We can be the only members of our two man fruit growers group. haha
Agreed. Now all you have to do is grow some hardy kiwis and get them to fruit in one year (impossible, of course) and then let me try them at our first TRFG (Tennessee Rare Fruit Growers) meeting- so then I’ll know whether or not to grow them next year! ha. Jokes aside, if you are ever have need to go to Nashville and have some extra time, I’d love to have you drive on up I-65 another 25 minutes and take a look at my little orchard! You’re always welcomed.
Apparently they grow less aggressively in your climate.
That sounds encouraging. How close can you space them together without the roots being a problem or constantly getting tangled up? Do their growth habits require a trellis that’s vault off the ground 6 feet.? Or do they grow pretty much just like grapes and can be trained?
I’ve been looking at the golden and green kiwis, card says they ripen early October, and late November respectively. Wouldn’t it make sense to get the early ripening variety to avoid frost damage etc.? Or do the fruit ripen fine in frosty cold anyway? Do kiwi compete well with weeds?
I have them 3’ apart. But I have a lot of experience, put them further apart if you can afford to. Train them like grapes.
The later ripening ones you can harvest right before the first hard freeze (22F or so) and keep in the fridge until ripe. They are OK down to 22F or so, all the sugar keeps them from freezing.
I don’t think so - if I let them go they will make 30’ canes in one season. They can be a mess if I leave them alone, but every winter I prune them back like grapes, only 1’ or less stubs on the vine.
There are several fruit growers in your area over on bananas.org. Perhaps you could persuade them to start posting here
Ahah! Great idea!
I have a wacky plot section, wondering if it would work. It’s a small raised section next to the stumps of old plum trees cut down last year. Full sun, the west side drops down 6’ to a 6’ ledge, then 20’ to the road below.
The spots directly next to the stumps have good rich soil, so thought of planting there, and letting the vines cascade over the rocky ledge to the road below. Maybe no trellis system would be required. This would give several vines 30’+ of rocky cliff to expand over. I could access most of the vine from the ledge.
Only problem is invasive bamboo and weeds cover everywhere else on this plot, despite being burnt back last winter. I could try and keep the planting holes clear, but everything else would be too much. Will the fruit suffer if they get mixed up with bamboo and weeds on a ledge like this, or are they hardy enough to run over top? If most kiwi growth is cutback everyyear, I could see burning the ledge clear each year, and lots of relatively clean spreading area. But if the kiwi cordons also need to expand down the slope, it could be trouble.
A related question is how high do the vines need to be off the ground and why? Assuming pruning can be done, Is it just so fruit isn’t in the mud? I could make a 3’ trellis?
Just bought the gold apple female, and a “Rocky” male pollinator. They were double the cost of the green ones, and I have nowhere to put them, but thought now or never. I’ll have to retransplant my nectarines and 1 peach, and green kiwis I think to get room.
Will the fruit rot if it grows on the ground?
Well I just spent a couple of hours wandering around digging holes up there and couldn’t decide where to put it. This happens occasionally in the garden and it’s stressful. Too many plants, not enough experience, and no one to talk to about it. And running out of time to transplant. All the Keewee vines already started pushing new leaves. The gold one I bought last year looks to also have flower buds coming out . I have to move it though, as its sitting in 4 inches of soil on solid rock.
Probably the two best positions are either to: sacrifice part of my vegetable garden, good but shallow soil, about a foot deep; or that raised section I mentioned. The raised section seems naturally better for trailing vines, but I’m really worried about if they can compete with the bamboo/weeds. My mulberry tree and fig tree had no problem in a similar area.
I currently have the five kiwi vines planted in oddball spots on the edge of other sections until I can decide what to do with them. It may be difficult to build trellis work in those areas there’s not much room to spread out.
Too stressful I hate this kind of gardening! LOL! !
Are kiwis at least able to transplant when larger???
That sounds like the place. Just chop down regularly what is in the way. Kiwi is super vigorous and competes well. It also doesn’t need perfect sun.
They are like most trees/vines, not too hard for 1-2 or maybe three years, but then they start to get hard to do root size and spread.
My kiwis are probably all going to fry tonight I have not lost a crop yet but this might be the year. They are already half-fried and an even colder blast is coming tonight.
Thanks Scott. On the bright side, if you Kiwis get torched maybe it’s a good chance to try something new that will thrive in that area.
Could the males be jammed together and kept small as long as there’s a few flowers, or are they required to get really big and have tons of flowers in order to do their job?
The kiwis will come back, they have been frozen out before. But the crop could be low or zero.
I keep males very small - they look like shrubs not vines.
Is the fruit quality affected by any factors, such as soil ph, watering, temperature, or amendments?
I was not paying attention if it was. They are similar from year to year. Only one year I had a bad crop, I picked them a bit too late and on many the tops had frozen (less sugar there I guess).
My Ken’s Red has lots of flower buds on it, but nothing on the male plant. So looks like no kiwis this year. At least the low temps we’ve had the last several weekends didn’t kill the new tender growth.
I had random results on my kiwis this spring, some had nearly all shoots die and others are all green. Kens Red got roasted, it may be coming back from the roots.
Something affects it, as I had much higher quality fruit 2 years ago, than last year. My current hypothesis is that I didn’t summer prune enough and there was too much shading of the shoots supplying the fruit. I resolved to prune a lot more this year. Then, I was only halfway done with the pruning when the sap started to push. I’ll need to pick up pruning again once they are actively growing.
I don’t think mine were far enough along to get too badly hurt. The leaves are just the tiniest triangle starting to come out of the bud. Maybe I need to look closer to see if that bit got browned.
Recently our local Stop n’Shop has been selling ‘Gigantic’ Kiwis. I almost bought a box, but since I’ve never found them to be very sweet I didn’t. These Kiwi’s where huge!!!