Dennis, I am understanding that you are trying to root the cuttings? I have had success with just composted wood chips and a little rock dust. The challenge is the race between rooting and rotting- too much nitrogen and everything rots, too little and the nascent roots can't get enough nitrogen to make materials. I err on the side of too little nitrogen and some shade. I am very low tech, most stuff I root over the winter in a mild climate, just stuck in the degraded chips. Rooting hormone if I remember but most stuff seems to do just fine. I bat about .500 with some stuff much higher, some lower. I've successfully rooted stuff like Che that is supposed to NOT root. Without hormone because I couldn't find it!
For kiwi, shade is the issue I would think. They like a shaded winter and then they reach for the sun. A shade cloth or old shirt on a stick is all you need. Now my better half has a use for those "comfortable" shirts we can agree on!
Standing on the shoulders of giants. Giants with dirt under their nails
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
The kiwi cuttings have already rooted and have some leaves and now the weather is nice and warm. I have hardened them off but will still use a little shade cloth over each.
I did the cuttings this spring after I got a lot of scions. To increase the success rate and since I got many more than i could possibly use, I gave some to a couple of other local Permies. These are all A. Chinensis (male and female).
I have a drip irrigation system and wanting to build mounds that drain well but still hold moisture. We often get large pop up showers that are hard to predict. Good thing I live on a hill.
I have a large bulk sack of permatill (Expanded shale) that I got for my aquaponics system and a little bit of vermiculite. Just do not have much in the way of soil.
Plant a seed and see if it grows. Some seeds do not grow well but others grow beyond your expectations.