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Hardy Kiwi (Actinidia arguta)

 
Adam Klaus
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Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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hello-
I am looking to plant an arbor of hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta), and would love to hear your experience and advice with this plant. I believe my climate is adequate for them to grow, ripen, and overwinter. I was looking at the varietals 49er, Cordifolia, and Ken's Red, along with a male pollinator.

My soil is fertile, heavy clay, that is slightly alkaline. I have read that the kiwis prefer a slightly acidic soil. I could select a small area and heavily ammend the soil to make it more acidic, or I could grow the kiwis in containers with non-native soil. My concern about containers is that the plants might not be adequately winter hardy if grown in large pots.

As far as site goes, I read that the kiwis appreciate some shade, and I wonder how much or how little shade your hardy kiwis recieve. Our climate has strong sunshine in the summer, and some plants definitely scorch in the blazing sun. Our temps are moderate, not ever really above 90F, but our altitude ensures powerful sunshine. I was thinking to put the arbor to the east my house to give some afternoon shade.

Most of the information I find is specifically about fuzzy kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa), and I would like more specific information about the hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta). I have tried growing fuzzy kiwi in my greenhouse, and they did not enjoy our alkaline soil or the extreme temps of the greenhouse. I think that the hardy kiwi will be better suited outdoors here, and have heard of people successfully growing them in our valley. I just want to learn as much as I can to improve my odds of success.

Thanks!
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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I have little information for you. I planted three, one male and two female plants last spring. They are also east of my house against a south facing cement wall. Last year they survived. That is all, did not thrive. They made it thru the winter and are going like gang busters now.
 
Adam Klaus
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Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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bump this back up top
still very curious how to provide the optimal site for hardy kiwi culture?
i have fertile alkaline clay soils, wondering if hugelkulture would be ideal?
anybody?
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I brought back cuttings from a prolific hardy kiwi in west virginia. I rooted them and they grew well but between deer eating them and early leaf out then a freeze I havent had any luck with fruit. I bought a male plant because I was sure the cuttings were female. I am zone 6b/7a...I think they bud up too early here but I keep pruning and hoping. They were a tastey thumb sized smooth skin fruit but I don't know the variety. Our soil is naturally on the acidic side. If ours survive I am going to make more cuttings and try some in a different location...less sun and more protected from a late freeze.
 
David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Are you sure you need a male plant ?
Here in France you can buy two types of Kiwi
On gives very small gooseberry size fruit and does not need seperate male and female plants the other gives large fruit and you need one male to about 6 female plants .

David
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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David Livingston wrote:Are you sure you need a male plant ?
Here in France you can buy two types of Kiwi
On gives very small gooseberry size fruit and does not need seperate male and female plants the other gives large fruit and you need one male to about 6 female plants .

David


That is what I understood at the time (ten years ago) but I am not so sure now...I haven't had them bloom but once...it was a female flower and did not make fruit...I didnt have the male then and havent had blooms since so haven't been able to test. It is becoming an unfruitful experiment.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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Still no good info for you but here are some phitos.
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S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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I have a dwarf self-fertile called Issai, it bear the very spring I planted it. For male I have flowercloud, it blossom the the spring after I planted it. I also have Ken's Red and two other one they have not bloomed yet but growing vigorously.
 
Philip Green
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Location: Southern Ohio (zone 6a)
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Judith Browning wrote:I brought back cuttings from a prolific hardy kiwi in west virginia. I rooted them and they grew well but between deer eating them and early leaf out then a freeze I havent had any luck with fruit. I bought a male plant because I was sure the cuttings were female. I am zone 6b/7a...I think they bud up too early here but I keep pruning and hoping. They were a tastey thumb sized smooth skin fruit but I don't know the variety. Our soil is naturally on the acidic side. If ours survive I am going to make more cuttings and try some in a different location...less sun and more protected from a late freeze.


I believe I've read that they typically take around 5 years to begin fruiting. I have some I planted this spring, the soil here is very slightly acidic. I'd planted mine under conifer trees (in a clearing so they still get pretty much sun) to take advantage of the naturally increased acidity and am going to see what happens. They seem healthy so far. I'm also planning to allow them to trellis up the pines, though from what I've read that may not be the best idea as the can get to 60+ feet and the fruits become difficult to reach... But I will deal with that problem if/when I come to it (maybe I will prune them back regularly).
 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Great feedback here, great subject. I was wondering where to source these plants? I first heard that they were available at one of the local big box stores, not true so far this year.
Local nurseries seem equally unhelpful,thus mail order would seem to be in order. Any suggestions?

Also, I have built a deep raised bed for them to grow in. It is designed to be moist but well drained, as they are to said to need steady water while being vulnerable to standing in water. It is located in one of the few areas I have with full sun, but some posters her have suggested the kiwi would like a little shade.

I have Hugel I am building that would be under the shade of the large Mimosa that dominate our back yard. Would this be a better spot?
I also have back fence line, about 40 feet long , that I just planted with 3 grape vines. There is lots of space left in between, but both kinds of vines spread, and Kiwi is known to be heavy. I don't think these would be a good combo,but the spot is shaded from about noon on, so maybe it would be better for Kiwi anyway...

While I am bombarding you with questions,any suggestions about guilds/companions for Kiwi?
 
John Elliott
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Adam, I think I can help you out on what to do with the clay soil. I put in some Kiwi vines 3 years ago and they have been just hanging in there, growing slow. But this last winter I did some 'gardenhose hugelkulturing' with them, that is, use the garden hose to bore into the soil around the base of the vines. It does a good job penetrating this thick Georgia clay, and a twist nozzle attachment helps a great deal to get a powerful stream of water that can bore into the clay. With several 1" diameter holes around the base of the kiwi, I then cram them full of rotting oak branches, crumbled up pine cones, a little biochar, maybe a chicken bone for some phosphorous, and then pour some compost tea in over everything. I also have a parsley root planted right next to one vine and they seem to be good companions. Maybe the parsley is helping pull up nutrients from a lower soil level.
Now I have a different problem -- long vines everywhere that I need to train to the fence posts and some sort of trellis. They have really taken off this year, and while I still haven't gotten any fruit, they are growing much better, and it shouldn't be too long before they are flowing and fruiting for me.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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I got my kiwi from onegreenworld. http://onegreenworld.com/Kiwis/420/
Artic Kiwi needs some shade so that would be the best type of shady area.
They are pretty pest resistant so they are not too picky about companion. just the usual dill, ramp/garlic, mint, bush bean/silverberry/clover, etc.
I am not too sure about the clay soil but they survive the wet cold arctic permafrost, at least the arctic species.


William Bronson wrote:Great feedback here, great subject. I was wondering where to source these plants? I first heard that they were available at one of the local big box stores, not true so far this year.
Local nurseries seem equally unhelpful,thus mail order would seem to be in order. Any suggestions?
While I am bombarding you with questions,any suggestions about guilds/companions for Kiwi?
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1128
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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forest garden trees urban
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Thank you for that source for kiwi. Looks like there are shade tolerant kiwi, and other that want full sun.I want both!
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1128
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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I am planning on growing the kiwi up the front of my porch, replacing the "Italian Tree" tomatoes that have graced that space(12' high) other years.
The tomatoes grew nicely trained to some strong nylon twine.
I was thinking I could grow the kiwi up 244 Lb test nylon rope.Do they sucker or tendril or what? I often start out plants by twist tying them to structures for training, would that workat first?
I saw some source suggest lowering the trellises with the vines attached for easy harvest, but I am not sure the vines would be so hardy/flexible.
Also, would I be missing out on some productivity if I did not have supports for the vines to branch out?
 
Sheryl Napier
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I never looked up anything about where to plant them so I stuck mine in full sun and acidic soil in south east Virginia. This is year 2 for it and it is already massive. I read somewhere that you really need a heavy duty trellis for them and I believe it. Mine was ordered from Edible Landscaping in Afton, Virginia. Their literature said you need a male.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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If you want fruit you are going to need a male and at least one female.
One female will produce 100lbs of fruit per year.
Kiwi vines twine around their support.
While they dont sucker from under the ground they can send up shoots from near the base.
Commercial farmer dont allow kiwi vines to become the 100ft tall and 100ft wide monster that they can be, instead they are kept 6ft tall and 10ft wide structure




William Bronson wrote: I am planning on growing the kiwi up the front of my porch, replacing the "Italian Tree" tomatoes that have graced that space(12' high) other years.
The tomatoes grew nicely trained to some strong nylon twine.
I was thinking I could grow the kiwi up 244 Lb test nylon rope.Do they sucker or tendril or what? I often start out plants by twist tying them to structures for training, would that workat first?
I saw some source suggest lowering the trellises with the vines attached for easy harvest, but I am not sure the vines would be so hardy/flexible.
Also, would I be missing out on some productivity if I did not have supports for the vines to branch out?
 
alex Keenan
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If you want to get Kiwi going then they need moist soil with good drainage.
I am growing mine in five and ten gallon pots.
They also need something to grow up into like fence or netting.
If they are in the grown you can put T post and utility fencing next to them or large tomato cage like systems.
Then you can start adding a inch or two of well drained soil every year to build up a mound of roots over time.
At some point you will get enough roots to support the plant. Just make sure that as you add soil you make the area wider each time.
 
David Livingston
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How do folks propagate these fruits ?

David
 
Stephanie Meyer
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Location: West Michigan Zone 5
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David Livingston wrote:How do folks propagate these fruits ?

David


I have several cuttings leafing out in my east window right now, but I think you can do it from seeds also.
 
David Livingston
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What size cutting worked for you ? Hard wood soft wood ? with a heel ?

David
 
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