By Kathleen Mierzejewski
Kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa) is a really nice, sweet fruit that is produced mostly in California and New Zealand. However, if you live in an area that has mild winters and a frost free season long enough for the fruit to ripen, you can grow hardy kiwi plants.
Hardy Kiwi Growing Tips
Although growing kiwi vines requires mild winters and a long frost-free growing season, you can grow hardy kiwi plants in cooler climates so long as you choose a variety that has adapted itself to the cooler climates. There are some hardy kiwi plants that have done so, and they make a great addition to your fruit garden.
Growing hardy kiwi requires a lot of space. These are vines that spread quite a bit. They can sometimes spread over 20 feet. Since growing kiwi vines takes a lot of space, it is best to train them on a fence or arbor.
In order to get your hardy kiwi growing, you should make sure you have a male and a female plant. They do not self produce, so you need both. However, you can have one male plant and up to eight females together, and the male should be able to pollinate all the female plants with no trouble.
When you plant your hardy kiwi vines, make sure you put them about 10 to 18 feet apart. Again, they require a lot of room.
Further, they prefer well-drained soil and an area that gets full sun in order to be able to produce fruit. This is what growing hardy kiwi requires. All fruit from the growing kiwi vine comes from the new growth on wood that is one year old.
You should prune your hardy kiwi vine because annual pruning definitely enhances the production of fruit. Make sure you mulch around your small plants.
Mulch will preserve soil moisture and prevent frost damage to any new transplants. Also, be sure to put your hardy kiwi plants in an area that is protected from the hottest part of the day. The young plants cannot handle this type of direct sunlight during the hotter part of the day.
Make sure once you plant your hardy kiwi vine transplants, you water them daily until they take hold. After that, you can slack off a little as they prefer well-drained soil once they are settled. The fruits can be harvested once they are firm yet starting to soften. Kiwi is a great fruit for fruit salads or just eating by itself.