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Goji Berries, Kiwis, and Green Tea Plants...Attributes?

 
Brent Rogers
Posts: 40
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I am adding many new species to my Oregon garden this year. Among them are Goji Berries (Lycium Barbarum), Kiwis (Actinidia Kolomikta), Seaberries (Hippophae Rhamnoides) and Green Tea Plants (Camellia Sinensis). I found that Seaberries are excellent Nitrogen fixers, but have found little on the Goji, Kiwi, or Tea Plants. I could really use some useful attribute information on these plants to help me plan my guilds and expanding polyculture. According to Oregon's planting zones, I am in 8b. Any growing tips or experiences with these varieties would be extremely helpful.
 
Leonard Barrett
Posts: 23
Location: Portland, OR
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Hi Brent,

I have a few thoughts for you. Hope they're useful.

Goji: I have found this one to be a little bit difficult to establish, but once going, very productive. The main problem is usually with a sort of powdery mildew, which for some counter-intuitive reason doesn't seem to set in until we hit the DRY SEASON?! Spring growth is often very vigorous and healthy, and then come early July, the mildew sets in and causes some amount of defoliation. This seems to be more prevalent on some sites more than others, but I've never been able to reliably correlate it to obvious things like microclimate, air flow, humidity, soil quality, etc. etc. It has definitely been a head-scratcher. If anyone else has a theory, I'd be very excited to hear it!

I know of several plants around Portland that are bearing heavily....many pounds every year. They can get quite large (and hell are they thorny!), but they seem to take their time in doing so. I've definitely seen growth and fruiting rates vary widely by site...but again, haven't been able to get a sense of exactly what variables that correlates to.

Kiwi: My experience in Oregon says that you're much better off with Actinidia arguta (so-called Hardy Kiwi) or A. deliciosa (fuzzy). Between those two, A. arguta is by far my favorite, as I rarely see A. deliciosa ripen on the vine, where as A. arguta does so without fail every year. I also think the taste of A. arguta is far superior. The lack of fuzz on A. arguta also means that you can just pop them in your mouth....and the small size is cute.

As far as A. kolomikta goes, in almost a decade of working with edible landscapes in Oregon, and planting and/or tending to it at least a dozen times, I've almost never seen it fruit well (or at all!), and I've never seen it fruit reliably.

Camellia: I've found this to be a pretty easy one. One thing to keep in mind is that they can tolerate a considerable amount of shade. The most utilized tea plants I've seen in Portland are on the north wall of a 20' tall garage. They're not necessarily the most *productive*, but they put on enough growth that at least one household gets a good portion their caffeine fix taken care of.

Good luck!
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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I too have some of these on order this year, and tried to put kiwi (hardy and another type) in last year, planted 6 vines but they weren't doing well when winter came..so we'll see if the roots come back? We did have a terrible drought but they were near drip irrigation.

I have the sea buckthorn and goji berries on my orders for this year.

a lot of the berry type plants like these can be dried for winter use, which I find very helpful in our very cold climate here, nice to have food in the winter.

I am also trying several other new berry and fruit starts this year and have babies from a bunch of them that I started last year...I put a list on my blog (address below)
 
Matthew Fallon
Posts: 308
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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i've had the hardy kiwi(arctic beauty?) for a while now(5+years?), bought 2 female and 1 male. 2 died, didnt know if survivor was fem. last year 1 came back to life.it was the male! the nice big female vine then got 2 fruits on it which were promptly eaten by something. i was in Bolivia at the time so dunno what..

also have a Goji since 07',it finally fruited last year.

i have a bit of a related question ,a week or two back i took a bucket load of cuttings off of both of these,as well as a grape vine..i have them in water now. last spring i was able to get them rooted this way and gave to friends. but it took about 5 weeks or more.
would i do better potting them in soil, adding peat/loamy potting soil to the buckets and keep damp? they're kept indoors

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Kiwi
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kiwi fruit.
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kiwi,goji and grape cuttings
 
Leonard Barrett
Posts: 23
Location: Portland, OR
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Matthew Fallon wrote:

i have a bit of a related question ,a week or two back i took a bucket load of cuttings off of both of these,as well as a grape vine..i have them in water now. last spring i was able to get them rooted this way and gave to friends. but it took about 5 weeks or more.
would i do better potting them in soil, adding peat/loamy potting soil to the buckets and keep damp? they're kept indoors


I can't speak as much to the kiwi and goji, but with grapes, this is what has worked well for me (and is roughly what you'll find in commercial grape propagation literature):

Hardwood cuttings (a.k.a. ripe or mature growth), 4 nodes in length. Tie with rubberbands in bundles of 30-50, and pot up half their length deep in #1 or #2 pots in damp sand. Re-pot individually, with two nodes buried, when temperatures are starting to get into the upper 40s consistently. I've had close to 100% success rate with this technique, and have generally found grape propagation to be extremely forgiving, and quite tolerant of un-ideal conditions.

From what a nursery-owner friend has told me, I'd expect goji to respond well to a similar treatment. Though come to think of it, I believe she propagates by half-ripe wood in summer (in a frame, with mist, I believe).

Not sure with kiwi...I've only seen it done in a greenhouse....and a lot of the literature suggests "...in a frame." But from what you wrote, it seems like you may have had luck in the open with both goji and kiwi? Would be curious to know.

Cheers!
 
Calvin Mars
Posts: 32
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I've seen folks on youtube strip the goji of leaves and berries and them jam the left over stick in the ground. They eat the leaves in soup. I've tried nibbling on them raw. A bit of a wild taste i enjoy. The leaves almost have a lettuce reminiscent texture to them, not tough at all. I know of them being edible cooked, I've not explored if it's a good idea to eat a bunch of the raw leaves yet by trying it. No adverse effects nibbling, BTW.

There is a lot of evidence to suggest this is a beneficial practice:
http://www.gojiking.co.uk/shop/salad-goji-leaves.html
 
Calvin Mars
Posts: 32
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How do the fresh berries taste, BTW?
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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My Goji take the hot California sun very well. Out of all my newly planted plants they performed the best.
 
Arrow Durfee
Posts: 35
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I have started growing goji this past summer and I now have about 30 small plants. This is the first I've heard about the potential for mildew. I wonder it it has something to do with the Portland area. Typically the plants grow in very high altitude with severely cold winters, neither of which Portland offers. Where I am growing it is very similar to the Himilaya mountian region so maybe I wont run into that problem.

I also wanted to say something about the species of goji planted. There is a differece between between tibetian goji and chinese goji with is commonly called the wolfberry. Tibetian goji is not wolfberry.


I've had several brands over the years and the one's Im growing are from http://gojiberry.com/ I've really not seen much of a difference in the berries from different companies... only in how dry or moist they are but clearly the goji berry company says there is a difference, not only in appearance but in medicinal quality. Although the wolfberry is quite good for you the Tibetian goji is the preferred berry for Tibetian herbal remedies, and apparrently goji is in many herbal remedies both Tibetian and Chinese.

First, the Tibetan Goji berry and the Chinese Wolfberry are both Lycium berries. They look similar to one another and share the same pinyin name of Gou Qi Zi. Sharing the same pinyin name causes great confusion.

The Wolfberry (Lycium barbarum) has received much popularity in China. It is a widely cultivated export crop and highly regarded in China for its medicinal properties. In addition to being cultivated in the popular region of Ningxia, it is also cultivated on very large commercial farms in the regions of Hebei, Gansu, Qinghai, and Shanxi.

Many varieties of Lycium berries grow all over the world, but the highly revered Tibetan Goji berry grows ONLY in some areas of Tibet and mostly in Mongolian areas. Wolfberries do not grow in any abundance in the traditional Himalayan botanical collection areas where Goji berries grow. Never in the past have Wolfberries been referred to as 'Goji' berries, or visa versa. That is until recently. Now that the Tibetan lycium 'Goji' berry has gained worldwide recognition with strong market demand, the much more cheaply cultivated Chinese Lycium barbarum, or Wolfberry, is being passed off as the Tibetan Goji berry.

Another issue that has lead to confusion is the fact that in China, the Wolfberry is called Gou Qi Zi. People began to think that the name 'Goji' must be short for the Chinese name Gou Qi Zi; even though these two berries are different in size, taste, name and are grown in two different countries. The name 'Goji' only refers to the Tibetan Lycium variety of Lycium Chinensis.
http://www.tanaduk.com/research6.html

Now I can not be absolutley positive as to where the truth lies on this issue of quality and type of berry but according to Chinese medicine the Chinese berry and the Tibetian berry have some different effects in the body.. as explained further in the link I provide.....

The Tibetian berry - lycium Chinenisis is smaller, rounder and sweeter.







 
It's in the permaculture playing cards. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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