Hardy kiwi varieties Anna and Meader (Issai not so much) do excellent in my area's clay soil, and I am still toying with what may go well with them in the shade. Not much info online about kiwi guilds. What have y'all tried?
Since my kiwis will be in a raised bed to keep them dry during their growing season, I don't know how many other plants I'll be able to grow with them, but I am planning on having strawberries as a ground cover!
Are you planning to grow them up trees, or on a constructed trellis?
I have a couple of spruce trees that I am considering as a kiwi trellis... problem is the spruce needles are so damned pointy that pruning and picking will be unpleasant. May end up removing them, but then it's either wait for replacement trees to grow, or build a trellis... and I'm busy!
Kevin, good to hear those two do well in clay for you, I have a LOT of clay... pretty sure I've got an 'Anna' among my cultivars..
Other than maybe apple trees for trellis, I figure I will mostly pair potted stuff with them, taking advantage of the windbreak and shade for nursery plants than need some protection.
I am growing them on a trellis. Even though I wouldn't call them invasive, they are certainly aggressive in growth in the shade where I live. Very similar in vigor to Japanese honeysuckle. I wouldn't advise growing them on a tree, but they might go well with a nitrogen fixer like an Autumn olive. Blackberries where I live like full hot sun, so they wouldn't be as good a pick. Perhaps raspberries, if they had a better tolerance to clay soil. Passionfruit might work well, but would be a mess removing the dead each year from the mass of kiwi vines, as maypop passionfruit dies to the ground each year.
At the moment I am already growing a permaculture vineyard with grapes and blackberries. The issue with grapes is I have to remove the stretches of vines that go past their allotted space. With as vigorous as kiwi are it would be very difficult to get them out. I have kiwi right now that have reached across the walking path and have grown into each other. For the most part I think most plants would have to be limited to the bottom three foot of the trellis to be a viable companion where I live. I have tried currants and gooseberries, but the varieties I have planted do not seem to like clay soil as I mentioned in another post. Black raspberries might be a viable option. Right now I have a small guild of a black walnut with black raspberries and daylilies.
The big note to this is hardy kiwi do have a shade requirement for how hot my area gets, but they do very well. So options need to be more shade friendly.
I love Kiwi. Never tried to grow it, but after reading how you guys are doing maybe I will give it a try!
Location: Victoria BC
posted 1 week ago
Interesting. The ones I planted at my parents place seemed to want more sun; I have seen them happy in pretty much full sun in my biome.
Are you putting your trellis below larger trees, or the north side of a structure for shade? Or some other technique? I am not well versed in short, shade loving plants, I am sure there are some great options in terms of forest floor herbs, ephemerals, bulbs and such... maybe a post seeking those would draw in someone with better info.
Deedee, I think hardy kiwis are one of the best things around. I like them better than the regular full size kiwis, and am baffled that they are not more common! There are numerous cultivars, and several varieties with some variation in cold hardiness and sun preference, so they are suited to a really wide range of climates and sites!
Yeah it regularly gets to 100 in Late July and August here in West Ky. I have also seen it get to 115 about six years ago, so yeah it just simply to hot for them in direct sun here. The trellis is under some trees in a nestled area toward a small valley, and it is oriented East/West, but they probably gets about 4 hours or so of sunlight. I know toward Maine it grows like Kudzu! Maybe if I am fortunate I can get some well trimmed lovage to grow in the spot, but it still maybe too hot for the lovage to grow either. I definately do want to find another shorter fruit to grow along with it.
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