai is compact and easily managed, while anna has been a monster of growth. A lot of the males do not seem to have the same vigor though. They flower late and most cold is gone by then. People are growing these up north in severe environments, so I think your comfy zone 8 should be just fine.
Yesterday I learned about Mega Kiwi. https://www.megakiwifruit.com/
I’m successfully growing regular Saanichton http://ediblelandscaping.com/products/vines/KiwisFuzzy/SaanichtonFuzzyKiwi.php fuzzy kiwi in Maryland zone 7a. This new “mega” sounds intriguing, but it looks like private variety not available to buy.
@vkelman That does look interesting. Do you know of anyone selling the plants? Saanichton is the variety that I was going to buy. I am a little west of Leesburg, so should work well for me too. Can I ask you when you are picking them? Are they edible at that point or do they require some refrigeration first?
@Robert, I didn’t find anyone selling Mega Kiwi plants.
I pick Saanichton fruits in November. They are still hard but very close to ready state. I put them to the fridge to keep longer, periodically take some and put into a bag with an apple at room temperature. Within several days they become ripe and very sweet and tasty.
So treat it like a euro pear. Did you have any problems the first couple years? I am ordering two males and four females. Two males in case one goes down. I looked at several videos of the mega kiwi and some grower out in california has exclusive rights to it.